20 GB disk space for Apple OS partition or Windows OS partition Mac Virtualization on Parallels Desktop Autodesk Inventor Professional can be used on the Mac via Parallels Desktop for Mac without having to boot directly into the Windows OS, so it is easy to switch between platforms. The system must meet the following requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.x.

We already covered the ten free and useful CAD software for every type of platform.

Here is another ten best CAD software for Mac that will run natively on the Mac OS X operating system.

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It is fully compatible with the Mac operating system and no need to use any specific emulation software or a compatibility layer to uses this software.

1 Vectorworks CAD for Mac

Vectorworks is an object-oriented CAD software for Mac OS. The software primarily uses for 2D Drafting, technical drawing, and highly effective 3D modeling.

It gives 2D, 3D, production management, and presentation capabilities for all levels of the design course.

It additionally very versatile, so designers have the complete freedom to design how they want and very handy to create, model, and present easily and precisely with one software.

Website – Vectorworks

2 AutoCAD for Mac

AutoCAD for Mac is a robust 3D free form design tool and powerful drafting capabilities for your favorite platform.

It has a simple, Intuitive graphical User interface that makes your ideas into reality.

It saves all your work into DWG format, so you can easily share files with clients, suppliers, and partners around the world, regardless of platform.

Website: AutoCAD for Mac

3 CADintosh for Mac

CADintosh for Mac is a 2D-CAD software for electrical, mechanical, and architectural drawings.

It has interactive window redrawing, where users can work at the same time as the window redrawing.

You can easily import and export your work into multiple formats such as HPGL, DXF, and PICT.

There are two types of modes provided by the software. One is Pen oriented Mode, and another one is the individual Mode.

Pen oriented Mode gives you 8 line widths/line colors/pens, and individual Mode gives you line width from 0.0 to 99.99 mm, pattern, and colors.

Website: CADintosh for Mac

4 BRL-CAD for Mac

BRL-CAD is a powerful cross-platform solid geometry (CSG) modeling system.

The software comes with interactive geometry editor, ray-tracing for rendering & geometric analyses, network distributed frame buffer support, image & signal-processing tools.

Website: BRL – CAD

5 Domus CAD – 3D Architectural CAD for Mac

Domus CAD is a 3D Architectural Parametric CAD that allows you to create a three-dimensional element without starting from a two-dimensional plane.

It provides ready elements such as walls, floors, roofs, and stairs that built from the onset in their full three-dimensional form.

You can easily see the 3D model changes in real-time as you design in your plan.

Website: Domus.Cad

6 Sailcut CAD for Mac

Sailcut CAD is a sail design and plotting software. It means that you can design and visualize your personal sail and compute the actualgrowth of all panels in flat sheets.

Sailcut CAD is ready to do cross cut, twist foot cut, vertical cut, mitre cut, and radial cut sail design as well as wing sails, all in quite a few languages.

It alsoincludes a viewer whereyou’ll be able to assemble a hull, a rig, and a set of sails to see how they match.

Sailcut CAD has been successfully used for making sails for racing and cruising yacht as well as for model boats.

Website: Sailcut CAD

7 MacDraft Pro for Mac

MacDraft Pro is the 2D CAD software that makes it easy to design floor plans, architectural drawings, and illustration simple on the Mac.

Create detailed and professional 2D drawings in moments, with this easy-to-use, powerful, and affordable drafting software.

With its precise vector tools, smart units, and fully-featured scaled atmosphere, MacDraft Pro is designed to implement an easy-to-use solution without wasting too much time to learn techniques to use more complicated software.

The latest version of MacDraft Pro contains some important changes and features that make it more intuitive, highly effective, and easy-to-use than ever before.

Mac

Adding a wide range of features not only make MacDraft Pro easier but also speed up your design process.

Website: MacDraft Pro

8 HighDesign 2D CAD for Mac

HighDesign is the alternative, fully featured 2D CAD software for Mac OS.

it’s a perfect combination of advanced drafting and design tool with a modern, performance based user interface designed to help the user in every stage of the creative process.

HighDesign offers in-depth knowledge of drawing and editing skills, from the vital drafting methods to extra superior, DXF/DWG compatibility.

parametric tools like vector hatches and patterns, smart annotations, symbols with several views, partitions, columns, windows and doors, and more.

The software is really helpful to satisfy the actual requirements of architects, engineers, and design professionals.

it allows them to design difficult projects with accuracy and strong management over several parts of the projects.

Website: HighDesign

9 QCAD for Mac

QCad is a software for computer-aided drafting in two dimensions (2D).

With QCad you’ll be able to create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, and mechanical components, or schemas and diagrams.

QCad works on Windows, Mac, and many Linux and Unix systems. The source code of the QCad community edition is launched under the GPL license.

Website: QCAD

10 Graphite for Mac

Graphite is a 2D and 3D wireframe CAD software for Mac. The software is previously known as Vellum.

It has a simple, easy to use user interface that helps creative people to create a precision drawing and Drafting without having any knowledge.

With Graphite, the user can create 2D and 3D wireframe designs of immense complexity and precision detail.

Website: Graphite

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.

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

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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

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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.

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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.
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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

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

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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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

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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.