Autodesk Announces Three Mac AutoCAD Products for Lion

| Product News

Autodesk announced Tuesday three new AutoCAD products for OS X Lion, AutoCAD 2012 for Mac, AutoCAD LT 2012 for Mac, and AutoCAD WS for Mac. The company noted that this is the first time that the LT and WS versions of the company’s dominant AutoCAD product family has been available for the Mac platform, and they are/will be available exclusively through the Mac App Store.

AutoCAD is effectively the industry standard for CAD—computer aided design—software. Autodesk abandoned the Mac in the mid 1990s, but returned last year with AutoCAD 2011 for Mac. The addition of an LT version for 2012 suggests the company is serious about capturing Mac market share, and the WS version, which is a free viewer for AutoCAD .dwg files, means that Mac users will be able to view those files without using third party workarounds.

“Bringing AutoCAD LT and AutoCAD WS to the Mac shows our continued commitment to making design more accessible for an ever-greater number of people to shape the world around them,” Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Business, said in a statement.

AutoCAD 2012 for Mac is set to ship on August 19th, just three days from now, with a retail price of US$3,995. AutoCAD WS will also ship on August 19th, and it’s free. It is not yet listed on the Mac App Store.

AutoCAD LT 2012 is priced at $899.99 an is available through the Mac App Store now.

AutoCAD LT 2012 for Mac Screenshot

AutoCAD LT 2012 for Mac Screenshot
(Click the image for a larger version)

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I’d like to request a recommendation from knowledgeable readers.  I just “sold” my in-laws on their first Mac (after getting the camel’s nose in the tent with an iPad for Mom), and Dad is looking for some software to make drawings of his woodworking and home-improvement projects.  The thing is, he’s a retired architect, so he’s used to using heavier tools than I know anything about.

He could certainly handle AutoCAD, but it would be vast overkill for the intended use (not to mention a good fraction of the cost of their iMac, even in the LT version).  I had suggested EazyDraw because it’s inexpensive ($30) and because I’ve used at least an old version of it, but after looking at their website he felt it would be a bit too basic for his intended use.  Just typing “CAD” in the search field of the App Store, I stumbled across MacDraft Pro ($350) and MacDraft PE ($100), which I’ve at least heard of.  Does anybody have recommendations, either in the App Store or downloadable from the developer’s website?  (Or boxed—how quaint.)


You have a number of options. Check out my write up of the different CAD applications available for the Mac at: CAD on a Mac, Part 2

I also wrote up a part one, which can also be found on my site.

Good luck!

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