Does Autodesk Work For Mac?

Download Autodesk AutoCAD 2019 for Mac free latest version offline setup for macOS. Autodesk AutoCAD 2019 is a powerful CAD application for getting highly precise designs for anything. In the past, Autodesk has clarified that “AutoCAD for Mac” users are mostly quite different in their needs than traditional AutoCAD users. Therefore, the development focus on the Mac version of AutoCAD has followed its own path. That path does not include the comprehensive development of the industry toolsets.

Autodesk this past week introduced the new One AutoCAD strategy as it unveiled its latest AutoCAD 2019 release for the coming year, with numerous adjustments to licensing, new industry toolsets, plus all new mobile and web versions of their most famous software.

Autodesk provides many native Mac products for 3D modelling, CAD, rendering, animation, VFX and digital imagery. In addition, we provide full support for a number of products when used on the Mac in virtualised environments including Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion. ‎Read reviews, compare customer ratings, see screenshots, and learn more about Autodesk SketchBook. Download Autodesk SketchBook for macOS 10.11.0 or later and enjoy it on your Mac.

One AutoCAD to Rule Them All

With this latest news, gone are the days when you purchased distinct AutoCAD programs, like AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD Mechanical. With the One AutoCAD mantra and new licensing structure, your single subscription license gains you access to specific industry toolsets that harness the features and functionality of the distinct AutoCAD programs of the past.

Your new subscription license also gives you the ability to use both the Windows and Mac versions of AutoCAD. However—and this is important—there is no 2019 update to Mac version of AutoCAD yet. Alyson Moses, AutoCAD Public Relations, Autodesk, confirmed that one’s subscription gains you access to AutoCAD for Mac 2018 as part of all the One AutoCAD offerings.

Does Autodesk Work For Macbook Pro

01 – AutoCAD Web is a new offering as part of the One AutoCAD strategy behind the new 2019 subscription licensing for AutoCAD. (image: Autodesk / Architosh. All rights reserved.)

Autodesk has already stated in the past that the Mac version of AutoCAD is timed around Apple and its development cycle. The reason partly being that Autodesk progressively adopts Apple’s latest OS advances.

No Industry Tools for Mac Version

There are no industry tools for the Mac version, and at this time Autodesk doesn’t have plans for creating them. Instead, the company is suggesting that Mac users can access the industry toolsets by using a virtual machine or Boot Camp on macOS to run AutoCAD 2019 on Windows.

In some ways, this makes AutoCAD for the Mac a bit like the new web-based version of AutoCAD. In a communication to Architosh Autodesk wrote, “Features for the web and mobile apps are purpose-built for what we believe users need while on the go.”

In the past, Autodesk has clarified that “AutoCAD for Mac” users are mostly quite different in their needs than traditional AutoCAD users. Therefore, the development focus on the Mac version of AutoCAD has followed its own path. That path does not include the comprehensive development of the industry toolsets.

Some might argue with that strategy saying that in some industries—maybe mechanical CAD—there is little demand for a macOS version of the Mechanical Toolset but that there is solid demand for say the Architectural Toolset. Certainly, AutoCAD’s chief competitors will have much to argue about this limation. Having just visited the offices of Onshape a week ago and hearing and seeing the use of Macs by many of their key customers, particularly Mac mobiles in field settings (e.g.: fab or factory floors, workshops, client settings, and exterior product settings, etc.) one might think the opposite is true.

Two Types of ACAD Users—Shared Mobile and Web

Autodesk’s Mac user base for AutoCAD is a domain of folks that seem connected to traditional AutoCAD users, while this new license will enable the “traditional AutoCAD user” to explore their favorite CAD tool on other platforms—macOS, iOS, Android, web.

A key new development in the Autodesk One AutoCAD strategy is the new web version. We were told that the web version doesn’t have a command line (“yet”). And it is just a 2D version today. It deliberately pairs back features and functionality of AutoCAD on the desktop to focus on what Autodesk feels its users will want when using AutoCAD through the web via a browser interface. Which, by the way, can’t be Apple’s Safari. The new AutoCAD for the web app requires Google Chrome. We see this web version advancing to the point where it has near feature parity with the desktop version. It will take years, of course.

