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DWG Viewr for macOS

agroni
Booster

Hi everyone,

I have a question related not to Archicad, but a general workflow for architects on macOS. I am sadly struggling with this topic for some time now and still not found a solution. I know this question has been asked in 2004, but not definitive solutions were mentioned, and some time has also passed 🙂

May I ask all Mac users, which DWG viewer do you use? 

It is a rather simple answer for all Windows users, but in the mac world it is rather very complicated. I have tested numerous softwares such as EZDrawings, QCad, Vcad, LibreCAD but none fulfilled the criteria. They are either lagging (slow) or the UI is not intuitive. On the other hand, I have also tried the online DWG Viewer from Autodesk. It works very good, but we don't want to use it because of GDPR and other law related aspects.

For any useful information, I would be very thankful.

cheers

 

The BIMster @ AllesWirdGut
Currently: Archicad 26
User since Archicad 6.5 (2001)
16 REPLIES 16

[Edit]: I just read you tried the viewer before. I'm not sure I understand why there is a problem?

You have two options. They work best inside of Chrome, but I believe work in Safari.

1) You can use the free "Viewer"
https://viewer.autodesk.com

2) Or actually run AutoCAD
https://web.autocad.com

 

Both of these are web apps. Both require an Autodesk account I believe. They viewer is free, but the web app (where you can actually do AutoCAD tweaks) requires a subscription. I paid $100/yr. I believe. The Viewer actually lets you view and navigate around Revit files.

Anyway, they work GREAT! If you still don't want to use the web viewer, you can simply install AutoCAD for Mac. I believe there is a light version and subscription model.

Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA - www.rexmaximilian.com
ArchiCAD 27 (user since 3.4, 1991)
16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU
Apple Vision Pro w/ BIMx
Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System
schagemann
Enthusiast

We have been using the following - with varying success, but at least they are all free...

 

eDrawings > https://apps.apple.com/GB/app/edrawings/id1209754386?mt=12

DWGSee > https://www.autodwg.com/download/dwgseemac.dmg

 

... hope you like one of them.

macinteract
Design Technology Managers.
All  on macOS | since AC 6

Archicad Framework > Smart Template 27
Smart Tree, Transmittal and Universal Label and other smart GDL Objects
By Architects for Architects.
agroni
Booster

@Rex Maximilian 

The problem with the Autodesk Viewer has to do with GDPR, respectively uploading data to US servers. If we can, we try to avoid US products because of non-existing privacy shield policy between the USA and EU. Autodesk states, that data is going to be available for 30 dates after upload. Hmmmmmmm...

 

@schagemann 

I have installed DWGSee, but don't seem to be able to open it. My macbook (M2) is getting an error immediately upon opening. I assume, you don't have this problem.

eDrawings on the other hand is super slow. Zooming In and Out a DWG Drawing takes ages and cannot be zoomed properly. The same goes for panning and other options. Which Mac do you use? Ist is also a M2?

The BIMster @ AllesWirdGut
Currently: Archicad 26
User since Archicad 6.5 (2001)
vlahtinen
Booster

Fast CAD Reader is quite fast, but with limited functionality and doesn’t always open files correctly: https://apps.apple.com/fi/app/fast-cad-reader/id1484905765

 

CorelCAD is slow especially with Apple Silicon, but similar to AutoCAD. Saving is disabled in the free version. https://apps.apple.com/fi/app/corelcad/id531739324

DGSketcher
Legend

I may be missing the point, but have you simply tried drag & dropping a DWG into an AC worksheet. It may not be genuine Autobad, but it seems to present the files probably as good as any other clone.

 

It depends what you want to achieve?

Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)

I rarely use a viewer, but use eDrawings when I do. Mainly, I use it to check my occasional AC DWG exports, view a problematic DWG prior to import, or quickly look at a DWG to see if it contains the content I need. I don’t notice a speed problem; seems quite fluid in my experience, but then again I am not using it in high volume sessions. 

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” - Abraham Lincoln

AC27 USA on 16” 2019 MBP (2.4GHz i9 8-Core, 32GB DDR4, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8G GDDR5, 500GB SSD, T3s, Trackpad use) running Sonoma OS + extended w/ (2) 32" ASUS ProArt PAU32C (4K) Monitors

Dropping DWG file in a worksheet goes through the Archicad translator, where changes might be applied to the graphics of the drawing. 

In addition, you don't get the same representation of the DWG Element in Archicad as in a DWG Software, for ex. a white line in Autocad is a black line in Archicad. Therefore, evaluating DWGs in Archicad is difficult, if the drawing is going to be presented properly in other DWG Tools.

The BIMster @ AllesWirdGut
Currently: Archicad 26
User since Archicad 6.5 (2001)

If you truly want to authenticate the quality of your DWGs then based on all the comments above you only have one solution in macOS and that is to take on an Autocad LT subscription. I am still managing to run ACLT 2018 on a perpetual licence but I'm sure it will become unsupported soon, but I also don't rely on it anymore. When sending DWGs to collaborate they are exported from Views, not Layouts and a copy of the Layout is issued as a priority document. I don't have any problems importing DWGs apart from poor layer management on the part of the sender...

 

I used to worry about my exports, but now I generally take the view I am doing the recipient a big favour, saving them hours of drawing time; if they don't appreciate the DWG, they don't have to use it. I am certainly not going to spend hours cleaning up a DWG for the benefit of someone else when I am on a fixed fee.

 

Maybe your obligations are different for approvals, BIM compliance etc, but that is my position.

Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)

… which is why I use the eDrawing tool.  It’s free, and works adequately enough to view incoming and AC exports.  If you want to really improve productivity, I suggest challenging the use of DWGs going forward (maybe with a special processing fee?). For several years now, I’ve only needed to exchange PLAs and RVTs for editable team use, and PDFs and BIMx for clients use. 

 

I understand there may be old legacy contract T&Cs, but it’s time to challenge these or receive compensation for the difference.  Having been on the ‘client side’ myself, many requirements are merely inertial, and when challenged, are often dropped when educated on the efficacy of newer deliverables.

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” - Abraham Lincoln

AC27 USA on 16” 2019 MBP (2.4GHz i9 8-Core, 32GB DDR4, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8G GDDR5, 500GB SSD, T3s, Trackpad use) running Sonoma OS + extended w/ (2) 32" ASUS ProArt PAU32C (4K) Monitors

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