Previous 1 2 3 Next 31 Replies Latest reply: Apr 22, 2008 9:03 PM by spholmes1 Go to original post
  • Pordi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My company runs Solidworks on MacPros 3GHz, 6gig ram, Leopard each with Quadro 4500s, until the machines got stolen last week. We work with HUGE assemblies and SW seems to cope fine, but hard to compare as we only have MACs. SW freezes allot but this could be due to the complexity of our models. We run Parallels build 5160, the later builds have problems with SW. We now have new MacPros and are waiting for the new Quardro 5600 cards and ram to arrive. Want to experiment with VMware and Bootcamp, we need to see if we can reduce the amount of restarts we have to perform.
  • Tom Fenn Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    I almost wet myself today, because last night I read somewhere that Solidworks had been ported to Mac OS X and it was going to be announced later this year (2008). Anyway, this afternoon a Solidworks rep phoned me to ask if everything was okay with their website (don'tcha just love 'em!), and the first thing I asked her (completely not answering her original question) was; "I hear Solidworks has been ported to Mac and will be released this year?", which she replied; "Yes!".

    This is the best news in ages. Apparently it will be officially announced at this year's Solidworks 2008 International Conference in Barcelona.

    I think this is going to be HUGE!!!!

    I said I almost wet myself didn't I?!?! =0) =0) =0)
  • hate VISTA but need it 4 CAD!! Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey YH!

    I have a MBP 1st gen that I use to run Architectural Desktop 2008 and 3dMax 9 for rendering on Vista Ultimate. Sorry, I don't use SW but thought that this info might be relevant. I've been running it without a hitch other than having complications with Vista itself which has recently been corrected. My advice would be to run Windows (any version) through Bootcamp which would make it native to the system. You would be benefitting from your Mac's config as it would utilize what you have more efficiently. My specs are as follows and I do run Leopard (phenomenal!):

    Model Name: MacBook Pro 15"
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro1,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.16 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 2 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 667 MHz
  • hate VISTA but need it 4 CAD!! Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey YH!

    I have a MBP 1st gen that I use to run Architectural Desktop 2008 and 3dMax 9 for rendering on Vista Ultimate. Sorry, I don't use SW but thought that this info might be relevant. I've been running it without a hitch other than having complications with Vista itself which has recently been corrected. My advice would be to run Windows (any version) through Bootcamp which would make it native to the system. You would be benefitting from your Mac's config as it would utilize what you have more efficiently. My specs are as follows and I do run Leopard (phenomenal!):

    Model Name: MacBook Pro 15"
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro1,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.16 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 2 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 667 MHz
  • Nicholas Brawne Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    This would be a trully wonderfull thing if it happened.

    I just did a quick search and could not find anything about this, are you sure the are not just bringing out a new version of eDrawings.
  • Tom Fenn Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    Hi Nicholas.

    Well I need to apologise, because Solidworks' Fielder Hiss (great name btw!) is now emphatically denying this- not that he said it was true in the first place.

    see here for more of the story;

    http://architosh.com/news/2008-03/a0308mac_solidworkscad.html

    About 1 week ago, Solidworks UK phoned me to ask me if everything was okay with logging on to their website, but because I had heard the night before this same news of this port on another discussion forum, I quickly demanded an answer from the rep if it was true that Solidworks was coming to Mac OS X. They, paused for a second and then answered 'yes'. In fact it was a secret and it wasn't going to be officially announced until later this year. The Solidworks rep actually sounded pretty excited about this news, and they said that the whole company were excited.

    I don't know what to think now, and I am slowly coming to conclusion that all this amounted to was a cynical attempt to get me to purchase Solidworks for Windows, in hope that one day a Mac version 'may arrive'. I hope I am wrong, but in the mean time I urge all those looking for a decent CAD solution for Mac to look at those companies who are already supporting our beloved platform. Don't forget that Siemens' (UGS) NX is supported on Mac OS X, so is ArchiCAD, Shark FX/ Concepts Unlimited (Ashlar Vellum), Vectorworks, RhinoCAD, Ribbonsoft, Cheetah3D (Mac OS X ONLY!) etc. etc. etc. These are just some of the developers who are already writing for OS X. Designers and engineers who use Mac OS X should rise up and support these developers- not Autodesk and the like. What do developers Autodesk & Solidworks really care? Have you tried Engsw's PowerCADD for example? It's infinitely better than AutoCAD, and so much easier to use!

