Autodesk is releasing AutoCAD for Mac, offering its software for drafting and editing 2D and 3D models on Apple's platform for the first time in 18 years.
Autodesk is releasing AutoCAD for Mac software, returning to
the Apple platform after 18 years. In addition to a version running natively on
Mac OS X, Autodesk also plans on releasing an AutoCAD WS mobile application for
iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
AutoCAD allows illustration-minded professionals, including
engineers and architects, to draft and edit 2D and 3D models. The Mac version
will be available before the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the company,
and cost either $3,995 without a support subscription of $4,445 with one.
"The release of AutoCAD for Mac marks the return of
professional design and engineering software to the Mac platform and an
important convergence of power and design," Amar Hanspal, senior vice president
of Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Business, wrote in an Aug. 31
statement. "The combination of this new version of AutoCAD and the extension of
AutoCAD to iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch is a big step in Autodesk's efforts to
accelerate design and make design more accessible for an ever-greater number of
The growing prevalence of Mac OS X in businesses,
Autodesk to reconsider the platform as viable for AutoCAD, as did Apple's
migration to Intel CPUs
According to Hanspal, some 5,000 people participated in beta
testing for AutoCAD for Mac. While some AutoCAD for Windows features-including
network-based licensing and Visual Basic support-are absent from the Mac
version, the latter leverages aspects of Mac OS X: multi-touch gestures for the
Magic Mouse and TrackPad will pan and zoom through an AutoCAD model, and users
can browse through design files via Cover Flow. Files created in previous
versions of AutoCAD will open in AutoCAD for Mac, theoretically easing the
transition for workplaces.
A variety of APIs and customization options allow firms to
tailor the platform to their particular requirements.
The free mobile app will allow AutoCAD users to take that
same functionality on the road, as it were. "The iPad's become a crossover
device," Hanspal reportedly said, with "the perfect form factor" for displaying
an AutoCAD screen. Autodesk's other Apple mobile apps include Sketchbook Mobile
and Sketchbook Pro, professional-grade painting and drawing tools.