Architosh finds iMacs popular, need for more cores in Mac Pros
Some high-end professional vertical markets that have increasingly moved to the Mac platform in recent years are those of CAD users, 3D and visual effects artists, and other professional designers not normally associated with the "creative professional" tag, taking in everything from engineers to biomedical scientists. Mac advocacy site Architosh has recently run a survey of the industries, and found some surprising results.
Compatible with AutoCAD, other 3D programs
Flush with success from its iOS product line, Autodesk is expanding its presence on the Mac platform by releasing a "technology preview" version of Inventor Fusion, its first 3D direct modeling software for the Mac. Users can open and edit 3D models from other programs and incorporate them into new or existing designs, including those from AutoCAD and other Autodesk programs.
Aimed at small and new BIM firms
Graphisoft is now shipping copies of ArchiCAD Star(t) Edition 2012 for the North American market. The program is a powerful Building Information Modeling (BIM) authoring tool that allows users to create and manage a virtual building model of the physical and functional capabilities of a building. The information is useful for construction, engineering, maintenance, and expansion of facilities even before they are built.
Base increases almost 60 percent in two years
As Businessweek notes, it took Autodesk, the 3D and CAD software company best known for its industry-standard software AutoCAD -- nearly 30 years to build up a customer base of 12 million customers. But a single iPhone app -- the $2 Sketchbook Mobile, released almost exactly two years ago -- has increased the company's user base by almost 60 percent, bringing in seven million new users. The company also saw a 14 percent rise in revenue.
Also adds compatibility with DWG 2011 files
IMSI/Design last week updated their popular TurboCAD Professional for Mac to version 6., bringing with it full Lion compatibility as well as a half-dozen new features, including 3D design features for doors, walls and windows, better formatting of objects and dimensions and automatic wall dimensioning, reports Architosh. The company also makes a 3D DWG file viewer for iOS devices.
2D and 3D design, native DWG support
Working with German developer Graebert GmbH, Corel is now offering a new, cross-platform CAD program for technical designers, professional architects, engineers, construction firms and general manufacturing businesses called CorelCAD. The software features native DWG file support, 2D and 3D workflows, dockable toolbars, DXF and DWF compatibility, various export formats, a highly-customizable interface and custome workspace profiles for enhanced efficiency.
Free professional-grade app runs on all platforms
Dassault Systems, makers of the popular Windows 3D design program SolidWorks, has announced that their 2D CAD app for all three major platforms, DraftSight, has reached Beta 2 for Mac OS X. The program is a professional-grade 2D program, but is offered free (activation is required, but costs nothing) for single-user, standalone use. The first Mac beta, originally released last year, will expire at the end of November.
Positioned as inexpensive competition for AutoCAD
ProgeCAD has announced iCADMac, positioning the new software as an alternative to Autodesk's AutoCAD. The new software is capable of both 2D and 3D CAD functionality and fully supports the Autodesk DWG file format. It is based on ACIS and supports ACIS Solid Modeling libraries, while PDF to DWG conversion and PDF export are also supported.
Microspot releases new v6 edition
Microspot Ltd., makers of various CAD programs for the Mac, have announced 25th anniversary editions of MacDraft Professional and MacDraft Personal Edition v6, major new versions of the original MacDraft program first released in 1985 to compete against Apple's MacDraw.
Version 14 upgrades BIM server
Graphisoft has released an update of its BIM -- Building Information Modeling -- application, ArchiCAD 14. ArchiCAD is BIM server software, focusing on open collaboration modeling design. The professional CAD software features IFC translators optimized for exporting model data to various structural and MEP applications like Revit Structure and Revit MEP, according to Architosh. It supports pack and go project design, allowing designers to export a transportable design package and work on it without accessing the server.
Mac AutoCAD 2011 beta may be in the works
Autodesk has released an online home and garden design application, Homestyler, and is rumored to be about to release a Mac-native version of AutoCAD 2011, according to Architosh. Homestyler is a cloud-based 3Ddesign application oriented toward non-professionals but capable of exporting 2D/3D info in Autodesk DWG and Revit versions. It quickly creates floor plans with manufacturer-based items, using drag-and-drop to relocate items. It has been released as a public beta and is free.
Company also working on cloud-based utility
(Updated with SolidWorks' clarification) SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray has announced that the company's 3D CAD software will be coming to the Mac platform as a native application. The executive, speaking at SolidWorks World 2010, revealed a newer version of SolidWorks running on a Mac, reportedly with an interface much different than current versions for Windows, according to Desktop Engineering.
Third-party rendering engine based on LiquidLight
Nemetschek North America has announced that its Vectorworks 2010 product line is now available in Japan. The CAD utilities include Vectorworks Designer, Architect, Fundamentals and Renderworks. The 2010 edition, first introduced in September, brings a variety of enhancements including a unified 2D/3D view, a dimensional constraint manager, and a new Select Similar tool, among other changes.