    Anyway, enough of that for now.

    Happy designing, and together we can build a better future!
  • Nicholas Brawne Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Tom,
    Thanks for the reply, I think I signed the SolidWorks on OS X petition years ago, and have been following developments which is why I was skeptical. I have been using Concepts now Shark FX for years, but have become totally disillusioned with the developer after spending years beta testing, bug reporting, and requesting simple feature enhancements (like being able to use modifier keys for shortcuts) that never happen. The developer ignores interface enhancement requests, or says yes, but then does nothing, while introducing more buggy features that don't add to usability, and have not been requested by the users. Although pretty, Shark is really showing its age. The display engine is pathetic on the Mac version, and things like hidden line are so slow as to be useless. The only thing thing that keeps me using it is the simplicity, elegance and that I have a license.

    Occasionally I have to use SolidWorks, and am always impressed how things just work. (At least on the basic level I am at) Two things stop me from using it more: It only runs on a PC - That wouldn't be so bad if Windows was not so clunky, and the SolidWorks interface elements were not so ugly. The main thing is the modalness, constantly switching from sketch to part to assembly. I am in the process of trying to make the leap for the third or fourth time, and now that I am all intel based it may be a little easier as at least I don't have to have two machines on my desk.

    I have unsuccessfully looked for the fabled version of Unigraphics that runs on the Mac, and other then reading that a port was happening, I have yet to see a working copy. Do you have more information ? Unigraphics being a high end modeler, it's probably out of my price range anyway, but it would still be interesting to try and get some screen time with it.
  • Tom Fenn Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    I know what you are saying Nicholas. However you gotta give it to Tim (who is Shark FX's developer). He's been out on a limb for a while now. If you do a search on jobs using Ashlar Vellum or TurboCAD or Concepts, Tim has had a hand in developing all of these- hence all the interfaces all looking similar- you will find very little work associated with them. OTOH, do a search on Solidworks, and hundreds of jobs appear. CU/ ViaCAD et al, may be behind, but I believe that Punchsoftware should/ will now give these products the boost they so rightly deserve. And you can see this happening now, because at regular intervals, there is a new beta at the Punch forum. Shark of course has also had parametric constraints added- very useful indeed, especially to all those SW's users on Mac out there. Lastly I should also point out that Shark is one of the few Mac applications that supports ASIS SAT, IGES and STEP formats- as well as the all important DWG/DXF and STL files.

    As for Siemens/ UGS NX, the only way to get this is to phone a rep from Siemens- but be warned... the price tag is staggering (I promised not to print the price anywhere- but lets say that the same cost will also buy you 3x top-of-the-range 8-core Mac Pro's complete with 30" cinema displays!) , and there is no student version and no demo version (which makes me wonder how they ever get an app like this to be evaluated!!)

    Google SketchUp is good too, although is probably better suited to Architectural CAD. I have however heard of some people using it as an MCAD application, but there's no history tree (at least Shark has also got one of those, and I'll say it again, Shark is parametric).

    I guess however, that we are in a no-win situation unless of course SW's decides to port to OS X- and at the moment SW's have become as secretive as Apple have. However I can live with Windows XP for the moment- just to run SW's (which I have to, as I have no option- unless I fancy living out of a cardboard box!), but I'm far from happy about the current CAD on Mac situation, and not for one moment am I falling for this line about Macs costing too much money- because compared to MCAD software, the Mac is cheap. This I fear, has got to be a Microsoft thing. "Developers, developers, developers"- hmm where have I heard that before?!?

    If you do get hold of NX, please get back and give us a shout!
  • Kevin Quigley Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    full support as I'm not using a fully certified hardware set up. The same applies to Pro/E, Co-Create, and others. Frankly that is simply not an option.

    So in our office this year I was considering replacing our mixed network of Macs and PCs with just new Macs (to save machine numbers) but looking at the actual options as they are right now this is just not viable. Pound for pound the new 8 core Macs are good value compared to say a Dell or HP workstation - until you start to add graphics cards. I don't need the top end ones but I would like a mid range one that lets RealView run fully in 2008. Same for laptops. I've run Dell Precisions for many years now for SolidWorks and others and pound for pound the Dells are better value - for running SolidWorks. Faster hard drives, higher resolution screens, better graphics cards, better warranties, cheaper.

