: Mac Design / Architecture CAD type Freeware / Shareware??


Irie Guy
May 26th, 2004, 08:24 PM
Does anyone have any reccomendations for a preferably freeware / shareware app for architectural layouts. We recently purchased a 130 year old commercial building and would like to start planning renovations.

I don't know anything about CAD type software. I would hope to have something that I could draw scale diagrams with. Has anyone tried this with Illustrator?? Is that even possible. I guess I could work on a PC if I had to. My PC's are rather dated however.

Any help would be great.

Gerbill
May 27th, 2004, 02:12 AM
You could try CadInTosh (http://www.lemkesoft.com/en/cadintosh.htm) by Thorsten Lemke, the creator of the wonderful Graphic Converter. This is a very basic 2D CAD program that costs about $33 US.

Cheers :-> Bill

Irie Guy
May 27th, 2004, 09:10 AM
Thanks for the suggestions I'll give them a try.

jlcinc
May 27th, 2004, 09:51 AM
What building in Paisley did you buy.

Something on Queen Street? Haven't been to Paisley in a couple of years but we did a walking tour and it was a beautiful little town. Saw an abandoned building on Queen Street on the river that looked like a great place but needed a lot of work.

John

Irie Guy
May 27th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Yes we are on Queen St. Not right near the rivers however. There are a couple of gems in this town that are in even worse shape than what we purchased. We are in the old James Bakery building. We lived in Sauble Beach for the last 3 years and now we have moved back to city. graemlins/lmao.gif

gordguide
May 27th, 2004, 12:35 PM
If you have Illustrator, there are a number of CAD plugins that work with Adobe's draw program.

I used to use TurboCad, but it's OS9 or earlier (or Windows). The last Mac version is I believe v3.0 and you might be able to find a copy on eBay or some of the software closeout companies. It was only around $100 when current so shouldn't be too expensive; the current TurboCad Professional for Wintel is pretty expensive though ( ~ $US 600.00).

CadInTosh is OK, you can use it in demo mode if you want or pay the $33. Thorsten Lemke seems to put most of his efforts on Graphic Converter, though; CadInTosh is a little rough around the edges.

You can check out Francesco Vinci's (http://arcobaleno2001.interfree.it/index.htm) site (English & Italian) for some interesting freeware; notably ClassicalGDL, MrMesh3D and MrTexture.

Depending on your willingness to get into X11 I'm sure there are Linux/UNIX CAD programs available that will run on OSX. Generally GPL-licensed and therefore freeware.

If you haven't used CAD or done manual drafting before, stick with the really simple & inexpensive programs or try to find some Illustrator plugins. The "real" CAD stuff is overwhelming to a newcomer. You might even find useful stuff for $20 a CD at places like Home Depot.

Some others you might consider:
MacDraft: about $C 500 for OSX version. Inexpensive for what is a Professional tool; it competes with programs costing $1000 to $4000.00 a copy.
Design Workshop: design, render, create 3D walk-throughs; the lite version is $US 20.00 while the Classic version is $US 99.00 The design workshop series is intended for home construction, but I don't see why you couldn't use it for other buildings as well.

Mac CAD & Design doesn't get much press because it's a niche market, so you have to dig a bit to find out what's out there, but there are quite a number of solutions; much more than has been listed here.

The trick is to define your needs first and don't pay for stuff you won't or don't know how to use. That gets a bit tricky when you discover that CAD Software companies write for an Engineering audience so the jargon gets confusing if you're not familiar with the language.

[ May 27, 2004, 12:06 PM: Message edited by: gordguide ]

Jordan
May 27th, 2004, 01:24 PM
ClassicalGDL (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/20202) and *qcad-1.5.4a-3.dmg (http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/qcad/) are free. Give them a try. There is also Microspot Interiors Demo (http://www.microspot.co.uk/) that can give you an idea in 3D of what you want.

DEWLine
Jan 15th, 2006, 12:02 AM
IMSI recently announced an updated version of TurboCAD for Mac, OS X-compatible if I recall correctly. I've been using the Windows version off and on for a few years now, mostly for fun stuff and self-training. No idea where or how it'll come in handy, but I want the skills in hand anyway.

I'd be interested in any alternative recommendations as well, though.

Macaholic
Jan 15th, 2006, 10:46 AM
Check out the website and community at http://architosh.com/

DEWLine
Jan 20th, 2006, 12:21 AM
I've had a look at those forums. Still mulling over a few options: RealCADD, CADintosh, TurboCAD(mac)...seems like each has their potential strengths...

dona83
Jan 20th, 2006, 12:57 AM
The one I prefer is VectorWorks + Architectural package which is what one of the architects I work with uses. It has a bit of a learning curve but is extremely powerful once you know how to use it.

kent
Jan 20th, 2006, 01:25 AM
The one I prefer is VectorWorks + Architectural package which is what one of the architects I work with uses. It has a bit of a learning curve but is extremely powerful once you know how to use it.

