Mechanical Engineering & PB


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2005
Wilkes-Barre PA
Hello again -
With the date of my order approaching (July 15th), I was just wondering if I would have any compatibility issues with not only a regular PC network (large campus based network) but if any programs engineers would use in their own time wouldn't be supported by mac (things like CAD that you would normally use on a PC, etc). This probably isn't a straightforward question and many more things would have to be taken into consideration, but if anyone had any experience with this or wondered the same I'd love to hear your advice.



macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2004
Toronto, Ontario
The only engineering/design program I know for sure that isn't available for Mac is Solidworks (not sure if that's what kind of program you are talking about). I only know that because my girlfriend works for them.

After G

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2003
It depends on what you are doing.

For CAD, the Mac is lacking. Besides Solidworks, there's also Unigraphics NX, AutoCAD, etc. The Mac does have CAD apps, but I haven't tried to use those much as the cost is prohibitive.

However, if you are looking at mathematical software, the Mac is pretty well covered. I use Matlab and Mathematica with no problems.

In my experience, you won't miss too much if you use a Mac. What I used most often, I could run on my Mac (Matlab, Mathematica), and for what I couldn't find to run on my Mac (PSpice, Solidworks, Unigraphics), I just spent extra time in the lab.


macrumors 68030
Nov 16, 2004
Cloud 9 (-6)
If you can specify the programs of your concern it would be much easier to answer. As far as CAD is concerned, VectorWorks 11 is currently available and although marketed towards architectural modeling, I have heard it does fine for basic part design and mockups. SketchUp 4.0 (unless 5 is out, I have no idea) is a great app (used at work by all the Mac people) for use in model creation and mockups. It uses a "sketch" type modeling but is actually quite powerful. I believe on their site they show some examples, but really all this software comes down to how well you know it and how proficient at it you are.

I have seen someone model and dimension an office chair (for marketing project) and the detail on this object in SketchUp was equivalent to that of Pro/E Wildfire 2.0 (which is what the design engineers use where I work). Although the same exact programs to not exist exactly, I'm sure you can find something dependant on your needs.