AutoCAD for Mac

in Mac Software edited January 2014
I will be entering the Architecture program at my university next semester. Entry into the program requires that you buy a computer which happens to be a Windows machine. I really need an Apple to do some of the creative work I'm involved in, (iMovie, iDVD, Photoshop, InDesign) but I can't afford both a Powerbook and the WinTel laptop they suggest I buy. Are there any rumors of AutoCAD for Mac surfacing in the future, or would it suffice for my to buy and iBook and then get the windows laptop next semester.



  • Reply 1 of 8
    The short version: AutoCAD isn't coming to Macs anytime soon, but you might consider getting Virtual PC if you don't want to buy a whole new laptop.

    Good luck in school! Forget everything you think you know when you get there.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member
    You might also consider getting <a href=""; target="_blank">VectorWorks 10</a>, which was announced today and supposedly includes even better compatibility with other software packages (notably AutoCAD) than VectorWorks 9/9.5. Of course, this option assumes that the school would let you use a different CAD program if you can figure it out yourself.

    I've been facing a similar problem here in law school. If you want to type your exams, the school requires that you use ExamSoft, which is Windows only. All the IT people can do is recommend that I buy a Wintel laptop, which is out of the question (ideologically) for me. So I'm forced to handwrite my exams and put up with the cramps in my wrist. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

    I wonder whether there is going to be an upgrade path from my academic copy of VectorWorks 9 to VW 10. But at ca. $70 for the full package, I imagine that I will have to buy a full academic version again.

  • Reply 3 of 8
    VW10 still doesn't seem to handle x-refs, nor is there any mention of them on VW site. No x-ref handling means little or no ACAD compatibility in real-life situations.


    AutoCAD would seem to be the least of your worries if you're entering an ARCH program. You may want to find out what 3D software is being used/pushed on you in studios. If its 3D Max you might as well save up for that Wintel or hope the labs are open late.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    I used to have a version of autoCAD for mac (R12). It was on a Quadra I bought. Awesome program, but it wasn't color and wouldn't work on any other Mac. There is a version out there, but it is old.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    Seriously, get what you feel the most comfortable with design wise. This is school and not the real world. You can use some funky CAD program and get away with it at school.

    <a href=""; target="_blank">PowerCADD</a>and <a href=""; target="_blank">Vectorworks</a> are good options.

    Just make sure that you won't be required to take specific classes that require software you can't run on your Mac. However, with VirtualPC you might be able to pull it off.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    I am in my second year of a 3 year Master of Landscape Architecture program. It almost goes without saying that Autocad is what we are "taught." I, however, used Vectorworks before I got here and continue to use it, as well as other software not offered in the labs. My best advice is to make sure you are capable of using Autocad, since you are likely not going to be able to dictate what the office that eventually hires you uses. If you have that under your belt you can then keep up with some of the more progressive (in my opinion) software packages on your own time. That way you'll have a better set of credentials than many others and perhaps sway some buying decisions with your talents later on.

    Good luck!
  • Reply 7 of 8
    They are going to install Autocad onto your personal machine for you???

    This is not a cheap piece of software. What kind of program are you in where they buy licences for the school lab and licences for the students... they must have one great deal for Autodesk or else you are paying some hefty fees.

    Besides that... I question how it would work on virtual PC since from my experiance Autocad requires a hardware lock, and I would worry about how that would work through virtual PC. It may work, but atleast make sure before you buy.

    I am a Mac user.. But in this case I have to say.. for now go with the PC. You are going to need to learn how to use this program. If this is going to be your income in the future, hten you need to learn it as fast or faster than everyone else. You will not have time to mess around with configuration problems, or work with other (though good) programs.

    I have used Autocad and taught beginner autocad. It is a great program. But not for the faint of heart.

    (but don't spend alot on the PC, autocad can run on a cheap machine)... But as Cowerd suggest, I suspect your real issue is going to come with their choice of 3D software.

    I hope you don't have to learn 3D Studio. What a frustrating piece of ............
  • Reply 8 of 8
    [quote]Originally posted by Buggy:

    <strong>They are going to install Autocad onto your personal machine for you???

    This is not a cheap piece of software. What kind of program are you in where they buy licences for the school lab and licences for the students... they must have one great deal for Autodesk or else you are paying some hefty fees...


    I should clarify, assuming it is me you are asking. We have computer labs on campus with Autocad loaded on them. Obviously these are not my personal machines. However, they are talking about implementing a policy whereby every student would be responsible for their own laptop and autocad would be supplied by the school for each machine. Here's the would be activated and deactivated by a wireless network in the department's buildings and therefore would not run once you left school for the day. Good deal, huh? I personally can't stand Autocad. I think it's archaic and unintuitive. Unfortunately it own's the market. Sound familiar?
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