Yeah ... but VectorWorks is a full-on CAD package that is probably $1500 - far from free.

dona83
Jan 20th, 2006, 10:09 AM
Yeah ... but VectorWorks is a full-on CAD package that is probably $1500 - far from free.

Indeed pricey, but look at AutoCAD the most popular CAD program in at least North America, $4000, and not even a Mac version. :(

DEWLine
Jan 20th, 2006, 03:55 PM
Definitely out of my price-range, even given that I'm willing to spend some money to get one that works for me. I don't need "top of the line", but I do want something that could be occasionally useful to a cartoonist/designer...

Bjornbro
Jan 20th, 2006, 04:31 PM
...but look at AutoCAD the most popular CAD program in at least North America, $4000, and not even a Mac version. :(
Yet!

Maybe Macintels will sway more developers Like AutoDesk to the Mac. :heybaby:

kent
Jan 20th, 2006, 05:43 PM
Indeed pricey, but look at AutoCAD the most popular CAD program in at least North America, $4000, and not even a Mac version. :(


I know, AutoCAD is very pricey ... I'm hoping it comes back to the Mac platform. One of the nicest Mac-based CAD programs around is PowerCADD and they're just about to launch a new release [PowerCADD 7] - by no means free, but I don't know of a CAD program that is. PowerCADD pumps out beautiful drawings ... I personally hate VectorWorks; as a hybrid 3D/2D program it does neither well. 10 keystrokes for every one of PowerCADD.

I've always referred to PowerCADD as a cross between Illustrator and CAD - it's a beautiful program: relatively easy to learn and very powerful. Having used AutoCAD, VectorWorks, and PowerCADD ... this would be my choice. It's not ideal for huge projects [think massive buildings], but for small scale design work and illustration it would be ideal. You may be able to buy someone's license ... I know you can download a trial version. If you want some sample drawings I can email a few to you.

paulohnine
Jan 20th, 2006, 06:03 PM
Dad's engineering firm is Mac only and they swear by PowerCADD.

http://www.engsw.com/

DEWLine
Jan 20th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Likewise out of reach for me for the moment, barring a Lotto win.

Ah well...

Yvon C.
Jan 21st, 2006, 09:46 AM
I am still using "ClarisCad" 2D for my construction drawing, but it is no longer available for a long time what a shame. For 3D modeling I use "Sketchup" http://www.sketchup.com/ it is a fairly easy program to learn. The attach document was produce after a week of free time learning (it was reduce in size an quality to permit posting, when it is viewed in is original size and PDF format it is quite nice).

I do not know if it will help you, but it is a verry interesting program.

Regards Yvon C.

DEWLine
Jan 22nd, 2006, 01:37 AM
I keep hearing about SketchUp, and I keep hearing good things. Have been for over a year or so, in fact. I have to admit to ongoing curiosity about it, and if I thought I could afford it, I'd give it a serious workout trial.

I do wish I could find a shop in Ottawa that actually carries the darned thing, but that involves a sidebar that deserves its own thread, entitled "What retailers are willing and able to carry..."

kent
Jan 25th, 2006, 03:14 PM
Sketch-up is a good program, but you can download it and try it for 8 hours [no limitations].

TroutMaskReplica
Jan 25th, 2006, 03:34 PM
I do wish I could find a shop in Ottawa that actually carries the darned thing, but that involves a sidebar that deserves its own thread, entitled "What retailers are willing and able to carry..."

the software industry appears to be converting to an online distribution model. if you can't find it in the store, more often than not it can be downloaded.

DEWLine
Jan 25th, 2006, 11:17 PM
What if I don't want to do business along those lines, and don't care to tolerate the manufacturer's insistence on upon their Way of Doing Things?

I think I'm getting just a tad annoyed at this insistence.

kent
Jan 25th, 2006, 11:57 PM
What if I don't want to do business along those lines, and don't care to tolerate the manufacturer's insistence on upon their Way of Doing Things?

I think I'm getting just a tad annoyed at this insistence.

huh? You mean you don't like downloading programs from the developers site ... what do you mean? Sketch-Up can be ordered [i.e. in a box with CD-ROM], but for now you can download a trial and give it a try. Sketch-Up is not free or cheap [I think it's about $500-600], but perhaps you could buy a used version of 4 ... which is excellent too.

DEWLine
Jan 26th, 2006, 12:58 AM
I'm still on dial-up for one thing. I like to see someone on the other end of the transaction more and more of late, no matter what I'm buying for another. Plus, I'm just a tad stubborn.

kent
Jan 26th, 2006, 01:14 AM
I'm still on dial-up for one thing. I like to see someone on the other end of the transaction more and more of late, no matter what I'm buying for another. Plus, I'm just a tad stubborn.

yes, dial-up is no good for hefty dowloads ... Mac OSX updates must be pretty painful too!

duosonic
Jan 26th, 2006, 01:39 AM
and believe it or not, some people have access ONLY to dialup – I have to go to the next town over & use someone else's DSL connection when I want to download anything hefty (like system updates!).