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Autocad for the Mac?

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  • Autocad for the Mac?

    Hello all,

    Well I have dunnit, I've gone over to the dark side. I bought a Macbook Pro today. I am wondering (you mac users you) if anyone can recommend a CAD program (like AutoCad) that will run under Mac Os. It should read and write dwg. and dxf. files.


    I am going to try open office for a while to see if I like it before I lay down $ for Microsoft Office for the Mac. If any of you have any experience with this software, I would appreciate your insights.


  • #2
    Definitely give Open Office a fair try. It lags a few years behind MS Office in the whistles and bells department, but it does what I need it to do.

    Dunno about CAD for Mac, but take a look at this discussion:

    I now use AutoCad LT on a Windows system, but want to switch over to my iMac a ditch the Windows. I do not need but afraction of the features of Autocad LT, so am looking for a relatively simple Mac drawing program. My needs are to draw a simple footprint of a building, adding certain symbols...

    Looks like they recommend either HighDesign or running ACAD in Parallels.

    Can't blame you for ditching Billware. Wish there were more CAD/CAM options available for Mac and Linux.


    • #3
      Autocad on the mac? easy - just run the Windows emulator.


      • #4

        You can also get Fusion from VMWare or Parallels from Parallels (both cost about the same), or VirtualBox from Sun Microsystems (free) and run Windows on the Mac in a virtual machine. They all have problems with 3D support in the video.

        Finally, there's BootCamp, free from Apple, that lets you mult-boot to Windows or OS X (but not both at the same time as the above products do). This is the fastest method and has the best video support for Windows because everything is native. Windows doesn't care that it is running on Apple hardware.

        Personally I'd rather pi$$ on a spark plug than multi-boot ever again so I don't use it. I use and recommend Fusion.


        • #5
          I run SolidWorks 2009 under Parallels on a MacBook Pro running Leopard (OSX 10.5.7). It works OK, but the graphics are flaky. For example, pieces of parts and the text of dialog boxes disappears when you mouse over them. I am due for a Parallels upgrade, but don't know whether this will fix the graphics issues. I've heard SolidWorks runs fine under BootCamp. Fortunately, I don't make my daily living running SolidWorks this way, I just do it in a pinch when on the road. Also, the company pays for the software.

          I have a buddy who works for the Evil Empire, who runs Windows Vista on a MacBook Pro. He says it's one of the best Windows machines there is. He particularly likes the glass "zero-button" mouse.


          • #6
            If you are not doing anything too complicated Viacad works well. Not the most powerful program in the world, but it has some nice 2d and even 3d tools that get you up to speed quickly. I have been using it as my main drawing program for over 2 years now and I am pretty picky on software. They have both a Mac and Windows version so you do not have to run it under a win vm (and suffer the shorter battery life).
            Last edited by MickeyD; 07-20-2009, 12:15 AM.


            • #7
              I have both Parallels and Fusion (on two different, his and hers, Mac/Intel machines). I highly prefer Fusion. Much more seamless, free updates and seemingly more preferred by most.

              That being said, I ran into major vector video problems attempting to run an R/C flight simulator in a Fusion supported Windows Vista image. If I use Bootcamp and boot directly into Vista, the simulator software runs great, but I lose the ability to jump at will between OS's. The video issue is not unique to the software I was attempting to use. VMWare says it Apple's fault (insert finger pointing here).

              Bottom line, if your going to run specialized graphic intensive Windows software on a Mac, check to see how other Mac users have fared first!


              • #8
                TurboCAD Mac

                Originally posted by tmc_31
                Hello all,

                Well I have dunnit, I've gone over to the dark side. I bought a Macbook Pro today. I am wondering (you mac users you) if anyone can recommend a CAD program (like AutoCad) that will run under Mac Os. It should read and write dwg. and dxf. files.


                I am going to try open office for a while to see if I like it before I lay down $ for Microsoft Office for the Mac. If any of you have any experience with this software, I would appreciate your insights.

                Some might say you departed the Dark Side and entered the True Light.