The mobile version of AutoCAD is also purpose-built as a subset of AutoCAD functionality. Running on optimized devices, ideally—which are iPhone X, iPad Pro, and Windows Surface—AutoCAD Mobile is designed ideally around the needs of users in the field or away from their desk.

Both the web and mobile versions enable the traditional AutoCAD user to explore design and drafting on different device types and operating systems, pluralizing the AutoCAD experience. This pluralization should only benefit the macOS version down the road so long as Apple delivers compelling Mac hardware that fits the needs of the CAD user.

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

Architosh readers are now getting familiar with the way in which we color-code the analysis segments of our stories. When we get into the world of DWG-based CAD programs, it is typically important to talk broadly about what many still feel is a de-facto industry standard.

Autodesk’s chief competitors with AutoCAD are the rising star in Bricsys in Belgium and the already industrially distributed group of folks and programs in Germany’s Graebert. Both of these companies have seized on Autodesk’s weaker support of the Mac and its weaker flexibility with licensing. On that latter part, the One AutoCAD strategy is a massive improvement.

The real benefits of the One AutoCAD strategy appear to be further down the road and are currently things happening under the hood of AutoCAD development. Kean Walmsley, who works for Autodesk in Switzerland, wrote a blog post, “The Future of AutoCAD,” that is a recommended read. He discusses the multi-year effort code-named “Fabric” which is a project to take the core of AutoCAD cross-platform.

Fabric was preceded by the Big Split, work done when the company decided to make AutoCAD for the Mac, natively. Walmsley emphasizes the importance of Fabric with respect to taking AutoCAD to the web and all future diverse platforms. Today’s new AutoCAD Web runs the same core code base inside both AutoCAD 2019 on Windows and AutoCAD 2018 on Mac. With more emphasis on a common core engine for AutoCAD and projects like Fabric, it means Autodesk will eventually have the option for parity not just between Windows and Mac but between other platforms as well.

Related

If you’re looking for CAD software for Mac, you’re not without options. We’ve found some standout Mac and cloud-based CAD platforms for you.

You’re likely to hit a wall if you’re searching for computer-aided design (CAD) software designed for Mac. There are plenty of CAD software options for Windows—you’ll see many of them in our list of the top AutoCAD alternatives—but only a handful offer support for Mac.

And, if you think you’ll bypass the issue by using a cloud-based CAD tool, you’ll quickly find that CAD vendors haven’t embraced the cloud as much as other types of software vendors have, so the offerings are still largely on-premise. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for IT Evolution (full content available to Gartner clients), cloud-native CAD applications still have five to 10 years before they reach mainstream adoption.

But fear not, Mac users. We’ve done some digging and have put together this list of the top-rated CAD software for Mac. Read more about our methodology at the bottom of this article.

5 Best CAD Software for Mac (presented alphabetically)

Jump to:


  • CorelCAD

  • FreeCAD

  • Fusion 360

  • LibreCAD

  • Onshape

1. CorelCAD

CorelCAD offers 2D drafting and 3D design capabilities, such as the drawing constraints feature for creating different geometric shapes faster and the push and pull feature for 3D direct modeling.

3D modeling in CorelCAD (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analyses of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of CorelCAD they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • The short learning curve: Users mention that the tool is easy to use and beginners don’t have to spend a lot of time learning it.
  • Compatibility with multiple file types: Users like the fact that the tool is compatible with DWG, PDF, ACIS, DXF, STL, CDR, and other file formats.

What users think could be improved:

  • Software reliability issues: Some users mention that the software tends to crash at times.
  • Better dimension functionality: Some users would like a better dimensioning feature for more accurate drawings of angles and proportions.

Who can use CorelCAD

CorelCAD can be used by construction businesses for collaborative editing on multiple devices. It offers native iOS applications, which makes it easy for field crews to add annotations in graphics and share files using their iPhones and iPads. Additionally, the tool allows team members to leave recorded messages and instructions for colleagues embedded in the graphics using a voice note tool.

2. FreeCAD

FreeCAD is an open source CAD tool that works on Mac as well as Windows and Linux. It reads many common file formats such as STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, and DAE.

It offers different modules, including a drawing sheets module that converts 3D models into 2D views, a rendering module that can export 3D objects, and an architecture module for a BIM-like workflow.