    If Apple offered a mid range Quadro card with a Mac Pro, and a certified card with a MacBook Pro I'd probably make the switch provided Apple submitted machines to SolidWorks for testing - and there's the rub! Would Apple ever offer a machine DESIGNED to be tested running Windows XP or Vista?

    I really wish they would.
  • Kevin Quigley Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    (Apologies - Safari bombed midway during my posting! This is the full version)

    I was considering replacing our mixed network of Macs and PCs with just new Macs (to save machine numbers) but looking at the actual options as they are right now this is just not viable. Pound for pound the new 8 core Macs are good value compared to say a Dell or HP workstation - until you start to add graphics cards. I don't need the top end ones but I would like a mid range one that lets RealView run fully in 2008. Same for laptops. I've run Dell Precisions for many years now for SolidWorks and others and pound for pound the Dells are better value - for running SolidWorks. Faster hard drives, higher resolution screens, better graphics cards, better warranties, cheaper.

    If Apple offered a mid range Quadro card with a Mac Pro, and a certified card with a MacBook Pro I'd probably make the switch provided Apple submitted machines to SolidWorks for testing - and there's the rub! Would Apple ever offer a machine DESIGNED to be tested running Windows XP or Vista?

    I really wish they would.

    BTW Tom that blockiness you see in assemblies is the OpenGL performance on your Mac. When the card cannot display the full detail it creates bounding box blocks for the components and displays them instead.

    Couple of other things....

    I don't see SolidWorks coming to MacOSX anytime soon. This topic has been bashed to death on the "official" SolidWorks customer forum over and over again. There is no way a sales person working for a UK VAR will have access to that kind of trade secret without it getting out into the open first. They were trying to sell you a seat! In order for SolidWorks to even consider porting to Mac OSX they would need all the components they use to be ported to Mac OSX - Parasolid kernel (NX is currently only PowerPC), D-Cubed constraints engine (all elements), DriveWorks Xpress (which is build on Visual Basic), various display technologies, translators, rendering engine for PhotoWorks, Cosmos Xpress and all the added value options in the higher end packages like Scan to 3D, Routing, Cosmos Designer - then you have compatibility with Gold level add ons.......

    More likely that a new start like SpaceClaim would move to Mac OSX than SolidWorks I think.

    Until one of the big boys makes a serious move to Mac OSX (in volume) the Mac will always remain a niche platform for CAD and the applications on it will always remain niche. I've used Mac CAD for 18 years now - starting with Microstation Mac in 1990, and Swivel 3D and ModelShop. Applications come, they go and they merge - all in a very small scale. The big MCAD companies are only interested in volume - Autodesk, PTC, Dassault, Siemens are the companies that need to make the move.

    Personally the only way I see this happening is if Apple forces the issue. Apple has billions in cash reserves right now. They need to use it.
  • Tom Fenn Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    Hello Kevin.

    To be honest, I kind of don't care for Solidworks any more. I've been using SW's for the last 3 years, and have grown to love it, HOWEVER, and yes I totally agree with you, because I feel that SW's have just tried to get me to buy a copy, and have lied to me in order to push a sale, it's left a really sour taste in my mouth.

    I don't know about you, but I LOVE Mac, I really don't care at all for MS Windows. What was MS's new CEO saying? "Developers, developers, developers"? Well I don't much care for Steve Ballmer either, but I do think he has a point. Once it was the Macintosh that people looked to before it was ported to Windows, but unfortunately in recent times its very much been the other way round- a terrible shame in my books.

    Have you emailed SpaceClaim about a port to OS X? I know it kind of flies against what I have just stated, but it, I reckon, is worth a shot. (I don't know if you noticed it, but the laptop standing in front of that male model on the SpaceClaim website product page- looks like a Macbook!!) The Czech company VariCAD look like another possible target for an OS X campaign- especially as a version already exists for Linux. I also emailed Alibre but they just thought that Mac was called Max! :lol:

    I've spoken to Siemens already, and NX6 is built for Intel UB, it just hasn't been released yet , but this makes sense because the company who make Shark FX claim that the latest build (and doesn't Shark FX use the parasolid kernel?), is fully compatible with Leopard and Intel UB?