                I bought TurboCAD Mac Delux for around $100. It's the first _real_ CAD program I've tried to use. Assorted extensions are available for 3D modeling, etc.

                I also got the tutorial, which is some help. What I really need to to is to take a few days and really work with it. I really have to beat on something like this to retain any skill.

                The vendor I used is <>. Hope this helps!



                • #9
                  try NeoOffice, it is open office for MAC OS X.
                  I use Qcad, it only supports .dxf but was only $39.00


                  • #10
                    being i have been an apple/machintosh user sence 1982 and an apple tech sence 1990 i have a p and c list ill share iam also a pc tech and pc user as wel sence 1997

                    mac first

                    1 con expensive to buy
                    2 con expensive to fix when hardware goes wronge
                    3 con lags bad in game play and lack of games access
                    4 con lags in surfing
                    5 con pain in the ass to make music and dvd cd's
                    6 con imac line of macs is a total waste of money andis alot like MS the line is junk .desktops always rule complacted trash cans converted to fish tanks later where the big down fall even though the were popular they broke alot, no a wise but to get and all in one machine ...
                    7 con the mac onterface or OS as its called was one of the best untill the adaptation of OSX and the UNIX core, the mac was a virus free inviroment until OSX came out and the unix core is worse then DOS ever was,working under system 9 and lower was a pleasure and if something went wronge it was so easy to fix and fast to fix now its like PC when crap happens it can be hell and usually is even settting up mac network now is difficult compared to before when it was like plug click connect and do your thing..

                    ok the nice list for mac
                    1 pro for doing photo shop and music and animation/movies you cant beat a mac doing music recording totaly awesome as well...
                    2 pro prices have come down a bit but no near enough yet.
                    3 pro the most mac systems last for ever it seems other then the imac line of macs
                    4 pro apple/ macintosh family line of computers sence the start have always been able to run dos/windows after alll apple invented widows to start with, under emulation its a bit boggy but not to bad to deal with pcs however can now run os X so its equal playing field now,
                    5 pro macs have a cool look right off the hop thats appealing.
                    6 pro macs are one of the more like the easiest to use of all computer platforms out there userfriendly 100%
                    7 pro even though macs can now get virused its extreamly rare compared to windows PC's which get nailed alot if your not carefull
                    8 pro printing quaility using the same program same exact printer and so on the mac will still blow the doors off any pc using the same,harware and software, anyone that says different needs to repent now and ask the computer gods forgivness..

                    ok time to bash the PC a bit
                    1 con widdows is not an Its a commanline interface that hovers over DOS even thought vista and windows seven are catching up to macs their still not there yet..
                    2 con virus's happen alot on PCs its more cridicul to run a pc on the net for example then a mac
                    3 con pcs can not output the same graphic quaility as a mac
                    4 con hardware quaility on pcs is not near as good as a mac but they are cheaper to fix
                    5 con pcs are frustrating when trying to set up a net work letaone an internet connection at times, somestimes the harware you want wont work on just any pc some or so specific its crazy not user friendly at all
                    6 con easy to crash a pc and lose all your junk really fast not very good there at all..
                    7 con you cant just take your windows os and put a copy on your buddies machine for him other wise you can lose your windows licence access, you cant even do it on your own home systems unless you buy a muilty user licenes and even then if someone cracks it and uses it you lose again,..on a mac i can use one cd on a billion macs and apple dont care..

                    ok nice time for the PCs
                    1 pro surfs faster then a mac
                    2 both are equle using adobe adution infact i like the PC version better
                    3 pro pcs now use quicktime and itunes not a bad idea there however i perfer widnows media player my self
                    photoshop on screen they are the same just not on paper mac is still better.
                    4 pro when it comes to games the choices are endless and they run fast as hell i love it..
                    5 pro office and open office are the same on both mac and pc
                    6 pro pcs can run OSX
                    7 pro program access is higher on pcs then on macs
                    8 pro cheap to buy cheap to fix but life span is shorter on a pc compared to a mac,, pcs like to be kept cold macs love to run hot
                    9 pro graphic quaility on games for pc rule and more game varity on pc then on mac
                    10 pro pcs are taking on some style these days macs still all look the same in most cases..
                    11 pro accessories and toys for a pc are very comman to find but not so much for the mac

                    so a basic hit list on both sides of darkness and the light, i was once a total mac head and my wife hated me for it, but now iam a PC freak and she loves me more but in the end i still perfer my pc over the mac. for my uses and my budget the pc fits right in to my life perfectly..

                    at times i miss having a mac but on the other side apple/macs are going backware in quaility now to much and performance for home users they are comming fastly to and end and they are still to dam expensive to buy and to fix and so on and so on...