CAD software revamped with variety of improvements
Nemetschek North America has introduced the latest version of its CAD software, Vectorworks 2010. The company has made improvements including new architectural, landscaping, and entertainment design tools; enhanced rendering; simpler 2D functions; and a unified 3D modeling environment.
ArchiCAD 13 announced
Graphisoft on Tuesday announced ArchiCAD 13, an update to its architectural design software. The latest version integrates BIM Server technology, marking a completely new approach to collaboration between large numbers of users. The system is designed to overcome problems associated with model accessibility, rights management, element control and sharing, and overall reliability.
CrumplePop Photo, Stimulus
ReelBean 4.1 ($) can be used to convert movies to Apple TV, video iPod MPEG4, H.264, AVI and other formats. The software also has media playing features that allow users to view media files from within the application. The update includes a minor fix to the Movie track Properties window and a new dialog window that displays when the Toggle Scenes feature is not available. [Download - 6.1MB]
Siemens NX 6 for Mac
Siemens PLM Software has announced that its MCAD software suite, NX 6, is almost ready to launch on the Mac platform. The Mac variant will include all of the same technology and features as NX 6 for Linux and Windows. The user interface is completely customizable, with tools for managing and sharing information throughout an organization. The company's Synchronous Technology combines history-based and explicit modeling to allow inexperienced users to edit or transform 3D models without needing to know how the models were created.
Shark LT CAD suite ships
Punch! Software is now shipping Shark LT, a professional-level CAD application. The software is aimed mainly at generating 3D models, but is also used to produce related 2D drawings, which can be generated automatically for items such as section and detail views. These can then be imported into apps more suited to 2D editing, such as Illustrator.
ArchiCAD MEP Modeler
Graphisoft has released its latest building information modeling (BIM) tool, MEP Modeler for ArchiCAD 12. The software is designed to help architects integrate mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) models into projects. Users can create and edit 3D MEP networks from within the program, or import files from third-party applications via the IFC format. Visualizations can be created that use wireframe representations of the structures and color coding of the mechanical systems.
Architosh CAD reports
Rhino – a 3D CAD development tool – for Mac sits at least a year away and a new CAD application, StreamCAD is now available as a beta for Mac users. Architosh reports that Robert McNeel of Robert McNeel & Associates has given a time frame of over a year on Rhino for Mac project, saying "It is a huge project. It will be at least a year away before we have a released version." McNeel said progress on the project was good. A Mac beta is available for users who need to work with Rhino now.
Ash-Vel CAD, 3D updates
Ashlar-Vellum is preparing updates to its line of CAD software tools and 3D-tool Grasshopper is progressing towards the Mac platform. Ashlar-Vellum has announced Graphite v8 SP1 Beta, which has new features, and it is about to release Cobalt, Xenon and Argon v8 for PowerPC-based Macs according to Architosh. Also, Grasshopper is coming to Mac OS X, although it may have problems with Microsoft .Net incompatibilities.
Architosh: New 3D tools
A updated rendering application and a new 3D plug-in for Google Sketchup have been announced, according to Architosh, a site for Mac-based architects and CAD/3D professionals. IMSI/Design has unveiled IDX Renditioner, a plug-in for photo-realistic rendering in SketchUp. Architosh is also reporting the release of Maxwell Render 1.7, bringing new features and improved realism to that company’s rendering software.
ViaCAD 2D/3D beta
Punch! has announced an open beta of ViaCAD 2D/3D V6, the upcoming version of its design suite; its name derives from the ability to start out in 2D, and then extend to 3D using surface modeling commands. V6 makes the crucial additional of 2D architectural tools, letting users quickly specify walls, windows and doors; walls in close proximity will automatically "heal," and dimensions are handled automatically.
HighDesign 1.8 update
Ilexsoft today unveiled HighDesign 1.8, a major update to its professional CAD application, featuring over 50 new features and improvements. HighDesign Professional supports the AutoCAD DWG and DXB file formats, from v9.x to 2008, while both Standard and Professional versions support DXF from v12.x to 2006. The Professional version can export projects as high-quality TIFF images. HighDesign 1.8 Standard sells for $150, while the Professional version is available for $350.
Punch! ships ViaCAD Pro
Punch! Software has released ViaCAD Pro for Mac and PC. The news CAD software expands the ViaCAD family and delivers highly functional, low-cost 2D/3D design product for sophisticated, precise, general-purpose design. Positioned as a step up from its $100 entry-level solution, the Pro version gives designers the power to push beyond the boundaries of traditional curve, surface, and solid modeling by including deformation and warping technology which can bend, stretch, twist, and deform NURB bodies independent of design history. Additionally, ViaCAD provides sophisticated modeling features such as: associative NURBS-based surface creation and editing; history & feature based solid modeling, and constant and variable radius blending and chamfering.