eh, good luck getting a bunch of PC people to transition to Macs... Expect a serious drop in productivity while people figure out what's going on...(several months). If you have existing programs and processes ingrained in your corporate culture, it will be a rough transition. Kinda like taking a curling team and turning them into hockey players.
I use both PCs and Macs. Honestly, I feel like Macs are nothing but an expensive headache. They are all looks and no action. The trophy wife of computers. More pain than they are worth. You can get 3 times the PC that you can for the price of a Mac. Would you rather have four PC work stations or two Mac work stations? A PC will run all of the software you want it to and it's all very clear and intuitive. With a Mac, the programs all have these cutesy artsy designerly names like "toast" & "fetch" that have nothing to do with the programs functionality. Besides, do you really want to deal with the attitude of Mac people? Just because you paid more for less, does not make you superior... I don't care if it's white or titanium...
When it comes to getting work done, go with a PC. If you want to surf the net, share pictures and d*(k around, go with a Mac. On that note, there is one place Macs shine and that is presentations. Plug it in to any projector and it will work. No driver installs, no reboots. It just works. Macs are the way to go for travel and presentations.
I could see vectorworks being a really solid drafting tool. The only exposure I've had to it though was with a landscape design office that didn't appear to know anything about their computers or software. There were at least 100 layers (line types) people had created in vectorworks. It was totally FUBAR. I'd already been through that once on AutoCAD PCs. I decided it wasn't worth driving myself any crazier over and politely declined their offer. I could see setting up ten line types and having a really clean drafting system. Unlike AutoCAD you can actually see what it will look like on paper as you draw it. It's much more like traditional drafting...
Thomas, take a look at Briscad, 1/5 the cost of Autocad and it uses the same commands. You can go to the web site and download a 30 day trial version. If you do, let me know what you think.
Thank you for the lead Henry. At $570 it looks like a promising alternative to AutoCAD. I'll have to give it a shot.
One thing that caught my attention and raised concerns is that there are a lot of 3rd party add-ons available. I don't know yet whether that is due to a lack of basic functionality in Bricsys or whether they are just very industry specific plug-ins. If plug-ins are needed to get good functionality, they could add up quickly. Would still probably come in under AutoCAD though...
Here are a few interesting ones that look like real time savers:
Actually the BricsCAD/LandFX/Sketchup Pro solution is a pretty strong solution! I am a orphaned customer of Eaglepoint's SMI/BricsCAD/LandCADD software. (Within 6 months Eaglepoint announced to all of the customers they sold SMI and BricsCAD/LandCADD to that they would no longer support those options anymore. "I just needed to dash right out and buy a copy of Carlson's SurvCE AND a copy of AutoCAD (preferrably Civil3d) and everything would be hunky dory! Hah! I don't know what they are smok'in out there but it must be some good stuff! I told those sdfkjlsdflksdjf jerks that if I had to buy all new software I would just switch to LandFX ( and keep using BricsCAD) I am still going to have to buy SurvCE (and Carlson Desktop) -that's 3K right there, Add LandFX, and SketchUP Pro and add another 2.5K! But at least I will be shed of those turkeys for good! Divorce is HELL! Any company that treats their legacy customers like that (I had their software maybe 4 years)... buyer beware!
I agree with Thomas, mac is just big headache
Macs have many advantages for us, the first that comes to mind is its speed with graphic management. A plan redraws faster so if you make a change and go to pan to another place in your drawing, the Mac makes it feel more instantaneous while the PC might have a longer regen first. Also, the Macs are less susceptible to virus issues. Many of the mainstream office tools have a Mac version (such as Office for Mac), so the switch may be easier than you'd expect...the price might be the first noticible hurdle...but well worth the jump. You may also consider Vectorworks, which has always been a Mac based CAD program, and has worked on the PC for many years as well. It imports and exports DWG files to support your collaboration with other AutoCAD users.
