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CADD Software For The Macintosh: A Summary

By Daniel W. Earle, Jr., Director Microcomputer Office for Design Exploration,
Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA

This is an annotated listing of presently, or soon to be available Macintosh CAD software applications for use in planning, landscape architecture, architecture, engineering, and interior design. It is restricted to programs that are object oriented, offer the opportunity to draw in a format larger than letter size, provide scaling choices, and/or are generally applicable to the types of work done in the professions above. This material was submitted to the developers for their review of accuracy, to ask for additions of particular features they wished to stress, and to add comments on features which may have been added to versions since initial review. Material is subject to change as updates to software are made.

ArchiCAD - Version (3.3)
GraphiSoft (distributed by Abvent)
23331 El Toro Road, Suite 209
El Toro, CA 92630

ArchiCAD is a truly integrated program with 3D orientation. The program has a 3D design construction component and a 2D drafting module. A semi-automatic bill of materials can be sent to a spreadsheet. Three basic construction elements, the slab, wall and roof, are provided to design structures. Tools are frequently used elements. Using a built-in Geometric Description Language (GDL), the designer can create and store objects as macros, and drawings can be converted into macros. The system has 16 layers. It allows full color rendering of surfaces, semi-automatic dimensioning, area calculation, pattern drawing and input of data by mouse or keyboard. It requires 2 Mbytes of memory. $3950.

Autodesk Inc.
2320 Marinship Way
Sausalito, CA 94965

AutoDesk is reported to be preparing a version of their leading PC CAD program for the Macintosh. It is expected to contain all of the features of the current version and take advantage of the easy-to-use Macintosh user interface. This product is expected to be available by the end of the first quarter of 1989.

Dimensions - Version 1.18
Visual Information, Inc.
16309 Doublegrove
La Puente, CA
91744 818-918-8834

Dimensions is a three-dimensional wire frame and solid surface modeling application. All objects drawn are created with three dimensional characteristics, with up to sixteen simultaneous windows available for display and modification. It is particularly powerful in creating complex curvilinear forms and surfaces which may be fitted to exact control points. In addition to the common drawing icons, it provides the capability to create forms through extrusion and rotation. It can use symbol libraries and handles the layer function using a grouping technique. The application supports high resolution color, ray-tracing, changeable lighting, and unrestricted viewer position capabilities. File transmission between Dimensions and AutoCAD is possible. Its advanced features require a longer period of learning and training than less sophisticated applications. $750 for Design Dimensions B&W, $1395 for Design Dimensions Color; $395 for Solid Dimensions B&W, $1295 for Solid Dimensions Color.

Innovative Data Design, Inc.
2280 Bates Avenue, Suite A
Concord, CA 94520
415 680-6818

Dreams is an advanced level, recently announced, CAD application from the makers of the well-established MacDraft program. Dreams will offer full Macintosh II color support, layers up to memory capacity, high performance zoom capability, advanced text handling and PostScript compatibility. It is expected to be on the market in early 1989. The price will be $500.

Enabling Technologies, Inc.
600 S. Dearborn Street, Suite 1304
Chicago, IL 60605

Easy3D is a very easy to use three dimensional modeling program. Objects are created using "primitives" of cubes, pyramids, cylinders, etc. that can be reshaped using tools appearing on the screen. Objects may also be created using a rotational "lathe" approach or using a "jigsaw" to cut out and then extrude shapes. Once elements are created, they can be combined to make more complex forms. The forms may be seen in one to four views, from a variety of perspective points, and lighted from different angles at varied intensities. Views are easily changed using on-screen tools. Various views may be saved as paint files for further detail manipulation. Scaling is not exact but the program is very good for rapid creation of objects and doing massing studies. The price is $149.

EZ Draft - Version 2.1
Bridgeport Machines
219 Rittenhouse Circle
Bristol, PA 19007
215-788-051 5

EZ Draft is an advanced level two dimensional design and drafting application. It has an extensive set of drawing tool features which include numerous ways to draw and manipulate the elements created. For example, there are 19 subcommands in the Line menu and 20 in the Arcs menu. The application allows one to place different scales of drawings on the same presentation sheet. Other features include 256 layers, color, automatic dimensioning, cross-hatching, keyboard input, symbol libraries, IGES read and write, and plot files. Its features make it very applicable to drawing of machine parts and other drawings where very fine detail is required. Training time to become an expert user of this software may be expected to be higher than on some of the other CAD programs available. You may also see this program as MacDesigner, the European version. The price is $1995; $500 for IGES add-on module.

