Apart from being a writer, I study Engineering and Graphics Design, a subject that’s evolved the traditional “Technical Drawing”. Of course, the idea usually when taking up this subject, is to further your studies into becoming an architect, engineer, or pursue some sort of design-related field.
A major aspect of engineering and architecture is the use of CAD — computer assisted design software to quicken the drawing process and also produce cool results like 3D models of projects, and scalable drawings.
Whilst there’s numerous CAD packages available, all ranging in price to fit anybody from the hobbyist to the student to the professional, the one stand-out application — the titan amongst CAD software — is undoubtedly Autodesk’s AutoCAD software.
However, this industry-standard package has only been available for the Windows platform (there once was a version of AutoCAD for Mac, but this was canceled many years ago).
This is soon to change. At the beginning of this year, graphics giant Autodesk announced that they would be working on a version of their leading design package for the Mac platform, marking a significant return to Apple’s platform, and a major step forward in the way Macs are seen in the working world. And just last week, an early beta testing version was seeded to developers and early testers.
While this beta version isn’t too great — there’s been reports of a few crashes and it’s riddled with bugs — the very fact that there will soon be a proper CAD application for the Mac is great.
The Apple Mac has long been considered the “leisure” or creativity machine, whilst Windows has been reserved for the “serious, hard-working number-cruncher” types. However, in recent years, with the increasing gain in market share Apple has been experiencing, many technologically conscious people are becoming aware of the potential these beautifully designed machines have. Imagine the power an engineer would have by harnessing the features and intuitiveness of AutoCAD with the brute power of an 8 core Mac Pro.
This latest move by Autodesk means that most engineers and architects who love their Macs and have to use AutoCAD through a virtual machine (VMWare Fusion or Parallels), or via BootCamp, can now have their entire workflow within one single platform.
Check out a video of the early beta version of AutoCAD for Mac 2011 below.
What do you think of this news? Are you an engineer or architect, and relish the move to Mac? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
I'm a young writer from South Africa, chronicling the changing tides in the ever-flowing river of technology. Focusing mainly on Apple-related technologies, I enjoy sharing my opinion and giving a few tips and tricks here and there on the latest and greatest from 1 Infinite Loop. I'm an avid blogger, and an even more avid reader.