Why do you need to use 3D CAD software?

This includes certified CAD professionals and draftsmen, students and educators in the academe, and even hobbyists looking to learn how to do some simple CAD-work. Additionally, the online community surrounding and discuss the product is highly helpful. On the Dessault website, one can find forums and discussions that can provide new users of the program and novice CAD-work operators with some tips, tricks, and insights about using the program and CAD work in general.

The professional version can only be run on a PC for now. However, even with the limited capabilities of the beta version available on Mac, the program still has a lot of features one can use to help one create simple 2D drafts and documents. On the onset, the most striking thing about SketchUp is its interface. The ease of use of the program is due to the neat and very tidy way the buttons and functions are arranged on the SketchUp workspace.

You can actually customize this simple surface and make things as complicated or as simple as you want. There are a bunch of intuitive tools as well when it comes to working with SketchUp. You can use these tools to effectively navigate around the SketchUp interface, you can accurately and efficiently create and sculpt geometry and models in a fully operable 3-D view, and you can create ready to print 3D models from scratch even as a beginner to the program.

SketchUp is available as a paid program and with good reason. You could even add extra features to the program by installing certain user-made extensions, with a lot of them free of charge, to give you functionalities that could cut some significant time off of your usual workflow. The online community for SketchUp support is lively as well. The SketchUp 3D Warehouse is an online library of over 2 million SketchUp models that can be downloaded and open directly in the program.

Best-selling software for Mac

This is the result of the hardwork of the SketchUp community, modeling different products or space and uploading them onto the 3D Warehouse. And with the rise of 3D printing as an industry, SketchUp is slowly being considered one of the best go-to products for the 3D sculpting and printing community. Registered and licensed Architect from the Philippines. Aside from independent architectural projects, I work part-time as an associate of Arch. Micaela Benedicto.

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I am also adept at doing 3D renderings with V-ray. Sign in Join. Sign in. Log into your account. Don't have an account? Linux Users: DraftSight is unsupported on Linux 32bit machines.

MAC-COMPATIBLE SOFTWARE

November The most seamless way to get your parts made and collaborate with leading digital manufacturers worldwide across all manufacturing processes: 3D Printing, CNC Machining, Injection Molding, Sheet Metal and more. Download DraftSight for Windows 64bit. Download DraftSight for Windows 32bit. Download DraftSight for Mac beta.

Top 25 of the best free cad software

Download DraftSight for Fedora beta. The professional version of SketchUp is for serious CAD designers but it still retains the general ease of use of the original Google product and still has Google Earth integration for geo-tagging designs.


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QCAD is a free open source 2D Computer Aided Drafting application for Mac, Windows and Linux which allows you to create technical drawings for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts, schematics and diagrams. Online technical drafting software such as SmartDraw are aimed at those with minimal CAD experience and provide plenty of templates and automated functions to do the hard work for you. If you need CAD software for a specific industry, such as Architecture, then you need software designed specifically for the needs of 3D Architecture and all the components that go into buildings.

Again, this depends on what you want to use it for. If you only need to work in the Y and X axis i.

Basically, anyone that needs to manipulate a design from every possible angle. BIM models are more intelligent than traditional CAD plans because they contain much more information. For instance, BIM models can calculate the knock-on effect that the smallest of changes to modeling plans can have. In the long run, BIM can help cut down on the amount of errors or reworking that needs to be done to your CAD designs.

We have focused here mainly on CAD software, although we have also featured some 3D design or animation software because the line can be often blurred. The difference between the two types of software is subtle but the key difference is that CAD software is specifically for the needs of professional and industrial designers, with all the technical specs and needs they have. In a nutshell, 3D design software is generally aimed at the more creative side of design — for example animation — whereas CAD programs focus on technical plans and designs.

Make sure that the CAD app you choose offers extensive help, training and after sale support. The most reputable CAD software developers offer free customer support but some charge extra for it so check before buying. A virtual environment like Parallels has the advantage of allowing you to run both macOS and Windows at the same time but if you use Boot Camp, you can only boot in either macOS or Windows at one time which can be annoying if you need to switch between your Mac and Windows CAD software regularly.

For an example, check out our guide on how to run SolidWorks on Mac which is only available on Windows. You will inevitably experience bugs running Windows CAD software on a Mac this way, especially graphic related issues such are the complexities and demands of CAD software. This also means that if you have any problems with the software, you will receive support from the developer.

Indeed, the future for Computer Aided Design on Mac in generally looks very good as more developers recognize the growing demand on Mac or move their software online. A good example of the way the industry is moving is Onshape which was started by some members of the team behind the popular SolidWorks 3D CAD design software for Windows. Onshape meanwhile claims to offer the functionality of Solidworks but in any web browser, running on any platform.

Onshape is the first serious attempt at a web-based 3D CAD software that enables teams to work on designs as the same time in real-time. You can even use Onshape on your iPad or iPhone. By current market standards, Onshape is priced quite competitively too. In addition to developments such as Onshape, there are also signs that Apple is increasingly willing to move closer towards enterprise apps like CAD software such as the deal it reached with IBM.

This means Apple is likely to put more effort in supporting business oriented CAD software on Mac in future when it comes to components and software support.