I would follow what the market says. I use AutoCAD for PC at work and will be getting it for my MAC at home. Working on architectural and landscape projects and the numerous consultants that I coordinate drawings with (landscape/structural/civil/mechanical) I'd say the industry right now at least 95% AutoCAD. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to work with great designers and firms and had to turn them down because they were not on an AutoCAD platform. We have tried the DWG conversion with other platforms in the past and wasted too much time and effort to be profitable and to stay on schedule. Cost of the programs is a big determinant, but in the end, you should be thinking about what is the industry standard 5 to 10 years out to stay ahead of the curve. Of course, if one has a small studio and a specific client market with no need to work on multidisciplinary teams, then it really doesn't matter what program you choose.
I really think it depends on what the goals are, whats wrong with your current setup and the willingness of the people affected to make the change. Having used both my prefence if the Mac, and thats what I use at home (which until I get a realy job is where all my work is being done).
I especially like it for any of the Adobe suite. I guess I'd say it seems more nimble. Also now that AutoCad has been released for Mac the concern over Autocad vs other cad software is probably moot. I can't say I've tried it yet though so don't take this as a flat out endorsement of it. I do most of my linework with Rhino.
Getting back to my original point though I'd say a little more info on your company and why their making the switch would allow me to offer more useful advice. I consider myself a Mac guy, but I don't think they're really necessary and I'm pretty sure the standard is still PC, even most design fields.
Even cooler than AutoCAD for Mac, "the company also plans to offer a free lightweight AutoCAD WS applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPad that will enable users to view and edit AutoCAD files."
That would be pretty sweet... wonder if they're going to develop a free app for the droid market...
The office in which we may be making the switch is small- only 2-3 designers working on the machines. That being said, we aren't too concerned about problems arising from the transition.
My concern lies in problems with a first version software on a specific operating system...it seems to me (at least on a PC) that this rarely works well without at least a few glitches. I'm curious if anyone has experienced any technical problems.
The ongoing battle between PC and Mac users in regards to culture/image/etc is ridiculous...I just want to make sure that we don't get hung up on issues like file incompatibility and end up spending more time putting out fires than solving worthwhile problems.
Your concerns are very valid! And there may be some hidden concerns you may not have considered, First, This is not the first time that Autodesk has ventured into the Mac world, The last time they did that they stuck a lot of users who chose the Macintosh/AutoCAD platform over the PC platform. All of those users were forced to ditch the Mac's and buy all new PC hardware and software. This has already happened once. Would you care to bet your company's solvency on these two Vendors knowing their past history? Second, If you are paying attention at what is going on right now with AutoDesk, They are aggressively pushing Revit and Civil3D. You can read discussions here on the Lounge where whole firms have switched to Revit. There is no Mac versions of either of these platforms. What happens if suddenly you are required to interface with a firm on Revit or Civil3D, are you going to go buy a PC and outfit it with that software so you can do the work? 3rd, there are thousands of productivity software add-on's written for AutoCAD on the PC. By choosing Mac those packages are just a few so you are left to figure out your own options to problems not easily solvable by AutoCAD alone. 4th on a new platform (i.e. AutoCAD for Mac) you never want to be a first adopter, let the large engineering firms with fat IT budgets be first adopters of the Mac platform, If in 5 years the platform catches on fire; Then make the jump-when things are more certain. (by then this Revit, Civil3D push by Autodesk will either be the new standard or it will be a flop.) If it is the new standard then, and if they have versions for the Mac and you want to make the move go for it. Not NOW though, there is to much uncertainty and to little business to be had to be stepping out on a limb! I am very aware of the Mac appeal (and it's capabilities), I made my living selling Macs & PC's (and AutoCAD) to corporate America and Computer Graphics departments across this nation for 10 years. If you make this decision to move to the Mac now you will find yourself on the bleeding edge, (they don't call it the bleeding edge for nothing) Buyer beware! Best wishes regardless of which direction you choose!