Mac fans hoping for a version of SolidWorks that runs on their favorite machines will have to wait indefinitely (read “SolidWorks: Exploring Mac OS But No Timetable For Delivery,” Feb 23, 2010), but a new 2D drafting and drawing product may satisfy those looking for an AutoCAD- or AutoCAD LT-lookalike for Mac soon.
Earlier this month, just in time for Macworld 2010, German developer Graebert released ARES, a new product based on Open Design Alliance‘s DWG-compatible technology. Though the software is currently available only for Windows, Mac and Linux versions are now in beta and expected to ship in the second quarter of this year.
With support for nearly 400 AutoCAD commands, popular programming languages, external tables, and block libraries, ARES offers AutoCAD users a familiar environment for 2D drawing. Spline tools let them create complex, editable objects. Customizable gradients and hatches, dimensioning tools, and DWG import/export features round out ARES.
ARES (named after the Greek god of war) comes in two editions: Standard ($495) and Commander ($995). Though it doesn’t offer the more advanced features found in AutoCAD (such as free-form modeling and direct link to 3D printing service providers), ARES could challenge AutoCAD’s dominance as an alternative that costs significantly less.
Along with Graebert’s ARES, IMSI/Design’s DoubleCAD XT and ZWSoft’s ZWCAD are also descending on the market long held by AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. For more, watch the video review of ARES (standard version) below.