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Solidworks for Mac?

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blockmanjohn

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Hi,

I have been interested in learning something about 3-d modeling. The software is expensive but I was able to buy Solidworks 2019/2020, student edition for $20.00 as a veteran.

Not being very computer savvy I didn't realize it will not work with Mac OS. Do I have any options other than buying a PC? If that is the only way out, could some one suggest the most inexpensive PC I would need?

Thanks, John
 

Cogsy

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You can run Solidworks on a Mac but you would need a virtual Windows environment to do so. I've heard these can be fiddly to set up and I've also heard Macs don't run Solidworks very effectively (something about graphics cards incompatibilities). So you'd be better off getting yourself a PC. The Solidworks site should have a spec for what machine you'll need but I would always go at least a bit above the 'minimum' recommended requirements.
 

blockmanjohn

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I checked out the onshape website, and it looks like $1,500 for the basic version. I may be wrong, but I should be able to buy the hardware for Solidworks for that price.

Thanks for the reply, John.
 

kvom

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My PC is 3-4 years old, and they get faster all the time. My "Windows experience number" is 7.4 and SW runs just fine. If you go to a store to look at PCs, you can pull this number up on a demo machine.
 

blockmanjohn

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kvom,

I'm not sure what you mean by "Windows experience number" is 7.4. Could you please explain that?

Thanks, John.
 

abby

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As a fellow Imac user I can recommend 2D/3D ViaCad from Punch software , I started using this back in the day when Mac 3D cad was like rocking horse sh*t.
Much cheaper than a new PC or buying solidworks , it will do everything you are likely to want and more.
It is very easy to use and you will be getting results very quickly , there are online tutorials and if you are stuck you can call me on skype.
Dan.
 

johnnyo

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Check out "Draftsight" its a free download product from Solidwoks. I run it on both my pc and MacBook Pro. A tutorial is also available on their site. Very Similar to AutoCad Lt, so much so they were forced to offer it free as part of law suit settlement. : )
 

lemelman

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Try Fusion 360, which would be free for you, similar in capability to SolidWorks, and works on a Mac.
 

rmd55

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John,
the "Windows experience number" is a single number that compares how fast a machine is. It also take into account how well hardware is integrated. It is good for shopping, the sales person can show you how to get the number. They like to show off how fast the machines are.
Richard
 

kquiggle

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OnShape does offer a free version. Some time ago I put together an overview of free CAD software, with the idea of eventually picking a version to learn; here's a link to my findings:


Recently I decided to finally start learning 3D CAD, and picked OnShape for these reasons:
  • It's free (caveat: you have to make all your free work public; but I always do this anyway)
  • OnShape has online tutorials (these are pretty good; I have been using them and I have learned a lot)
  • It's browser based, so it works on my choice of Operating System (look here for hardware requirements)
  • There is a path to generate files for 3D printing (which I want to do someday)
At the above overview link, I also added a brief write-up on my early experiences with OnShape. At this time I have invested somewhere around 30 - 40 hours in learning and using OnShape. Of course I am still far from being a 3D CAD expert, but I am still able to generate fairly complex shapes and drawings even with my fairly minimal investment in time.

An example of the a drawing I was able to produce is this float lock vise (if you follow mrpete222 on youtube, this is a recent project of his). A bit off topic, but you can find links to the mrpete videos and my upcoming build at the link below (I will also be publishing my drawings at that link).

 

Kevork BOYACIYAN

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Hi to all;
Solidworks is a windows based program so it only work with windows OS. Also you can use excel based datas to create similar multiple parts. It is also possible to run windows OS on mac, I did it once. At the beginning you must choose OS, then your mac run like a PC and so solidworks run properly. Macs are so stabil computers. By the way if your mac is older then prefer older version of solidworks. My advise is use similar period mac (or PC) and software.
When you confused, it is possible to find helpful examples and videos, with every language about Solidworks all around the world. But I'm not sure for other free softwares.
I hope that helpful myself.
 

TSutrina

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I started with the free version of Granite. At work started with 2 D and switched to 3 D. Unigraphics, Pro E, Solid Works. For home I tried to find a free drawing package. As I said I started with Pro E's Granite and then Creo. Tried Iron, and On Shape. Others that I can not remember.

The problem is that I want to be able to file and open the model in Step and or Iges, which are standards. STL is a common output that is standard but produces very poor models in other 3 D packages. This need takes out most of the programs including the low cost software

Many of these programs limit the number of parts or require that the model be made public.