                    • #11
                      There's a real cheap shareware 2D CAD program for the Mac that works for me: Cadintosh. For $32, how can you go wrong? What's really great is if you have a question, you email the guy who wrote it and he answers in a couple of days if not sooner. Twice he has issued a new version in less than 24 hours after a couple of rather minor problems I reported. What other company does that?

                      They're at


                      • #12
                        Thanks Guys,

                        I had planned to run autocad under fusion. but now I think I will try turbocad of viacad. I downloaded open office last night and installed it. I just skimmed it but it looks like it may work for me. I don't usually get two sophisticated with my spreadsheets or with word.

                        Thanks, I appreciate all your insights



                        • #13
                          qCAD for anything 2D. My search for an inexpensive 3D modeling solution continues...


                          • #14
                            Oooo. Tried OpenOffice for mac and hate it. Runs under X11 which is annoying.

                            Windows does not run under emulation through the virtualization. There is nothing to emulate. It is running code native to the processor.

                            I have tried both fusion and vmware. Both work well but anything requiring any decent graphics capability you are better off running bootcamp. I tried some cad software and it freaked them out.

                            Another option but one that does not work all the time is CrossOver. It uses Wine to "bottle" applications and make them run stand alone under the mac OS. I got free copies last year when Gas dropped below $2.50 I think. The owner of the company said they would give out free copies of their software for a day if gas dropped below $2.50 a gallon under Bush.

                            As for airsmith's list its so far out of whack on both sides its not funny. I know I am feeding a troll but I just can help it. Sorry guys...

                            Macs had over 30 virus strains before OS X. The only thing close to a virus on OS X is a couple trojan variants.
                            Macs and PC's similarly required with similar quality parts are virtually identical in price.
                            Mac hard to make cds and DVDs? Macs come with iDVD and iTunes.
                            Safari 4 has some of the fastest load times for web pages.
                            Plug in the mac to a network and select the the other computer you want to connect to in the "Connect to Server..." menu item.
                            Macs have not been able to run Dos/Windows from the start. Apple did not invent the GUI, Xerox PARC did. And all of the emulators were so slow they were near useless. Only the macs with the intel processor daughtercard were even halfway decent.
                            Mac printing looks like PC printing. Especially on a postscript printer.

                            Windows is not a command line interface over dos...
                            PCs will output the exact same graphics as macs
                            Quality of hardware is just as good as a mac if you choose to pay for it.
                            Never had an issue setting up PCs with internet. I have set up dozens. Never had a problem networking them either as long as I run XP Pro.
                            Dont know when the last time my PC really crashed (BSOD)

                            My mac mini Core2Duo 2.0ghz, 2gig ram brings up pages faster than my XP Pro Core2Duo 2.2ghz 2 gig ram PC.
                            In general, want games? Buy a console.
                            Openoffice sucks on a mac.
                            PC's cant legally or easily run OS X. There are many driver issues.
                            Again, you get what you pay for when it comes to hardware. Buy cheap components and they will fail. I have a a good AMD setup in my CNC mill and the temps in the cabinet get very hot during summer and never had a problem.
                            Same games on mac and pc with same hardware look and play identical.



                            • #15
                              switch to NeoOffice and the X11 issue goes away. I hated open office to, swithed to Neo and still using it a year later

                              Some day I am going to load windows xp under virtual box and try some PC apps. I just need to find where I put my XP disk
                              Last edited by Bmyers; 07-21-2009, 06:28 AM.