Mac CAD?

So I work on a Mac…

My company is looking to get into using some CAD (after I begged)

They don’t want to buy me a PC (I just got a dual G5 with like 4 gigs of ram and a Ultra 6800 card- they don’t want to buy me another workstation) I wanted a PC workstation but it our my design director is this Mac loving freak… not that I mind using OSX which I feel is a better OS… but that is a whole other story.

So the moral of the story is that I have to find some decent ID software for the Mac. I used to use Alias Studio and have used Vellum in the past.

What software is woth learning on the Mac? I have heard FormZ is pretty good…

Is Maya worth it- or is it primarily the over-priced Alias’s animation version of Studio.

Did Cobalt ever get any better, or is it still impossible to build surfaces?

Thanks for any insight…

Ok- I just read that- please excuse gramatical error. I slipped through the public school system…

One possible alternative:

Since you’ve got such a smokin’ Mac machine, why not run Virtiual PC on it so you can use Rhino? That’s the only 3D app that I know for sure runs on VPC… and I’m a big Rhino fan.

And I dislike Vellum… immensely.

Just a thought…

I don’t know. Has anyone ever run an intense app like that before on Virtual Pc?

I’ve actually done it. I used to work for a firm that was all Mac based. The only problem was, they were so cheap that they wouldn’t let me buy a 3 button mouse to properly use it and my Mac was a piece of crap… so I didn’t test it that extensively!

I know other people who use that setup regularly, and word has it that’s what the guys at Ziba do…

What I’m saying is, it’s not out of the question…

Thanks. What about FormZ? Any info?

I have no experience with Form Z myself. From what I understand, and I’m sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, is that it’s good for architecture, interiors, etc. but not great for product design. I think its major weaknesses are in doing complex surfaces, but it’s good for doing simpler forms.

i agree with previous post, formz is good for some rendering and arch things, otherwise, total crap. vpc rhino or use alias, cobalt is ok.

let me get this straight, you boss wont shell out for a PC to run 3D software but he will shell out for the program? The program will cost $3000+ and the computer will cost $1500+. Your boss cant shell out the extra $1500 to do it right? I would start looking for a new boss!

I am in the display industry and use FormZ religously. Our design staff uses formz and our engineers use solidworks. FormZ can export sat files pretty well into solidworks. Overall - I would recommend Z as it is a descent modeler and a great all in one package for the MAC.

unless i missed it, u never mentioned what you need the software for - that makes a big difference. VPC is not an option for 3D modelng programs - it may work for Rhino, but VPC utilizes a limited amount of RAM (512 I think?) and it’s not enough for something like 3D Studio- believe me I looked into it because I’m in the same boat as you are. I use Vectorworks and it’s a solid program, but it’s geared more towards architecture, exhibit, and some mechanical design. If you’re looking for a program that has all the bells and whistles, I would recommend trying Cinema 4D - their new version is a big improvemnet and it has a similar interface to Maya, but not as complex and the learning curve isn’t as steep. It’s also less expensive $850 - $1000 (I think). Download a demo at Good Luck - you have a mean machine - USE IT.

vpc is fine for rhino surfacing, then export to some other dedicated mac renderer outside of vpc. I use the vellum argon, cheapest one just for renderings. or you could use cobalt, I know of some that use it and love it for modeling etc, combines rhino surfacing and solidworks para’s. vellum interface is just kinda crappy, tools are nice, but getting around in space sucks. i won’t even get started on that trackball, why you can’t just use the arrow keys to rotate, etc I don’t know.

I will be using this for some pretty complex forms. I do products (toys) so some of the surfaces are pretty sophisticated.

Does anybody know more about Cinema4D? It looks like it has some pretty nice rendering capabilities, but how is it for modeling?

Thanks for the information on FormZ.

I’ve used C4D a bit. i really like the hyperNURBS - much more intuitive than SubDs in my opinion. However, I don’t like the way that booleans and other similar operations are treated (a boolean operation “container” that you place the two objects in) - Maya does this much better with operations linked to objects.

I still wish Studio would come out for Mac…make my life.

Form Z sucks don’t waste your time, it might work for architects who are doing relatively simple shapes, but if you plan to make any complex surfaces you are SOL. Hopefully Alias will wise up and code for mac, they have a long list of clients that would like that to happen including apple.

Concepts unlimited. This is the latest version of Cobalt. A demo is available. Try it out

Also go to get os x software on apple’s website, there are quite a few 3d apps now.

Search this forum, this has been discussed numerous times.