Using Autocad on a Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by macarchitect, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. macarchitect macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    #1
    I just bought a MacBook Pro because i was fed up with VISTA. I am an Architect and have tried TurboCAD etc for the Mac but find them slow and not very user friendly. Until Rhino comes out i am stuck with AutoCAD. I absolutely need to use it. So I need to know, how if possible and what would be the best application to do that. I have read the discussions about Parrallels, BootCamp and the free ware Darwine?? but i need to know which would work best, and not bug out my computer for AutoCAD as it will be the only windows based program i will run! everything else i can and do on my beautiful new mac ( ok i am gushing but it is so freakin' beautiful) . any advice is greatly appreciated!!
    thanks
     
  2. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #2
    I know how you feel. I tried Vectorworks, Archicad, Turbocad, Powercad, Ashar Vellum etc. and while I did find some of them (especially Vectorworks) nice, I really missed the speed of the command line interface in AutoCAD. I'm a Civil Engineer in training and mostly do 2D drawings so AutoCAD is even more ubiquitous for me. I haven't tried the newer versions but I know that AutoCAD Lite should run under emulation (VMWare or Parallels) and pretty sure that the full software will run as well. Bootcamp will definately work too. Personally, I like VMWare out of the bunch the best but they should all work... Bootcamp shouldn't really be needed unless you are doing some heavy duty visualization work with very large files I would think...
     
  3. SteveMobs macrumors 6502

    SteveMobs

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #3
    Sorry, this is kind of related, it's a question I've had for a while now.

    I'm a freshmen engineering student and was wondering how Macs are for engineering work. I plan on refining my field to either mechanical or civil, but most likely mechanical. I also want to work in drafting, and become a mechanical engineer/drafter. How well could my 2.4 aluminum Macbook run CAD programs? I tend to think of my MB as an MBP sans independent video card, firewire, and big nice screen.

    What kind of computers usually run CAD programs? Are they windows laptops or big honkin' super-computers? What kind of specs does autoCAD require?

    Thanks for all of your help
     
  4. Slumbercub macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Location:
    Gloucester, England
    #4
    I am a structural engineer and HighDesign is just about the best 2D CAD package available for the Mac platform, in my opinion.

    Here are some other options:

    http://pure-mac.com/cad.html

    As for Mac use in general engineering, obviously spreadsheets are not a problem nor is higher end maths software such as Maple. The biggest problem is analysis packages, there are a few FEM apps around but very little in the way of frame analysis or specialist software. Parallels, VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox will all work but to be absolutely sure of total compatibility, running Windows under Boot Camp is your only option.
     
  5. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #5
    Wow! great tip on HighDesign. I just tried out the demo and it is really nice!
    Honestly, in my field I don't know too many people who design in 3-D. If I were running an office I might have a full version of AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, or Vectorworks just to have the 3D capability but for the most part HighDesign is probably perfect for most people.

    Maple, Mathmatica, Mathtype, Excel, Sketchup, Grapher, and Omnigraffle Pro can also be very useful apps but Engineering is still very much a paper and pencil subject so I really think that for the most part Macs are fine for Engineering students and professionals...

    I just found out that there are HP 11C and 15C emulators for mac if you like HP Calculators like I do and they have iPhone apps out as well. That is pretty cool IMO!

    The only Engineering (Civil) apps that I have found that I would have like to have on Mac are West Point Bridge Designer (CME Truss), TSIS, Mathcad, Matlab, and AutoCAD.
     
  6. Slumbercub macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Location:
    Gloucester, England
    #6
    I use Dr Frame for some frame analysis as well. Worth a look, although development is at a glacial pace. :)
     
  7. walnuts macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #7
    I would imagine that your intended use of autocad matters too. I used CAD briefly with parallels for a 2D drawing and it seemed fine, but, I would imagine that a parallels virtual machine might have trouble with heavy rendering/3D use. Why don't you install a boot camp partition and run it using parallels or vmware, and therefore have the niceness of parallels with the option to use CAD natively should you encounter some more 3D heavy work?
     

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