2D CAD Software for Mac

We’ve split this in two… Advanced and Basic

Advanced 2D CAD is more efficient, more flexible, has more features and more file sharing ability. Support is usually also available at this level.

Basic 2D CAD has less drawing tools, less features, less ability to share drawings between different programs and may have little or no support available.

 

Advanced 2D

RealCAD LT®

Pros:
Highly evolved and comparatively simple to use
Feature rich extensive 2D tool set
Clean, modern interface
Works and looks the same on both Windows® and Mac OS-X® platforms
Quite easy to learn
Operates with CAD, DWG, DXF, SKU and other file formats
Can open, view and edit 3D files (some limitations)
Available as outright purchase, payment plan or rental
Several plug-ins available
Can write your own plug-in applications
Has upgrade path to 3D
Free viewer for clients to view and print your drawings
Online certificate training course available

Cons:
Slow to zoom and pan on very large files
Available in English only
Video help not current with latest release (at time of this article)

Comment: AppleCAD’s preferred choice in this category

AutoCAD LT®

Pros:
Developed by one of the worlds largest software companies, AutoDesk®
Extensive set of 2D drafting tools
Ability to open and view 3D files
Widely accepted and well recognized brand
Stable code,  minimal issues
Available in multiple languages

Cons:
Price -Subscription based only – Can’t purchase a permanent license
Interface not the same as its Windows® counterpart – Re-learning required
No ability to add productivity or industry specific plug-ins
No upgrade path to full AutoCAD® from this LT version
No support for other file formats
Fairly complex to learn

Comment: Expensive and restrictive

BricsCAD® Classic

Pros:
Less expensive than AutoCAD LT®
More powerful alternative to AutoCAD LT®
Not subscription based – License can be purchased
Interface very similar to traditional AutoCAD® for Windows®
Aimed at existing AutoCAD® users
Open DWG® file compatible
Extensive set of 2D drafting tools
3D tools for actual 3D modelling not just viewing
Can upgrade to more capable versions with more extensive 3D if required
Available for Mac® and Windows® and Unix®
Ability to add or develop plug-ins
Available in multiple languages

Cons:
Very few plug-ins currently available
Fairly complex to learn

Comment: Most familiar for traditional AutoCAD users

 

Basic 2D

CADintosh

Pros:
Inexpensive/ shareware
Suits novice users with basic requirements well

Cons:
Limited 2D drafting tools
Slow version update regime
Older style interface

HighDesign

Pros:
Fun tool for simple drafting
Good for coloring / graphics

Cons:
Very little development since 2008
A little bit too basic

MacDraft

Pros:
Simple to use
Ideal for sketch style designs
Strongest in its illustrative ability
Good color and line weight options

Cons:
Old style interface
Limited tool set
Slower operations

PowerCADD

Pros:
Enhanced color management capabilities
Plug-ins for popular file formats
Good features set that can be expanded with add on tool sets

Cons:
Little development work taking place
Staffing issues (according to web site)
Support response

QCAD

Pros:
Open Source software so very cheap
Simple interface and cross platform approach
Offers the basic 2D drafting tools most people would need
Also available for Windows and Linux

Cons:
Support is extremely limited
New features are reliant on the open source community
Bug fixes are also reliant on volunteer community

RealCAD Draft®

AppleCAD Team’s choice in this category

Pros:
Same interface as its more expensive professional versions
Can upgrade as your needs expand
Very extensive tool-set. (Most extensive in this category)
Excellent online training course available
Support readily available
Almost the same as the professional version but without such extensive file type support

Cons:
Price point

Need help choosing? Ask us we are here to help.