What CAD architect software is best for an amateur?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MaxiK2, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. MaxiK2 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    I’m looking for a CAD type piece of software for my Macbook that will do 2D architect type drawings. Something flexible that will let me draw floor plans (suitable for house planning applications), elevations and I guess in the end may let me do room layouts (although this is less of a priority).

    I am trying to help out my Dad with his planning application for their new house (an architect already submitted plans but they now need to down size and don’t want to pay for another architect to re-draw everything, so currently he’s doing it himself by hand) so I am trying to help out.

    Ideally I’d like it to be able to calculate floor space too (apparently he needs to keep it under 170m²) so would prefer not have to have to calculate it manually if I can avoid it.

    I’ve looked around online and the following seem to be popular recommendations;
    MacDraft Pro or PE – not sure which is best?
    Punch! Home & Landscape Design Studio
    TurboCAD Mac Designer 2D / Mac Deluxe 2D/3D / Mac Pro v5 – also not sure which will be most suitable?

    But I have no idea how easy any of them are to use (I’d be a beginner) and if they can be used on my little Macbook. I am happy to pay for the software but can’t afford the likes to Vectorworks or ArchiCAD, which is why I’ve narrowed it down to the above.

    I have looked at Sketchup and love playing around with it – found the intro user video very helpful, but don’t need 3D and don't think it’s detailed enough for the planning application drawings.

    Can anyone give me advice on the best one to buy, which system is most user friendly and can they be used on a Macbook? Do any of them have really good forums and user guides/videos to help me get started? Also if there is other software which would be better for my purpose please let me know.

    Lots of questions and sorry for the long waffle, but through it best to give as much info as possible.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
  2. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
  3. RubbishBBspeed macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009
    I've heard some people hate vector works but they are true AutoCad hardened fans.
  4. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    Have you tried Google Sketch-Up?

    I haven't tried the others listed yet. I used to be a loyal Autodesk fan. :D

    Sketch-Up may be something you're looking for but it's not exactly the same as a traditional CAD program. I found it a little awkward to use.
  5. kballard54 macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    CAD Software

    For 2D drafting I use "Graphite" It is part of their design elements. Go to:

    I use to use AutoCad years ago (when I was a Peee Ceee) but now i love my mac and Graphite. In addition, when you need 3D Solids, you can graduate to Ashlar's offering called: "Cobalt"

    Try it!!
  6. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Thank you. I read through the website, looks very good.

    How easy is it for true beginner to learn?
  7. kballard54 macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    Ashlar Graphite

    Download the trail version. It is SO easy. You will be productive in a matter of days!

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