Cad Software?

As an aspiring furniture designer with a Mac G4… what Cad software would I be best to invest in… I am quite comfortable with a pencil and paper but for the work I would like to do and for all the reasons you are familiar with yourselves I need to get into computer designing and drafting… so… where do I put my hard earned dollars?
Thanks for your time.

If you’re going to stick to mac, get one of the vellum tools, graphite for 2d cad, argon, cobalt for 3-d. I might suggust to wait, I hear the new intel macs may be able to boot in windows, then you could use all of the industry standard tools. Not sure of the specifics or if it’s just a rumor or wishful thinking.

keep your mac for photoshop and other 2d digital work like print and get a PC for Solidworks. it’s pretty much standard for parts and assemblies.

you can also create relatively complex shapes with it although catia is probably the ultimate for smooth and accurate surfacing!

I would agree with putting together your own pc for the cad programs at the moment. You can build a nice machine and link it to your mac with a kvm switch for $700 total.
But, if the rumors about the intel macs are true and you can wait a little, might want to go that route after the reviews come in of people that have done the same.

i agree about the PC.

we recently did a collaboration on two separate projects. both involved designers on macs using some crapple-based 3d design software.


we had to burn up a ton of hours rebuilding everything in solidworks just so we could accurately prototype the designs.

the only mac-based stuff i’ve used was vellum and FormZ.

even if the new crapples can boot in windows, you’re still going to be better off financially building your own PC. cripes fro what the prices are, you could build a dual-processor, multi-gig memory monster pc.

Thanks for everyone’s input… much appreciated… I had also heard about the new mac’s coming… I can wait a little longer to see how that plays out.
thanks again
p.s… if I wind up with a new intel/mac… what about software then?

For serious 3D work I would suggest getting your self a dual processor PC. Mac might be going to Intel chips but the OS is still all Mac and won’t support the types of serious CAD programs that you are going to need.

Rhino and 3D Studio MAX/Autodesk Viz unless you want to spend big $$$ on Alias.

I am one of the few who still uses his mac to deliver 3d geometry to clients.
For the most part as long as you really know the Apllication thoroughly difficulties exchanging of data are avoided.
The application i run is Concepts Unlimited. I like it because they run on a mac, have a strong pc following and I can talk to the developers about any special needs because of there home grown approach. Not to mention I feel more cofortable using my Mac even though I have a powerful pc on a kvm.
I still own a seat of ProE and have used Alias Autostuidio in the past. Most one man offices I see using a combination of Rhino and Solidworks.

I struggle with the thought why do I still use my mac for this?
If I had to make this dission now…I would probably run a comination of Solidworks and Rhino. and Alias imagestudio.

However because I am hooked on the comfort and underdog cause of my mac and because my value as designer lies in other strenths I still like my current set up.

Hope this helps.

It depends on your purposes, If you require visualisation and cad prototyping, I would recomend Maya, It can do NURBS and Sub division. But It is super expensive. For an affordable allrounder check out MODO, it’s cool, powerfull, and won’t break your bank.

If you need to do tasks with a manufacturing slant, get a PC CAD MONKEY friend
to do it for you.

Thanks for eveyone’s input I guess PC world is something I should seriously consider… albeit with some trepidation…
thanks again.

I’ve been a Mac guy forever… but I’ve learned Pro-Engineer and am having a good time with it, and its a PC program.

Its been worth it to get a PC just to run Pro-Engineer and not worry about using my old standby Macs for that part of the process… a few hundred dollars of hardware runs it just fine, its the cost of the software that is more significant!!!

I have thought that maybe the new Intel Macs might be able to run WinXP and Pro-E, but for the time being, why worry about running my whole life on one box? I just run my design software on a PC workstation and the rest of my world on the Mac, and that works out just fine.

Hmmm. I would say just the opposite. Why worry about running you whole life on TWO boxes when you only really need one? I’ve got a 2.33 Macbook Pro with Windows XP as well as OSX. I have SolidWorks 2007 installed on the Windows side and CS3 installed on the OSX side, amongst others of course. The physical architecture on the Macbook is built more efficiently so that XP actually runs faster than it would on a comparable PC. I’m not thrilled about having an inferior, virus ridden operating system installed (XP) but until SolidWorks becomes a Universal Format it is the best possible option if you don’t want to buy a second computer.

Alias for a MAC. I heard that last month from Alias AE folks over drinks.


I got myself an Intel Mac Mini (1.66 CoreDuo, 1Gb RAM) for my birthday and the thing runs XP faster than my Athlon-64 Gateway laptop!

Rhino and 3D Studio MAX seem to run very well in Boot Camp and I am sure they should be able to work in Parallels now that v3 supports DirectX.