Wacom Cintiq


I was asked by my employer what hardware and software I would need to perform my duties in the Industrial Designer role. When I submitted my list, I was asked about setting it up. This is where I am lost. I have never set up any hardware as the IT dept had it handled at my previous employers. The department is made up of UI/UX designers and me, the sole industrial designer. My questions are as follows: are any of you running a MacBook (Adobe Creative Suite), PC desktop (SolidWorks and KeyShot) and Wacom Cintiq? Do you use a docking station? If so, what kind do you use? Do you find the docking station more of a luxury? Is it even necessary? I have also been looking into a dedicated machine that can do the KeyShot renderings. I’ve heard it called a render farm, slave box etc. Anybody have any thoughts on these as well?

Thank you very much and your input is greatly appreciated!


I am using a similar setup, I have a MacBook Pro with Windows installed running via Bootcamp:

  • Wacom 21" Tablet
    Creative Suite

I dont use a docking station, doesn’t seem necessary. I just plug into the Cinitq when I want to use it. I rarely go on the Mac side because I am always using Solidworks. Every thing runs fine on the Windows side. I have been told by IT that windows actually runs the best on a Mac!

Depending on how many renderings you are doing an additional machine might be nice, but I find that if I am only doing them once a week or so, the upkeep on the additional machine wouldn’t be worth the time. Render Farms would be different than a dedicated machine, google “Keyshot Render Farms” and you will see a bunch of options.

savage - do you find the macbook good enough to run solidworks? its not too underpowered?

It seems to have decent power. I have never had it lag on large assemblies. However there are some display and driver issues that occasionally arise.

I’m running exactly this setup, but without the cintiq. I use the PC for virtually everything and the Macbook for when/if I have to work away or present something to management.

The Macbook that I have (2014 model) does lag a bit using Solidworks and doesn’t handle Keyshot too well. A higher spec’d Macbook with a dock to keep peripherals plugged into and a larger dedicated screen to go with the Cintiq would be an easy and streamlined option.

Here are my 2016 Macbook Pro Specs:

  • Intel i7 2.5ghz
  • 16Gb RAM
  • 350 SSD Hard Drive
  • 64 Bit Windows
  • Retina Display

It runs Keyshot and Solidworks nicely


I have the exact same MBP. I know you said you worked on large assemblies with no lag or problems. What type of assemblies are you working on and how many components on average are in your assemblies?

BTW, thank you very much for all of your input Savage and Andy.

Thanks. Love the idea of a macbook pro but am not sure if Solidworks would work well or be worth the hassle with settting up in bootcamp.

I work on audio products that have 100+ parts, not sure if this is large assembly but probably normal for a product designer.

Why Adobe on the Mac and other programs on PC?
Having been on both sides I think for running SolidWorks you would be best served by sticking everything on the PC including Adobe CC, using the best mobile workstation laptop you can find. I know people who do SW on Macs but they are mostly consultants doing front-end surfacing, not the heavy lifting with complex assemblies.
Our team all uses docks - they can be problematic but seem to be the best way of getting the ports needed for multiple monitors including the Cintiqs. The docks can have firmware problems of their own.
Until something like Fusion360 becomes the mainstream CAD requirement we will all be chained to the PC world.