Forte-Version ( )
Pictor Graphics
800 E. Campbell Road, Suite 199
Richardson, TX 75081

Forte is supposed to be a fast accurate production tool application. It is being developed as a part of a series of CAD packages to be released over the next year. More advanced programs will incorporate add-on modules for 3-D and solid modeling. Prices are expected to range from $200-1500.

Generic CADD Level 1 - Macintosh - Version (1.0.1)
Generic Software Inc.
11911 North Creek Parkway South
Bothell, WA 98011

Generic Software has developed Generic CADD Level 1, a Macintosh version of their product for the IBM PC. Level 1 offers the standard Macintosh interface, as well as a full keyboard entry of commands and points. Drawings are made from a complete set of simple geometric objects, including points, line, circles, arcs, ellipses and Bezier and spline curves. Any unit of measurement may be selected. Rubber banding of lines and circles, grid and tolerance snapping, and unlimited zoom magnification factors are available. Objects can be placed on any of 256 layers. Objects may be moved, copied, deleted, and rotated. Components can be created for repeated use, and Generic's line of Symbol Libraries is available. Level 1 does not provide features for patterns, hatching or automatic dimensioning. Generic CADD Level 1 is priced at $99.95.

Generic CADD Level 2 - Macintosh - Version ( )
Generic Software Inc.
11911 North Creek Parkway South
Bothell, WA 98011

Generic Software is completing developed Generic CADD Level 2. It includes all of the features of Level 1 and adds such features as geometric snaps, ability to trim and extend elements, automatic fillets and chamfers, automatic dimensioning, and color support for the Macintosh II. Generic CADD Level 2, expected to be available in late 1988, is priced at $199.95.

Jonathan - Version ( )
Orbit Creative Computing
Oslo, Norway

Jonathan is a two-dimensional drawing application with three-dimensional capabilities, soon to be introduced to the U. S. market. The program is supposed to have very precise solids modeling capability using a full-world coordinant system. This increases the resolution and precision of the program when zooming in to design details. Objects may be precisely aligned to any intersection. Plotting may be done to a resolution of 1500 dpi. Color and greater 3D rendering are being added at present. The price is expected to be under $6000.

MacArchitrion - Version 4.00/4.20E
Gimeor, Inc.
1815 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

MacArchitrion is a powerful, relatively easy to use program intended to provide a complete design package including 3D, 2D and Quantifier components. It encourages a truly three dimensional approach to design. It uses plan view blocks, openings and frames as its basic design tools. Designed objects can be immediately transformed from plain view into wire frame axonometrics, sections, section/elevations or perspective views. Openings can be filled with elements (the frames), such as windows or doors, from a library. Once the design has been developed in its three dimensional aspects, various views are transferred into a full featured two dimensional program for refinement of detail, dimensioning, and notation. A bill of quantities program keeps track of elements for assistance in development of cost estimates, thermal calculations, and specifications. Walk through slide shows of a design are easily created. The price is $1499.

MacDraft - Version 1.2
Innovative Data Design, Inc.
2280 Bates Avenue, Suite A
Concord, CA 94520

MacDraft is a widely used two dimensional design and drafting application. It provides all of the commonly used object drawing tools for lines, rectangles, circles, arcs, polygons, ellipses, and freehand drawing. Its features include ease of use, scaled rulers with relocatable zero points, window scrolling while drawing, fill and line patterns, showing of element size and area, automatic dimensioning, reshaping of objects to automatically smooth their contour object alignment, distribution of objects on line, and good zoom in and out capability. Drawing scale choices are limited. The price is $269.

MacDraw - Version 1.9
Apple Computer, Inc.
20525 Mariani Avenue
Cupertino, CA
95014 408-996-1010

MacDraw is the earliest CAD application developed for the Macintosh. Its features include ease of use, a full range of common drawing tools for lines, boxes, rectangles, circles, freehand lines and patterns. It is most suited to doing drawing in standard feet and inch or metric units, however, its custom ruler function does allow drawing to scale in a limited range of choices. It has limited zoom in and out capabilities and the screen does not scroll while drawing. The drawing surface available can be as large as 48 by 96 inches. This program has been superseded by MacDraw from Claris, a much more powerful program.

