Tech drawing app for Mac

kal800

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 12, 2014
8
0
Hi Folks.

I'm looking for an app to draw simple technical diagram of an object to be manufactured by external supplier. All I need is ability to draw rectangular shapes, circles, ability to precision place it, add dimensions, scales, etc in 2D. I dowloaded AutoCAD LT, but it is far more advanced for such a simple project. Could you recommend me something?
 

neutrino23

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2003
1,722
217
SF Bay area
Pages and Keynote might work for you.

In Pages select the Document button at upper right then uncheck Document Body. This changes the document from a text document to a page layout document.

After placing an object you can select the Arrange panel and type in exact dimensions and positions.

You can show rulers and guides to help.
 

bernuli

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2011
568
318
I do similar with adobe illustrator. Overkill but it might fulfill the precise requirement.


Hi Folks.

I'm looking for an app to draw simple technical diagram of an object to be manufactured by external supplier. All I need is ability to draw rectangular shapes, circles, ability to precision place it, add dimensions, scales, etc in 2D. I dowloaded AutoCAD LT, but it is far more advanced for such a simple project. Could you recommend me something?
 

Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,524
730
Yes
I've worked with Omnigraffle. It's pretty nice, but for dimensioned drawings, AKA 2D blueprints, I still find MacDraft to be the better choice. It's built for designing things like kitchen cabinets, bookcases or endtables, where every sixteenth of an inch counts. LOTS of alignment and grid options too, fewer fancy star shapes, or stuff you can never make out of wood or aluminum.
Of course, your decision depends on Exactly what you are looking for.It's
 

EdwardC

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2012
270
165
Georgia
TurboCAD is decent and cheap, QCad is free and fairly intuitive. The "Pro" version will open DWG files and is like $30.00. You may still be able to download Draftsight for free which would be really the best option if it is still available. https://www.draftsight.com/
 

ScottR

macrumors member
May 11, 2007
81
1
I found this thread looking for the same answers--without knowing specifics, I think I'm basically looking for the same as the OP (simple layouts using basic 2D shapes, but with precise measurements). I've been using Inkscape, which requires you also install XQuartz. It works, but I was hoping for something a little better developed. I own Affinity Designer, but it's more for drawing than for tech drawing (I was able to do some simple landscape design with it, but since I wanted layouts and not artwork, it wasn't ideal.

Unfortunately, this is something I will probably only use a few times a year so while I'd be willing to pay, it would be silly to spend $100+.
- - Post merged: - -

MacDraft is no good if one can't buy it directly from their own website.

Unless you buy it from somewhere else. Perhaps it's just one of those situations where my fat fingers and low IQ can't co-operate.
Try using the product page on the company's domain, rather than the one with the product name as the domain:

Edit: ugh, the license is per-machine, not per-user. When as the sole user I'm not allowed to switch between my desktop and my laptop, they've lose me as a purchaser.
 
Last edited:

allan.nyholm

macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2007
997
263
Aalborg, Denmark
- - Post merged: - -



Try using the product page on the company's domain, rather than the one with the product name as the domain:

Edit: ugh, the license is per-machine, not per-user. When as the sole user I'm not allowed to switch between my desktop and my laptop, they've lose me as a purchaser.
That makes sense. I took the very first link on the DuckDuckGo search up earlier in the thread. I should have been looking on the right as there it clearly states, in a wiki, the exact company.
 

Bertrude

macrumors member
Aug 2, 2010
85
11
England
Maybe GravitDesigner might do?

There's a limited free version that's available but I think it would suit the purpose of drawing with vector shapes with precise positioning. Perhaps worth a try?
 

ScottR

macrumors member
May 11, 2007
81
1
GravitDesigner is only available on a yearly license basis, and the the limited free version is online only (it can only be used with an Internet connection, and files are stored on the cloud). I need a local app (I'd mainly be using it where I won't have a reliable connection ), and I don't buy software that bricks if you stop paying.
Sketchup is also subscription-based.

I guess that's the problem with needing an application infrequently: you are generally left with such limitations. The main issue with Inkscape is the weirdness of the XQuartz interface--it doesn't really behave like a Mac app, and it's glitchy (i.e., objects or parts of objects will disappear if you're not really zoomed in). I'm guessing it's probably going to stay with it, though the OP might want something a little more Mac-like.
 

Bertrude

macrumors member
Aug 2, 2010
85
11
England
Yeah, I've never got on with Inkscape the times I've briefly tried it. I'm surprised Affinity Designer wasn't suitable for your needs - from what I've seen it looks like a decent alternative to Illustrator and the like.

I know nothing about it, but maybe something like Amadine would be good alternative? It's pretty inexpensive.
 
Last edited:

ScottR

macrumors member
May 11, 2007
81
1
I was an Illustrator user years ago and a lot of my habits are built around it. I used to make patent applications drawings with AI ('cause I already owned it) and it did tech drawings pretty well. In trying to duplicate some of the CAD-type tools or functions with Affinity Designer that I'd used in AI I often found that couldn't find a way to do so, so I went to the Affinity forums or emailed tech support and was told "yeah, you can't do that in Designer"--though at least, one of the tools I'd wanted, a Ruler, was finally added, but only when my need for it passed. :)

Actually, I haven't used AD for almost a year now, so maybe other tools have been added. My last impression was that it looks like a good alternative to Illustrator for art needs, but not for tech drawing.

As for Inkscape, I don't like having to use the Control key as a modifier key (again, it messes with muscle memory in being a Mac user since the '80s). And it's irritating that the menus etc., are in a window within the app, but rather than in the actual menu bar, but I've managed to do what I need, if inelegantly.

I think I have an older copy of Amandine on my iMac; I think I tried it before buying Affinity Designer (two, three years ago?), though I don't remember what the experience was like.
 

GerritV

macrumors 65816
May 11, 2012
1,178
255
Well, it looks like it's focused on artwork, but there's no way to tell since there's no demo version.
Graphic is a vector based drawing application. No more, no less.
I’ve successfully created full blown architectural floorplans with it, as well as 20x32 px interface elements and Goodnotes templates - even some company logo’s.
 

Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,524
730
Yes
Yes, MacDraft has odd licensing, and buying is a little weird, but I bought my first copy in 1985. it keeps getting better, so I find it worth the hassle. I don't think they are going under anytime soon.
 

Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,524
730
Yes
There is also "Canvas Draw for Mac 6". I used it ages ago when it was just Canvas for Mac. Pretty good drafting tool. Corel bought it, and it disappeared from the Mac scene for several years. They added a bunch of image manipulation tools. It's back on Mac, but not sure of cost or if it's any good anymore. Looks like they have a free trial at Canvas website, so it is probably worth at least a look.
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,160
582
Oregon
I love, love, love Macdraft by microspot. It takes very little effort to learn. Personal edition is $99. Pro is $400. Works great on mojave. Probably works on Catalina as version 7 is 64 bit. I used it to design stuff for gardens, and for layout of our house lot with house, trees, shrubs for city permit to demolish and rebuild. Man that software is amazing.
 
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harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,160
582
Oregon
Can export dxf for machine shop to be manufactured in macdraft - spouse uses it, too. Well worth the money as the company has great support and has plenty of free uprades before you have to pay for a major upgrade. We’ve had it since about 1986 with macdraft 2.