There are many 2D CAD programs available for the Mac platform, each with their own pros and cons and feature sets. I will not get into an in-depth full features review but instead will offer some basic insight and more importantly – pricing. The following 2D CAD programs are my top 3 with pricing based on what’s listed at their respective websites at the time of this writing.
- MacDraft Pro: A fairly inexpensive tool focused on 2D drafting. If I were only doing 2D drafting on a Mac this would probably be my first choice. It can do architectural drawings, details and mechanical drawings BUT, on top of that, they have a set of tools specifically tailored to produce beautiful landscape drawings and topographical maps and more. All for roughly $314. Free Trial available.
- DraftSight: This one comes in at lower price point with just as many 2D drafting features as MacDraft Pro BUT probably more similar to AutoCAD when it comes to UI. A good inexpensive alternative which only cost $99 for 12 months. There is a free version available but you have to renew your registration every once in a while to keep the free version active.
- AutoCAD: Yes, you read right. AutoCAD is available for the Mac natively but it comes with a pretty steep price tag compared to the other options. AutoCAD LT for Mac cost $50/month or $380 for 1 year. They no longer offer perpetual licenses so be ready to go subscription on this one. The more complete AutoCAD for Mac version will cost $185/month or $1,470 for 1 year. There are more pricing options but you get the idea how expensive this is. Unless you truly needed AutoCAD.. I suggest trying the other options before biting the bullet with this one.
Conclusion: I understand there are other popular options like SketchUp that can do 2D work if needed but my focus here was to recommend a completely 2D solution without the 3D extras/capabilities. I’m a total 3D CAD guy but I go elsewhere for that type of work. As usual, I recommend trying the free trial versions first before purchasing.
Additional Reading: 6 of the Best CAD Software For Mac