Platform: Mac OS, Windows 95 / 98 / NT
Brand-new, full fledged, computer-aided design (CAD) applications for the Mac don't come down the pike every day, despite the Mac's obvious superiority as a design tool. (Well, obvious to everyone but the legions of bent-backed drafting serfs and their whip-cracking managers laboring in DOS-based, AutoCAD-only shops.) So Deneba, whose Canvas illustration program has always sported the most CAD-like precision of the major drawing apps, deserves a gold-plated pocket protector for daring to release DenebaCAD, a 2D/3D CAD package aimed mainly at architects and interior/exterior designers.
Not that there aren't other excellent drafting programs out there for the Mac. DenebaCAD's chief competition, Diehl Graphsoft's market-leading MiniCAD 7, also lists for $795, and it is a mature, polished product with a deep feature set. But DenebaCAD has its strengths too: It offers a wide range of tightly integrated built-in capabilities, including simple 2D drafting, complex 3D modeling, and materials tracking and cost-analysis, within a smooth interface that technically oriented designers will master easily.
The program's single best feature is the well-thought-out 3D Render module. It produces close-to-photorealistic renderings, flythrough QuickTime animations, QuickTime VRs, and anaglyphic stereo images. If you've struggled with the clunky, ugly 3D in most other low-to-mid-range CAD programs, you'll appreciate the ease with which DenebaCAD produces quite handsome images, complete with textures, natural and artificial lighting, shadows, reflections, and transparency. Rendering is reasonably fast, especially if you've got a 604e-based Mac...
AutoCAD LT 2002
Platform: Windows 98 / NT / 2000 / Me Media: CD-ROM
AutoDesk Voloview R2 WW Full System
Platform: Windows 2000 / 98 / NT Media: CD-ROM
QuickCAD 8 for Windows
Platform: Windows 95 / 98 / NT / 2000 / Me
Platform: Windows 95 / 98 / NT
QuickCAD Millennium 7.0
Platform: Windows 95 / 98 / NT Media: CD-ROM
Platform: Mac OS, Windows 95 / 98 / NT Media: CD-ROM
Mathcad 2001 Premium
Platform: Windows 95 / 98 / NT / 2000
Mathcad 2001 Professional
Platform: Windows 95 / 98 / NT / 2000 Media: CD-ROM
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