Swiss-based progeSOFT SA makes an AutoCAD competitor CAD system that many in the AutoCAD world are aware of. Known as progeCAD, the company claims more than 250,000 customers, working across industrial sectors in construction, scientific, chemicals, transportation and education, among others.
While progeSOFT SA makes progeCAD and progeCAD Architecture for the Windows environment, the company makes a lesser known version for Apple’s macOS platform known as iCADMac. The latest version was updated in December to version 2018.
progeCAD’s iCADMac 2018
Known as a complete and professional 2D/3D DWG-based CAD system, iCADMac 2018 reads and writes AutoCAD files up to version 2018. For veteran AutoCAD users the company touts it is easy to use due to its familiarity, but without the licensing imposition of subscription licensing.
iCADMac 2018 features native support for Apple’s macOS El Capitan and High Sierra operating systems and the user interface has been optimized to make working easier. Enhanced menus save mouse clicks via a more complete, contextual menus system.
In iCADMac 2018, the user has two user interfaces to choose from. They can choose either the classic “light grey” theme or the new “dark 2018” theme, which is ideal, says the company, for high-resolution 4K displays on Apple’s computers, thanks to the vector-based icons in the macOS menu architecture.
Other New Items in iCADMac 2018
Besides the new features stated above, new tools include, importantly, a new AutoComplete feature to speed up typing commands and system variables. SuperHatch creates an area hatch using an image, a block, an external reference, or a wipeout.
There are new features for handling hatches and gradients. Trimmed hatches remain associative and behave as a single entity. Print dialogs are also much improved with an all-new redesigned dialog box. New Auto-Hide palettes collapse palettes automatically whenever you move the pointer away from the palette. Palettes auto-expand when you move your pointer back towards them.
These are just some of the new features. You can read the complete list here.
Availability and Cost
iCADMac 2018 ships with a perpetual license for $999.USD. Support is additional and a USB-based dongle license adds $200.USD. To learn more visit them here: http://www.progesoft.com/en
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
progeSOFT claims companies like Boeing, Honda, and NASA among its ranks, and being Swiss-based it counts many European companies as customers. We have never written about this company before outside of a mention around the IntelliCAD Technology Consortium (ITC). The ITC itself was founded in 1999, the same year both Architosh and TenLinks happen to have been founded.
This DWG native CAD tool is different than those powered by the ARES engine by Germany’s Graebert. It uses the IntelliCAD engine, which itself is based on the Teigha libraries from the Open Design Alliance. Those libraries are also at the heart of ARES and BricsCAD, another major DWG alternative CAD solution. In some sense, all these companies share common tech. A few more key observations:
- iCADMac 2018 appears to be centered on a generalist CAD direction on the macOS platform. This is in contrast to the Windows version, progeCAD which comes in two versions, one called progeCAD Architecture.
- The company does not state it has any distinct macOS features being carried over into this CAD solution, such as support for Apple’s Touch Bar or any specific macOS UI/UX features. This is in contrast to Autodesk which has aggressively embraced unique Mac UX features.
- Unlike Graebert’s ARES solutions and OEM partners’ solutions, there is no dedicated mobile solution associated with iCADMac 2018. Nor is there a cloud-based solution, such as what Graebert has done with ARES Kudo. Perhaps these items will emerge in the future.