Mac3D - Version 2.0
Challenger Software
18350 Kedzie Avenue
Homewood, IL 60430

Mac3D is a relatively easy to use program for doing both two and three dimensional drawing. All objects are drawn within a three dimensional "world" with the parameters of each element defined by x, y, z coordinants displayed in a status bar. Scale may be set as desired by the user. Tools include both two and three dimensional types. Objects may be drawn in two dimensions and then extruded, drawn using three dimensional tools, or shaped by rotation around an axis. Elements may be combined to make complex forms, viewed from any angle, shaded, patterned with a wide selection of choices, colored, and lighted from a variety of angles. Line weight choices and zoom in and out functions are somewhat limited. The price is $249.

MacPerspective - Version ( )
B. Knick Drafting
313 Marlin Place
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

MacPerspective is a program for creating wireframe perspective from dimensioned drawings. The perspective is created using a combination of keyboard entry of dimensioned lines and mouse clicks to connect elements. Detail drawing is enhanced by zoom features. Hidden line segments may be erased. Objects may be cut and pasted between documents and transferred to common paint programs. Drawings may be printed on dot matrix, laser writer, or pen plotter. The price is $179.

MGMStation - Version 2.0+
Micro CAD/CAM Inc.
3230 Overland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034

MGMStation is a highly refined detail design and drafting application with a wide range of features and methods of defining points, lines, circles, arcs and other commonly used geometric shapes. It supports a full range of fillet, tangent lines to arc connections, line intersection, and splining features. It allows copy, rotate, and mirror operations. Mouse and keyboard entry are supported. The program has full dimensioning choices including slope, angular and circular. Cross hatching may be done to provide fill patterns. Zoom capability is near limitless. It supports independent symbol libraries, has 48 layers, and built in plotter programs. MGMStation is particularly well suited to development of machine part and detailed construction drawings. The application makes some deviations from the standard Macintosh protocol and, as with other advanced feature programs, training time may be expected to be longer than that on the more simple programs. The price is $799.

MiniCad Plus
Diehl Graphsoft, Inc.
3246-K Normandy Woods Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043

MiniCad is an easy to use, yet powerful, two and three dimensional design and drafting application. It features a full range of scale choices with unit ratios set by the user. Elements may be drawn using a typical toolbox arrangement or keyed in by size and location. Objects maybe reshaped or rescaled with ease. Snap control to grid, object, and focus points or lines is possible. Double lines for building walls, roads, or other features may be drawn automatically with or without a pattern. The program allows areas to be filled with a wide variety of pattern choices and patterns may be edited. All objects created may be grouped and named in a hierarchial system. Drawing may be done on unlimited layers, depending on memory size. Symbol libraries are easily created. The three dimensional portion of the program is clearly explained and easy to use. It includes a built-in spreadsheet program for keeping track of elements and has a MiniPascal macro feature that can be used to create graphic objects or change format settings. The price is $695.

NewStudio - Version 1
NewLine 7 Graphics
Culver City, CA 90232

NewStudio is a 3D design program. It is intended to produce a range of projections including plans, elevations, isometrics, axonometrics and perspectives. The price is less than $349.

Pegasys 1 - Version (3.03)
IGC Technology Corp.
305 Lennon Lane
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Pegasys 1 is an icon and keyboard driven 2D CADD program. It utilizes a full range of graphic primitives as the basis for construction of drawings, including the ability to make gaps in objects and crosshatching that may be modified by the user. Geometric functions allow construction of tangents, parallels, perpendiculars, and other such elements. The program has powerful location functions for finding such points as midpoints of lines, closest point to cursor click, tangents and vertices. Its grouping approach creates a database from which names and count of elements may be listed. Symbol libraries may be created. There are four coordinant input modes, 15 snap/locate functions, 8 line styles, and 256 layers available. Line weights may be assigned. Drawings may be done in English or Metric units. Area, perimeter, and distance calculations may be accomplished automatically and an on-line calculator is available. The program incorporates powerful pan and zoom capabilities. Pen plotter drivers are included. Files can be imported from and exported to other CAD programs. The price is $695. File transfer programs are $275.

Pegasys Expert-Version ( )
IGC Technology Corp.
305 Lennon Lane
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Pegasys Expert has all of the features of Pegasys but adds the 3D, an increased menu selection, command input, macros, and Bill of Materials. The user may customize commands. The 3D commands use the same drawing format as 2D but allow the designer to create and view objects from any angle and generate perspectives for presentation drawings. The increased menus provide extensions to existing commands while the command input provides for keystroke entry. Macros are created by cutting and pasting strings of commands that will be used frequently. The Bill of Materials allows the user to print a detailed listing of components used in the design. This list may be written to a database or spreadsheet for further manipulation. The price is $1295.

