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Free Architecture Software For Mac

 

AutoCAD software has been a fixture of the architecture sector since its release in 1982. The software has come a long way since those early days. This history has bred familiarity. Students and professionals have used AutoCAD for decades. As such, learning how to use it often proves helpful when searching for jobs in engineering or architecture. Architect 3D© for Mac incorporates the very latest engine and the exceptional NexGen™ technology to guide you through each step in the design process: simply create your design, the software program takes care of all the rest and generates an extremely realistic HD 3D rendering. In researching the best free apps for the Mac, I started by using Apple's category list. This makes it easier to cover the wide variety of content available. If an app is on the Mac App Store, it is in one of the 21 categories that Apple has listed. The 8 Best Free Graphic Design Software Programs Here is a collection of the best Free Graphic Design Software Programs for Window, Mac, Linux, and online browsers. Start designing for free! Top 5 Best Free Graphic Design Software for Windows and MAC Thanks for watching If you liked this video leave a thumbs up! And don't forget to Subscribe. LibreCAD is a free 2D-CAD multiplatform solution for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is essentially a community version of QCAD. It allows users to make different types of technical drawings, such as building and room plans, interior design schemes, mechanical part schematics, and diagrams.

Sometimes we need free Architecture or CAD software to redesign our own apartment’s interior or want to decorate. Or just for learning purpose, here are some free and open source software for interior or house Architecture designers.

Archimedes: An architecture open CAD

Archimedes is a free and open source CAD (Computer Aided Design) software built Eclipse’s Rich Client Platform. It works on Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows but before installing it, you have need to install Java Virtual Machine. The software and its plugins are under the Eclipse Public License which means anyone can modify its source code to develop its own application without the permission of Archimedes team. It develops as an alternate option to AutoCAD.

SweetHome 3D

SweetHome 3D is an open-source software. It helps people to design the interior of their home in a very intuitive way. You can redesign your home and can see a 3-D version of how everything looks. It allows you to draw walls, rooms, windows, furniture, etc. You can create photorealistic images and videos with various light sources.

ArchiFacile

ArchiFacile is a free floor or house planner software which allows you to design them in two dimensional. This tool is very beneficial for architects as it allows to export design in PDF format. It can be used to plan floor, house, garage, wooden house, a garden shed or pool.

3D Home Design

3D Home Design has a free version of its powerful software which enables users to create 2D/3D professional plans for indoor and outdoor views. Graphics are pretty realistic and make working with this software very enjoyable.

Google SketchUp Make

Google SketchUp is a free software which allows you to create 3D models in just a few minutes. There are lots of video tutorials available online which helps newbies. You can build your own house sketch design. Also, the sketch of your living room, a piece of furniture, model your city for Google Earth and more.

BRL-CAD

BRL-CAD is an open source modeling system and cross-platform CAD software. It has ray-tracing for rendering and geometric analysis, interactive geometry editor, analysis benchmark suite, image & signal processing tools, libraries for robust geometric representation, network distributed framebuffer support and more.

LibreCAD

Libre CAD is 2D CAD application that can read DWG files. It writes DXF files and can export files to other formats also such as PNG, JPG etc. It available in 20 languages and supports all major operating systems. (Windows, Linux, Mac OSX and others). It provides you layers, blocks, splines, polylines, ellipse tools, advanced tangent line & circle tools, transformation tools, an advanced snapping system and more.

FreeCAD

FreeCAD is a powerful parametric 3D modeler for CAD, CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE, and PLM. It extremely modular Architecture software that allows customization and use of extensions. It features Open Inventor-compliant 3D scene representation model provided by the Coin 3D library and a broad Python API. It uses the interface which built with Qt. It supports Windows, MAC OSX, and Linux platforms.

nanoCAD

It is a free a Computer Aided Design (CAD) tool for Architectures. It has a user-friendly interface, drafting and design tools, native DWG compatibility, and an open API.

