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Collaboration with other software
About model and data exchange with 3rd party solutions: Revit, Solibri, dRofus, Bluebeam, structural analysis solutions, and IFC, BCF and DXF/DWG-based exchange, etc.

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
agroni
Booster

Personally, I hate DWGs. The way that how they are delivered to the client, without any specification and structure of the file, makes no sense at delivering them at all. If the client does not know which layers, colors, etc. he needs for further usage of the data, then why bother delivering it in the first place. 

Just for coordination and presentations, in my opinion, the PDF is a more suitable format. 

Off course, the best case is delivering IFC documentation, which makes also the DWG obsolete.

 

Thanks anyway to all of you for your valuable input. I will try to make a meaningful conclusion out of this. 

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

Well, no lover of DWG files either. However, there's no need to provide a layer and color guide for use of the files. I have a custom translator for my specific ArchiCAD templates' layer name conversion and color/BYLAYER control in an AutoCAD seed file. Also, I export a single DWG Xref file for every placed drawing so there are no layers that aren't meant to be turned on. It works very well. if you have to work with DWGs, a necessary evil, then setting up a custom translator and saving out individual files for placed views help ease the pain.

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

Yes DWGSee is quite old and not sure if still being updated. 

How big is your DWG?


On another note and despite still common industry expectations & contractual obligations, I agree with the others that DWGs are almost obsolete... and when published from paper space pretty useless for the following reasons:

A. DWG's from model space are much more useful / convenient than from paperspace, as they may include correct orientation, no Titleblock, no partial display, etc.

B. DWG's may contain custom fonts, which do not play nice with some operating systems;

C. even Archicad struggles with importing its own DWG's;

As a result we hardly issue a DWG without accompanying PDF, as with the latter we can be sure that the recipient sees what we see.
Although controversial, one could even argue that a DWG (possibly even all other export formats except PDF... ;0) should always be an uncontrolled drawing, i.e. for information / convenience only.

 

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts...

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.
schagemann
Enthusiast

Totally forgot to mention ARES Kudo.... https://www.graebert.com/cad-software/ares-kudo/

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.

Our DWGs can range from 100Kb up to 20Mb per file. The big ones make the most troubles while opening them. These are the DWGs that we produce from Archicad. All the receiving DWGs from consultants are not bigger than 5-10Mb.

I agree with your strategy, that you always deliver PDFs when sending DWGs. We also do this practice, because as you mentioned, the DWG cannot guarantee the correct graphical representation. Simply said, DWG is real nonsense, and personally can't wait until this format vanishes from our contracts and daily doing 

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

Only a suggestion, but I think the biggest inflator of DWG collaboration files are hatch patterns. See what happens if you omit them and consider if applying a GO to simplify the hatches for export might help. 

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

we have decided to use QCAD.

It delivered the best results in the test. It has all the options as Autodesk Viewer and even more. With small DWG files (up to 10Mb) and small drawing complexity, it is rather fast. By files with 20Mb and more and a lot of Information, it needs time to open.

The UI is also very simply like from the 90s, but that was not the main approval criteria 🙂

 

Thank you all for your valuable input. I hope it also helps other when choosing a DWG viewer for Mac.

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