This is a fairly long-standing issue we come up against on the Innova Systems technical support desk, and also while talking to prospective customers about SOLIDWORKS. The simple answer is that SOLIDWORKS do not develop an Apple Mac version of the software, so we can’t install SOLIDWORKS natively.
We used to recommend the Bootcamp route, which involves installation of Bootcamp and then Microsoft Windows on the partition Bootcamp creates. The issue here is that if you need to access the Apple Mac Operating System (OS), you would need to shut down windows and boot up the Apple Mac OS, because they cannot be running simultaneously. This allows the full use of the hardware (RAM and graphics card) you have in your Apple Mac for Windows.
- Autodesk allows you to download a 30-day free trial of Inventor. All you need to do to get started is make an Autodesk account. The trial version is no different than the full version of Inventor, except that after 30 days the licence will expire and you won’t have access to the software anymore. Click DOWNLOAD INVENTOR FOR FREE.
- Installing App Inventor Setup on Mac OS X. To install the parts that run on your computer, download and run App Inventor Setup. This document tells you how to do that. Download the installer. Double-click AppInventorSetup.pkg to start the installer.
- Autodesk Inventor For Mac Crack. Assembly design: Assemblies that mimic the real world makes positioning and moving your design fast and predictable. Designing in context means you have all the right information to make design decisions. Flexible assembly structure ensures you can change your mind at any time.
- Though you can’t download and install directly, but there are some options will allow you to use it in Mac. Virtual Machine: You can create a virtual.
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The alternative solution that we used to steer people away from is Parallels, a virtual machine software that allows you to run another OS inside the Mac OS (inside a window). The reason for not recommending this is that you are sharing the resource of the machine with two operating systems, thus not necessarily having the required resource to run a demanding program like SOLIDWORKS.
There were also historic problems with not being able to use the graphics card properly which would result in exceptionally slow performance when selecting things. This is due to most Macs not having certified graphics cards for SOLIDWORKS and parallels using a virtual graphics card driver or the default Windows driver. The virtual or generic drivers don’t offer the level of performance needed to run SOLIDWORKS correctly.
Innova Systems Technical Director, Ed Hawkins, explains
We have now installed and configured this on over 20 users’ Apple Mac computers and I have to say the response from these people has been amazing.
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I have a mid 2014 MacBook Pro, which I’ve been using as a test bed. The specs are listed below:
You will note that this machine has Intel Iris Graphics (specific to the Mac) and not a certified graphics card for SOLIDWORKS.
So, I installed the latest version of Parallels (version 10) and a fresh copy of Windows 10 into the virtual environment and then set about making SOLIDWORKS work!
It’s pretty easy to get Windows installed, as Parallels guides you through that process very nicely. You can specify how much of the machine’s resource to give to the Windows OS – which is where a high spec Mac will stand you in better stead. It is always a good rule of thumb to assign half the available RAM to the Windows OS, so in my set up, I assigned 4GB of RAM.
The difficult bit is making the “Use Software OpenGL” button inside SOLIDWORKS become accessible. When you first install SOLIDWORKS, this button is ticked and greyed out, so we can’t turn it off. In our opinion, SOLIDWORKS is unusable at this point, as selecting geometry and navigating the software is too slow to be productive.
With a bit of effort, and some registry modifications, I was able to untick the OpenGL box, allowing us to use the graphics card to a much higher potential. The difference in performance was huge, and it allowed me to select and navigate the software much, much faster. One limitation that frustrated me early on was the lack of RealView Graphics (Accurate reflections and appearances), so I set about solving this problem too. I’m happy to report that RealView works perfectly on a properly specced Mac Book Pro!
Of course, this isn’t necessarily a new solution – Parallels has been around for some time, and installing Windows on a Mac for as long. The difference with our solution is that we can make SOLIDWORKS behave as well as a normal windows PC. No more slow selecting or poor rotational speed.
Above is a screenshot of the working set up, albeit in Window mode, not full screen. I have this running at a resolution of 2560 x 1600 in full screen mode and it is functioning very well. Please note: the specification of my Mac, and the resource I can assign to Windows is far from ideal. It would be recommended for people who are creating fairly simple parts with up to 100 features, and assemblies containing up to 500 components. Any more than that, and I think it would struggle.
In summary, the Parallels solution is now recommended by Innova Systems. We are confident of this working well in a production environment, but the spec of the Mac is key to the success. Along with our modifications to the registry in Windows, of course.
Video: See SOLIDWORKS running on Apple Mac
Video: How to run SOLIDWORKS on Apple Mac Computers
Get in touch with us to find out more
Are you based in the UK and interested in running SOLIDWORKS on your Apple Mac? We can demonstrate our configuration to you via a Team Viewer session, or if you prefer and are interested in purchasing SOLIDWORKS we can come out and show you live with some of your data.
Call us on (01223) 200690 or complete this form to organise a consultation
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been updated to feature new information on our process.
Kate is learning AutoDesk Inventor in an online class at school. The other day, she had to stay late because there’s only one computer at school that can run AutoDesk. Earlier in the month, I had installed Windows 10 on my MacBook Pro using Virtualbox. Given that AutoDesk is a processor intensive program, I didn’t feel this would be the best approach.
Goal – High performance AutoDesk Inventor experience on Mac without consuming Mac hard drive space
I don’t want Windows on my Mac. Instead, I wanted to install Windows on an SD Drive. At Best Buy, I bought a 250GB Sandisk SSD drive with a USB 3.1 connection.
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And then I decided to follow this YouTube Video. and 9to5 Mac article.
A caveat about the process used in this video is that free utility, WintoUSB, to install the windows on the USB drive actually does cost about $30 if you are using it with Windows 10.
Problem 1 – USB drive wouldn’t connect to the VMware Fusion or Virtualbox. I solved the issue by installing Window on Parallels, which didn’t have the same issues. Other people had the same problem. And plenty of people had recommendations that didn’t work. I googled solutions for this problem and worked at it for hours before buying Parallels for $50. I knew Parallels would work because it opened the USB drive on another computer with no problems.
Problem 2 – Once Windows was installed in Bootcamp, you have to have a usb keyboard and mouse to operate anything. I did have a keyboard and mouse, so it wasn’t a big issue.
Problem 3 – I needed to load the Bootcamp software into Windows via a USB thumb drive. That wasn’t a big issue, but it wasn’t exactly how the video demonstration went.
Approximate costs – $300
- Hard drive $80
- Parallels $50
- WintoUSB $30
- Windows $140
Does AutoDesk Run well?
As far as I know, it seems very fast. I haven’t used it with a large file. Kate can now run AutoDesk Inventor natively on a quad core Mac with ample RAM and an extra dedicated 200GB of hard drive space. Since the system is contained on a hard drive, she can use it with another Mac if I’m using my laptop.
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I think the USB issue was with Mohave security preferences. I could have saved $50 on a virtual machine either way, and all of the VM’s did work well. Now Kate can do her homework at home. She may not care about this, but I had fun.