Blender

Blender is the free open source 3D suite for beautiful content creation. It supports all major OS platform. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. The built-in Cycles rendering engine offers GPU & CPU rendering, Real-time viewport preview, HDR lighting support and Permissive License for linking with external software.

GenoCAD

GenoCAD is a CAD software for synthetic biology. This application provides a web-based tool to design plasmids, artificial gene networks, and other synthetic genetic systems composed of standard genetic parts. It includes a parts management system, a rule-based design tool, and a simulation engine.

Free Architecture Software For Mac

TinkerCell -CAD for Synthetic Biology

TinkerCell is a software for synthetic biology. The visual interface allows users to design networks using various biological “parts”. Models can include modules and multiple cells. Users can program new functions using C or Python.

Sailcut CAD

It is a sail design and plotting software for Architectures. It allows you to design and visualize your own sail and compute the accurate development of all panels in flat sheets.

QCAD – 2D

It is easy to use, complete 2D CAD system for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It offers a complete set of general purpose CAD tools and uses the DXF format as its native file format. Additional power-user tools including DWG support and enhanced DXF support are available as QCAD Professional for Architecture through proprietary add-ons.

Also See:

If you’re looking for CAD software for Mac, you’re not without options. We’ve found some standout Mac and cloud-based CAD platforms for you.

You’re likely to hit a wall if you’re searching for computer-aided design (CAD) software designed for Mac. There are plenty of CAD software options for Windows—you’ll see many of them in our list of the top AutoCAD alternatives—but only a handful offer support for Mac.

And, if you think you’ll bypass the issue by using a cloud-based CAD tool, you’ll quickly find that CAD vendors haven’t embraced the cloud as much as other types of software vendors have, so the offerings are still largely on-premise. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for IT Evolution (full content available to Gartner clients), cloud-native CAD applications still have five to 10 years before they reach mainstream adoption.

But fear not, Mac users. We’ve done some digging and have put together this list of the top-rated CAD software for Mac. Read more about our methodology at the bottom of this article.

5 Best CAD Software for Mac (presented alphabetically)

Jump to:


  • CorelCAD

  • FreeCAD

  • Fusion 360

  • LibreCAD

  • Onshape

1. CorelCAD

CorelCAD offers 2D drafting and 3D design capabilities, such as the drawing constraints feature for creating different geometric shapes faster and the push and pull feature for 3D direct modeling.

3D modeling in CorelCAD (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analyses of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of CorelCAD they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • The short learning curve: Users mention that the tool is easy to use and beginners don’t have to spend a lot of time learning it.
  • Compatibility with multiple file types: Users like the fact that the tool is compatible with DWG, PDF, ACIS, DXF, STL, CDR, and other file formats.

What users think could be improved:

  • Software reliability issues: Some users mention that the software tends to crash at times.
  • Better dimension functionality: Some users would like a better dimensioning feature for more accurate drawings of angles and proportions.

Who can use CorelCAD

CorelCAD can be used by construction businesses for collaborative editing on multiple devices. It offers native iOS applications, which makes it easy for field crews to add annotations in graphics and share files using their iPhones and iPads. Additionally, the tool allows team members to leave recorded messages and instructions for colleagues embedded in the graphics using a voice note tool.

2. FreeCAD

FreeCAD is an open source CAD tool that works on Mac as well as Windows and Linux. It reads many common file formats such as STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, and DAE.

It offers different modules, including a drawing sheets module that converts 3D models into 2D views, a rendering module that can export 3D objects, and an architecture module for a BIM-like workflow.

3D model of a building in FreeCAD (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of FreeCAD they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

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What users like:

  • Feature-richness for a free tool: Users mention that, although it’s free, the tool comes with a full set of features.
  • Reliability: Users mention that the tool does not demand a lot of CPU power and works well on devices with low RAM.

