Enterprise Architecture Software For Mac

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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.

The perfect enterprise wide solution to visualise, analyse, model, test and maintain all of your systems, software, processes and architectures. Enterprise Architect is the ideal platform to help you to stay in control of your workspace, support your colleagues and team, enable collaboration and build confidence within your most complex projects.

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.

Architecture Apps For Mac

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

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:

  • 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.

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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.

Professional architecture software makes the processes of design and information management very efficient and fast. Thus, it helps architects increase output and improve productivity considerably.

Depending on the complexity of a software product and the number of features included in its toolkit, it may be pricy. However, some instruments are still available in the market at no charge. Here, we’ve collected a list of free architecture software that could be a great alternative to expensive 3D design, CAD and modeling software tools.

1. actiTIME

Many architects – both solo and small teams – charge clients on an hourly basis. Therefore, they need to make sure that the working time is utilized as productively and efficiently as possible, and actiTIME is meant to help architects with that.

With the assistance of this simple-to-use time tracker, you can see how many hours are spent on projects and tasks and easily analyze individual and team productivity trends. Additionally, actiTIME streamlines client billing and allows for generating detailed invoices in just several clicks. In this way, it saves a ton of time while fostering an immense productivity boost.

actiTIME is very robust, integrated well into your business process, and most important, helps you focus on your business instead of monkeying around with technology. actiTIME has reduced our payroll processing from 4-6 hours per week to 45 minutes per week.

2. Blender

Blender is a free and open-source 3D-modeling solution. It supports all the steps of the model creation process: modeling, rigging, animation, rendering, motion tracking, and also includes video editing and game creation features. This is a flexible tool that should work well for both bigger design firms and self-employed professionals and students. It is highly customizable and can be enhanced with a variety of free community-developed extensions.

3. FreeCAD

This multiplatform open-source solution is a parametric 3D modeler built for creating models of real-life objects. The tool allows you to make 2D sketches and use them to create 3D objects, and vice versa – create 2D drawings based on existing 3D models. It supports various file formats (STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, DAE and more) so that users can process exported files in other software. FreeCAD is a great tool for both professionals and hobbyists, and can be used in design, architecture, construction, mechanical engineering, and other fields.

4. LibreCAD

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. The main supported file format is DXF, but the tool also allows users to export files to SVG and PDF. LibreCAD should work well for professionals, students, hobbyists and enthusiasts.

5. OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is an open-source solution for creating solid 3D CAD models and is available for Windows, Unix, and Mac. What makes it different from most 3D modeling applications is the fact that it does not focus on the artistic side of 3D modeling, but instead on the CAD aspects. It’s not an interactive modeling tool, and instead works more like a 3D compiler that renders 3D model based on the description of their properties in a script file, which gives the user full control over the modeling process.

6. My Virtual Home

My Virtual Home is a 3D home design app that was inspired by base-building video games: it includes a set of standard blocks and modifications that you can use to plan the space of your home, office or any other location.

It’s a simple app that is geared more towards beginners and people who are not very proficient in visual design. It’s easy to learn (getting the basics won’t take longer than 10 minutes) and allows users to create a full design in an hour or less. The tool also provides an accurate lighting model, where you can set up your latitude, longitude and season, to add realistic lighting effects to your virtual environment.

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7. SmartDraw

SmartDraw is an architectural design app with a strong focus on making the process as quick and simple as possible. It offers dozens of templates that you can modify and customize with the help of thousands of ready-made symbols, so you can easily make multiple design variations and pick the ones that meet your needs.

The app is available as both a cloud solution and a downloadable package for Windows. It supports integration with many popular tools like Trello and Jira, so you can optimize your workflow even further, and allows you to export your drawings and plans in different formats, so you can print them out or import them in other apps.

8. Sweet Home 3D

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A simple and convenient open-source tool for beginners that’s great for designing interiors and drawing home or office plans that you can later review in 3D. You can create photorealistic images and videos based on your plans, and use different light sources to simulate how the environment would look in specific conditions.

The software allows you to import additional 3D models from other sources, and export your plans in various popular formats.

9. BRL-CAD

One of the oldest modeling applications that has been in active development for over 30 years. It’s an open-source cross-platform system designed for constructive solid geometry design (CSG). It allows you to create, analyze, and edit 3D models that you can later use in other tools and systems.

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The tool supports interactive geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing, a benchmark suite, and geometry libraries for application developers.

10. Sculptris

Sculptris is a simple and easy to learn tool available for Windows and Mac that is perfect for people who are trying to get into the 3D modeling world. It features a very straightforward interface that even someone with no experience in modeling can get started with relatively quickly, but its features are robust enough to build base models that can later be refined in more advanced applications.

11. Meshmixer

Meshmixer is a powerful tool with a strong emphasis on the mechanical functionality of 3D design. It is primarily used to prepare meshes for 3D printing, allowing users to design 3D objects, or clean up their existing 3D scans.

Despite being a free tool, it offers some truly powerful features and techniques usually found in more sophisticated industrial grade software: mass optimization, hollowing, scaling and mesh simplification, making it an invaluable tool if you work with 3D printing. It’s best suited for more advanced users and is available for Windows and Mac.

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Summary

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Handling architecture, design, and modeling tasks quickly and professionally doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of free architecture software out there that can download and try right now.