    The 'blockyness' I get is always in VMware Fusion. I never get that in Bootcamp. But I'm sick of Bootcamp- I want real Cocoa applications made for Mac users, and no one else. I've never had any graphic problems in OS X.

    lastly, all those who use AutoCAD, or hope to run AutoCAD in Bootcamp or whatever, should look into Ribbonsoft's QCad. QCad is multiplatform and works in a very similar manner to AutoCAD LT, yet it costs about the same amount as a CD! (shameless plug I know, but QCad really is awesome 2D software IMHO).
  • tomsharres Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I hadn't thought to look in the Apple Support Forums for MCAD and CAM stuff, but I found this so I thought that I would add my two cents.

    I currently own Pro/e Wildfire 4.0, Solidworks 2008, GibbsCAM, VectorWorks 12.5 and I just upgraded to SharkFX from Concepts Unlimited.

    Of these, I would easily recommend Shark and SharkFX(higher level rendering) for modest MCAD use even though each lacks 3D Parametrics and true assembly functionality. Cost of purchase is very reasonable, each is easy to learn and easy to use, upgrades are quite fairly priced, and both run well on OSX as well as on Windows. Ashlar Cobalt might be as good, but Ashlar are still not quite to delivering Cobalt 8 supporting Universal Binaries, and cost is about what the entry level Solidworks package is.

    VectorWorks has most of the capabilities, but I find that it is too oriented towards Architecture to be an efficient MCAD application. and frankly I don't use it (I still own VectorWorks upgraded to 12.5, and used Ashlar Vellum 2000 for years, but abandoned it for Concepts Unlimited). The lower end ViaCAD products are quite good, as is TurboCAD Mac, but I find them missing many of the solids features that I would consider necessary.

    Regrettably, there are no CAM packages on the Mac, though there were two available back in the 90's. I currently have a Pentium PC that I run Pro/e, Solidworks and GibbsCAM, though I am looking for the Nehalem's in Mac Pro's and EFI in lieu of BIOS so that I can run Windows workstation cards, such as the recently announced FX 1700 and 3700. I also have simulation in Pro/e and Solidworks, and Nehalem should provide excellent performance.
  • Tom Fenn Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    even though each lacks 3D Parametrics


    Hi. I'm not too sure what you mean here, because afaik, the SharkFX range DO have parametrics!;

    http://news.thomasnet.com/companystory/808471



    Anyway, yes, I think this is very true about this product and I feel that Tim and the Punch crew are going to push very hard on SharkFX now. On the Punch forums, it also seems that the majority of SharkFX users are Mac owners too. I also read somewhere (Punch forum?) that Shark is due a GUI overhaul soon as well. All in all, very welcome news indeed.

    I should mention that PowerCadd 8 is due out soon too. Although PowerCadd is 2D, it (really) puts ACAD to shame (I can think of much stronger words here- but I won't say! ), and at the end of the day, despite all the 3D bells and whistles, the resulting drawings from Solidworks are after all, 2D!

    Combining PowerCadd 8 and Google SketchUp, will also be a powerful option for both architects and engineers alike.

    Just one more thing... freeware finite element analysis? Well it's built into Solidworks as Cosmos, but how about GMSH?? Do a google search on gmsh. Gmsh is a FEA solver built by a bunch of engineers from a university in France. Although the software is multiplatform, most of the screenshots are largely taken on Mac OS X, and boy, do they look good!!
  • tomsharres Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Shark is using D-Cube's 2D parametric engine for sketches (I spent a good part of yesterday playing with it)and it is difficult to create models with, as an example, a solid of revolution with cross holes that are also parametric. The problem is that you can't use parent features or surfaces to reference sketches but rather you have to reference a common origin and all of the dimensioning that goes with that.

    It is possible that I haven't figured this out. I haven't been able to stick a point onto the parent sketch using coincidence from, as an example, a sketch on a perpendicular to the parent sketch plane, but either way, Pro/e and Solidworks support parents as references for parametrics transparently.

    Another issue that I see is actually managing sketches.I have tried separate layers for the parametric sketch dimensions, but this is cumbersome.

    I suspect that we will see full parametrics at some point in the future, but this version isn't it, in my opinion, but its usefulness at present can't be argued.

    I would add that SharkFX generally interfaces well with the big guys, though some formats fail, so it's quite useful to push Shark models up for the assembly, mechanisms and engineering simulation Pro/e and Solidworks support, and back down to SharkFX for drawings and rendering.
  • tomsharres Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Wanted to add that Tim let out that they had purchased the whole LightWorks package last November, so that SharkFX would see global lighting, HDR, sketch rendering and such once he gets it worked into the package.