What users think could be improved:

  • Steep learning curve: Users mention that the tool is not the most user-friendly solution and can be difficult for beginners to learn.
  • Dependent on community for updates: Users mention that modules ignored by the community tend to become outdated quickly.

Who can use FreeCAD

FreeCAD appears to be best for hobbyists and home users. It’s also good for users who don’t have a high budget for software but still want to tinker with CAD modeling.

FreeCAD could also be a good choice for businesses on a budget looking for a free and open-source option.

3. Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a CAD tool from Autodesk with design functionalities such as sketching and 3D modeling. It also supports project management with features such as task management, document management, and collaborative image editing.

Document management in Fusion 360 (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of Fusion 360 they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • Comprehensive design features: User mention that the tool offers all the functionalities necessary for 2D and 3D designing.
  • Availability of training resources: Users like the fact that the tool comes with ample documentation and tutorials.

What users think could be improved:

  • System crashes: Users mention that the tool tends to crash, especially when designing and rendering large files.
  • Steep learning curve: Users mention that it can take a lot of time to learn the advanced functionalities of the tool.

Who can use Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is part of the Autodesk ecosystem designed for the AEC industry. This makes the tool suitable for construction businesses that are already using, or intend to use, other Autodesk solutions. Using a software vendor that offers multiple solutions will especially benefit larger businesses that invariably need software that can scale with their growing requirements.

4. LibreCAD

LibreCAD is an open source CAD tool that supports Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. The tool comes with 2D drawing features such as a snap tool, dimensioning, and annotations. It also supports multiple file imports and exports.

2D drawing in LibreCAD (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of LibreCAD they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • Ease of use: Users mention that the tool offers an intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
  • Lots of tutorials: Users like the fact that there are ample video tutorials that help them get started with the tool.

What users think could be improved:

  • Software speed: Users mention that the software tends to lag, especially when trying to print designs.
  • Add support for 3D design: Users would like to see functionalities for creating 3D designs.

Who can use LibreCAD

LibreCAD is an exclusively 2D CAD tool for drawing and designing blueprints of buildings, layouts of parks, and the like. As a free tool, the solution can be used by small and midsize businesses across different industries, including manufacturing, engineering, architecture, and construction.

5. Onshape

Design Software For Mac

Onshape is a cloud-only CAD solution that comes with features such as document management with version control, collaborative design creation/editing capabilities, and reporting dashboards to understand project status.

Importing documents in Onshape (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Architect Software Mac

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of Onshape they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • Document version control: Users like the document management features of the tool, such as version history.
  • Intuitive interface: Users mention that the tool comes with an intuitive interface for easy image editing.

What users think could be improved:

  • Performance issues: Some users mention that the tool does not function well on non-Chrome browsers and has file loading issues.
  • Lack of features: Users mention that the tool should improve certain features such as 2D drawing and 3D surfacing.

Who can use Onshape

As a fully-cloud based tool, Onshape is ideal for businesses that need to manage design documents collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. The tool’s collaboration functionalities include document sharing, document editing, comments, and file downloads in multiple CAD formats, such as Parasolid, ACIS, STEP, and IGES.

Next steps

This report offers a mix of Mac CAD solutions—from free tools that can help you with basic 2D drawing to advanced solutions offering extensive 3D modeling functionalities.

If these tools don’t meet your needs, expand your search and check out more options. To help you, we’ve created a CAD software comparison page where you can explore products using different filters, such as features offered and pricing options.

If you’re looking to understand the CAD software market better, we also recommend that you read the articles listed below:

Methodology

To be shortlisted, products had to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Products had to be compatible with Mac and offer core CAD software capabilities, such as:
    • 2D drawing or 3D modeling features
    • Collaborative editing of drawings
  • Products needed a minimum of 20 user reviews on Capterra (published in the last two years).
  • Products had to have a high overall rating (an average of at least 4 out of 5 on Capterra).

Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users. It does not represent the views of Capterra.

Looking for Construction Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Construction Management software solutions.