Engineer users of Windows currently enjoy a vast choice of programs at their disposal. Almost all engineering software is allowed to be used in Windows PC and laptops. And then there’s the OS X, which limits itself to few powerful 3D design and analysis programs like Matlab, Labview, AutoCAD, Sketchup, Maya, and TinkerCAD. But how about Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, Parametric Creo, NX, ANSYS or NASTRAN?
There is a remedy for Mac users to this, and that is to install Windows to a second partition or hard drive. This can be done as early as 2006, but needs BootCamp installed and an Intel processor in the hood as prerequisites. It has enabled anyone with Apple hardware to install CAD software for design and analysis. But this is still a hassle for most.
There is no official word from Apple or from the developers of the software on why standalone engineering software packages for Macbook users aren’t available yet. Of course they won’t tell. But we can get a clue from pronouncements of Dassault Systemes and Autodesk that they are leaning towards cloud CAD development with their Solidworks and Inventor, respectively; which means that Mac and Windows users can altogether use the same CAD software, simplifying installation. That’s regardless of platform that software can be used.
A study conducted by OnShape also revealed the biggest complaints of their professional CAD designers, saying that the different versions of software, licensing fees and loss of data are their great issues. All these will be resolved under the cloud platform.
It’s still different if Mac users can use engineering software on their own without having to rely on the cloud or having to install Windows on another partition. We’re still not sure about the exclusivity Apple is fighting for, but we will have to wait until OS X users get the same software privileges as the Windows users