I have settled on freeCAD that is open source and free. Works on windows 7 and above, Mac, and Lenox. Has no model size limit and files or ouput in far more then the two I require. It is capable but does have limits in every bench. And has expanded into Finite Element. Has architecture and boat building benches. The weakest bench in my eyes are technical drawings and building models out of surfaces.

FreeCAD is always growing and has a surprising wide birth of things it can do. Many benchs are not polished. However it is surprising the problems that have to be worked around even the top end programs like Pro E and Unigraphic. I used to build commercial models spending thousands of hours and building dozens of assemblies. I was part of a group of people doing the same thing where we teach each other how to get around the problems in these programs.

FreeCAD has more problems then these commercial produces. But I have found work around for many problems. Not any different then the commercial programs. Like the big boys to fix problem you often have to start the model building all over again. Free is a big motivator to deal with the problems.
 

clockworkcheval

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Fully agree with Cogsy. My son is a professional user of Solid Works. He got me an 'old student person' copy and installed it on my Mac on a separate Windows environment. It works, but not really fast. He recommends me now to purchase a special purpose refurbished PC. He mentions the following rough requirements: video card minimum 2GB, memory 32 GB, storage minimum 0,5 - 1 TB. SSD storage is preferable over a hard disc.
 

lemelman

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I'm rather surprised that I'm the only person to recommend Fusion. There are very few things, if any, that SolidWorks can do that Fusion can't, plus it has the very same CAM processor built-in that costs extra in SolidWorks. It is fully parametric, as is SolidWorks, and its free. It runs just fine on my system with 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 705 graphics, and i5 3.20 GHz processor. Plus, it runs natively on a MAC. What is there not to like?
 

petertha

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As a SW user I would agree with the Fusion rec from what little I've seen of it. Also CAM capability comes with Fusion it if that's of interest, which SW does not. If I were starting my journey, knowing what I know about 3D Cad, parametric design etc. it would be hard not to justify Fusion for the price. Whether that means its free or modest hobby/small business level subscription price I haven't kept track of. But its certainly not 4-5K + annual subscription fees like SW. I cant comment on how robust it is, or how well it handles larger assemblies, or the cloud based pros & cons ... there are lots of opinions out there in Internetland. Maybe someone can comment but I think the way it mitigates OS is because it is cloud based? What I wonder out loud is a few years from now the rug gets pulled and the 'free' software becomes 'fee' software overnight & you are somewhat pooched. I ope it never happens & have no basis to assume this will ever happen, but things do change for reasons we cant control. Just say the word Photobucket & that should start some cuss words. Almost everything Adobe is subscription based. Microsoft, same direction.

OTOH if he can get SW for $20, that is pretty hard to pass up. Now whether its for a year or forever, he didn't say. If its a short fuse teaser deal, may as well invest the time once & go straight to the program you ultimately intend to use. In terms of PC hardware, I echo what others have said. You can do relatively simple parts & assemblies with small processor + RAM + video card. Once they start getting more complex, you need more horsepower regardless of the Cad software.

Another important aspect to consider is learning resources. If you can find your CAD software well represented on e-learning web sites (ideally low cost or free) that will dramatically expedite your proficiency & make it a positive experience. If you are confined to a sparse vendor forum & or the odd YouTube video or a text book, the opposite is true.
 

kvom

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The SW $20 deal is per year, and you get a new version each year. For individual parts and assemblies you don't need a particularly fast CPU, but if you want complex assemblies to move that's where the CPU gets used.
 

jquevedo

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After many years if using Solid Works, older license, runs in XP. I have made engine models, transferred them to MAstercam and then into my CNC mill with very good success, 2 D and 3D machining and runs quite nice.
Tried to use Fusion and found that it still lacks some of the most basic functions that make PART modeling simple and it is quite frustrating to find where the functions and controls to modify features are, while in SW they are quite intuitive.
And one of the biggest no-go for me is I like my files in my hard disk and I like to have control of my designs & data.
I would pay the hobby license if SW had one, but if you are a Teacher, student or Veteran, take advantage of the great price and enjoy.
 

Chris Parsons

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I am also an Autodesk Fusion 360 'convert' - even with the 'hobby' version (which is free) there isn't much it can't do, the only negative thing is there is a bit
of a learning curve (as there is with most software of this type) but well worth the effort

I have even been using it to generate STL files to put on my 3D printer for prototyping - for some time

Excellent piece of software

Chris
 
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