Pegasys II - Verson ( )
IGC Technology Corp
305 Lennon Lane
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Pegasys II is designed for use on the Macintosh 11. It is intended to increase speed of design and drafting activities. It contains all of the functions and features of Pegasys Expert but operates from 10 to 100 times faster. It takes advantage of the color capabilities of the Macintosh II. The price is $1795.

Pro3D - Version 1.0
Enabling Technologies, Inc.
600 S. Dearborn Street, Suite 1304
Chicago, IL 60605

Pro3D is an advanced version of Easy3D (described above) and many of its features are similar. Some of the differences are that Pro3D will save PostScript files and has more selections for shaping and reshaping elements, added features for doing lath or jigsaw shapes, greater ability to move and align objects, and more finely tuned lighting simulation. The price is $349.

PowerDraw - Version 2
Engineered Software
Computer Shoppe
P. O. Box 18344
Greeneboro, NC 27419

PowerDraw provides professional design and drafting features following the Macintosh user interface. In addition to the common drawing tools, it includes fillet, trim, chamfer, rotation, clip, and parallel line creation features. Tool boxes include easily accessed dialog boxes for precise entry of object parameters when appropriate. The program can do duplications in rectangular or radial arrays, supports both mouse and keyboard entry, and provides auto dimensioning. Objects may be rotated to degrees, minutes and seconds. It has 120 layers of drawing surface and supports multiple scales on the same drawing. Symbol libraries can be created and their elements rescaled as placed into drawings. Custom fill patterns may be created. Entry of data may be by mouse or keyboard. Plotter software is built in. The manual clearly explains all program features in a systematic manner. The price is $595.

SNAP! - Version 2.02
Data Basics, Inc.
P. O. Box 32
Sunset, SC 29685

SNAP! is an easy to use two dimensional design and drafting program with a number of very useful features. Scale choice is completely free since the user sets the incremental spacing of the units of measure. The program features locating and sizing of objects by mouse or keyboard input for a high degree of accuracy. Zoom in and out features are exceptional. It allows manipulation of elements individually or in groups using a fence feature. It has good features for doing fillets, copying, extending, or clipping of lines. Dimensioning capabilities are excellent. Snap! has 63 layers and symbol libraries used on a drawing and built in programs for output to common pen plotters. It uses pull down menus for selection of drawing tools rather than a tool box. It does hatching but does not have patterns. The price is $695; $195 for IGDS translator add on module.

SpaceEdit - Version 2.0
9903 Santa Monica Blvd Suite 268
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

SpaceEdit is a two and three dimensional design application providing ease of three dimensional visualization. Three dimensional projection is inherent and easy, and becomes an automatic part of the design process. Objects are generated in their three dimensional top, front, side and axonometric views, simultaneously. Objects may be created using normal drawing techniques or by creating profiles which are then subjected to rotation. Perspective and hidden line views are quickly drawn. The application has a unique and extensive set of drawing, modification and visualization tools including a walk-through feature. Objects may be modified by edge, vertex, or surface and may be exploded into individual parts. It supports input by mouse or keyboard, layers, and 2D and 3D symbol libraries. The price is $625.

Super 3D, Super 3D Enhanced - Version
Silicon Beach Software
P. O. Box 261430
San Diego, CA 92126

Super 3D is a 3D modeling and animation program. Models are created by drawing and rotating cross-sections of objects or retrieving and combining shapes or primitives. It displays these models in wire frame or solid projections. Various views of objects are easily selected from a menu or by keystroke. Oblique views are created by rotation and tilting of objects. Lighting, shading, and background may be varied. Using a hierarchical object approach, Super 3D allows creation of large models. Models can be animated, stored on disk, and quickly retrieved for playback. Super 3D enhanced takes advantage of Macintosh II color and speed. The price is $295 for Super 3D; $495 for Super 3D Enhanced.

VersaCAD Macintosh - Version (2.0)
Versa Corporation
7372 Prince Drive
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

VersaCad Macintosh has released a Macintosh version of the well known PC software. It has been configured to take advantage of the Macintosh environment while retaining the features and operations of the PC version. It has tools to create all of the commonly needed object forms plus French curves, splines and points. Objects can be rotated, mirrored and rescaled and their attributes can be changed at any time. Input of data may be by mouse or keyboard. The system offers several snap selections and allows linear and angular dimensioning. Up to 250 layers of drawing are available. Symbol libraries may be created and attached to drawings for use. Three dimensional and database transfer functions are to be added in the future. The price is $1995.

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