3D model of a building in FreeCAD (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of FreeCAD they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • Feature-richness for a free tool: Users mention that, although it’s free, the tool comes with a full set of features.
  • Reliability: Users mention that the tool does not demand a lot of CPU power and works well on devices with low RAM.

What users think could be improved:

  • Steep learning curve: Users mention that the tool is not the most user-friendly solution and can be difficult for beginners to learn.
  • Dependent on community for updates: Users mention that modules ignored by the community tend to become outdated quickly.

Who can use FreeCAD

FreeCAD appears to be best for hobbyists and home users. It’s also good for users who don’t have a high budget for software but still want to tinker with CAD modeling.

FreeCAD could also be a good choice for businesses on a budget looking for a free and open-source option.

3. Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a CAD tool from Autodesk with design functionalities such as sketching and 3D modeling. It also supports project management with features such as task management, document management, and collaborative image editing.

Document management in Fusion 360 (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of Fusion 360 they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

Does Autodesk Work For Mac?
  • Comprehensive design features: User mention that the tool offers all the functionalities necessary for 2D and 3D designing.
  • Availability of training resources: Users like the fact that the tool comes with ample documentation and tutorials.

What users think could be improved:

  • System crashes: Users mention that the tool tends to crash, especially when designing and rendering large files.
  • Steep learning curve: Users mention that it can take a lot of time to learn the advanced functionalities of the tool.

Who can use Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is part of the Autodesk ecosystem designed for the AEC industry. This makes the tool suitable for construction businesses that are already using, or intend to use, other Autodesk solutions. Using a software vendor that offers multiple solutions will especially benefit larger businesses that invariably need software that can scale with their growing requirements.

4. LibreCAD

LibreCAD is an open source CAD tool that supports Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. The tool comes with 2D drawing features such as a snap tool, dimensioning, and annotations. It also supports multiple file imports and exports.

2D drawing in LibreCAD (Source) Intuit quickbooks simple start.

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of LibreCAD they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

For

What users like:

  • Ease of use: Users mention that the tool offers an intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
  • Lots of tutorials: Users like the fact that there are ample video tutorials that help them get started with the tool.

What users think could be improved:

  • Software speed: Users mention that the software tends to lag, especially when trying to print designs.
  • Add support for 3D design: Users would like to see functionalities for creating 3D designs.

Who can use LibreCAD

LibreCAD is an exclusively 2D CAD tool for drawing and designing blueprints of buildings, layouts of parks, and the like. As a free tool, the solution can be used by small and midsize businesses across different industries, including manufacturing, engineering, architecture, and construction.

5. Onshape

Onshape is a cloud-only CAD solution that comes with features such as document management with version control, collaborative design creation/editing capabilities, and reporting dashboards to understand project status.

Importing documents in Onshape (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of Onshape they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • Document version control: Users like the document management features of the tool, such as version history.
  • Intuitive interface: Users mention that the tool comes with an intuitive interface for easy image editing.

What users think could be improved:

  • Performance issues: Some users mention that the tool does not function well on non-Chrome browsers and has file loading issues.
  • Lack of features: Users mention that the tool should improve certain features such as 2D drawing and 3D surfacing.

Who can use Onshape

As a fully-cloud based tool, Onshape is ideal for businesses that need to manage design documents collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. The tool’s collaboration functionalities include document sharing, document editing, comments, and file downloads in multiple CAD formats, such as Parasolid, ACIS, STEP, and IGES.

Next steps

This report offers a mix of Mac CAD solutions—from free tools that can help you with basic 2D drawing to advanced solutions offering extensive 3D modeling functionalities.

If these tools don’t meet your needs, expand your search and check out more options. To help you, we’ve created a CAD software comparison page where you can explore products using different filters, such as features offered and pricing options.

If you’re looking to understand the CAD software market better, we also recommend that you read the articles listed below:

Does Autodesk Work For Mac?

Methodology

To be shortlisted, products had to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Products had to be compatible with Mac and offer core CAD software capabilities, such as:
    • 2D drawing or 3D modeling features
    • Collaborative editing of drawings
  • Products needed a minimum of 20 user reviews on Capterra (published in the last two years).
  • Products had to have a high overall rating (an average of at least 4 out of 5 on Capterra).

Does Autodesk Work For Mac Pro

Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users. It does not represent the views of Capterra.

Does Autodesk Work For Mac Os

Looking for Construction Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Construction Management software solutions.