Autocad finally coming to the Mac!
It seems the Fates have not forsaken us!
A couple of months ago I had mentioned that Autodesk - who is a massive force of 3D+CAD on the Windows scene and has yet to truly grasp the Mac platform - had conducted an online survey which suggested the company was evaluating the interest of Mac CAD users, and possibly even alpha testing a Mac version of Autocad! Yup, don’t try to adjust your screens, you read correctly…shocking news to say the least.
If you’re not familiar with it, AutoCAD is a 2D and 3D design + drafting application that was first released in the 1980s. After turning its back on the Mac and discontinuing it in the '90s (Release 12 was the last one) , now it seems the rumours may have actually been true thanks to a sneaky beta tester from Italy. This has probably been one of the most anticipated programs for the Mac in the past decade - as there is still no way to run Autocad on the Mac natively - and now as the Mac has gained so much popularity in the past few years, Autodesk seems to have started answering the cries of Mac CAD users.
I use my mac a LOT, both personally and professionally, and for most things it's more than sufficient. But at times I really need to use Autocad, and I am forced to either restart and boot from Bootcamp (the Windows partition), or run it through a virtualisation application like Parallels or VMWare Fusion, so Autocad for Mac cannot come fast enough!
So back to the hot topic of the day, the Apple Lounge has posted some screenshots the fabled beta tester presented on the Italiamac forums. According to Federico Viticci from Macstories the beta named “Sledgehammer” is 64-bit only, is quite buggy for now obviously, but there is plenty of time for improvement. It’s looking very interesting though, the User Interface is quite different to the windows side, bringing back the left side toolbar with small icons - which even seem a bit more Mac-ish - and a floating command-line window, it’s resembling the way Archicad’s toolbars and windows float and can be arranged seperately. Not much more detail for now, but we should know more in the following weeks.
The more surprising + fascinating bit of the screenshots shows that Autocad for Mac will possibly even support multi-touch gestures, including the use of a Magic Mouse.
Over the years I’ve spoken with many CAD users clinging to their Windows PCs, hoping to make the big switch to the Mac though their only excuse for not taking the plunge has been Autocad, it’s too vital to their workflow. So for them and many other users this may be the thing that finally pushes them over the fence and allow them to fully immerse themselves into the Mac CAD force.