Nowadays, most programmes or functions requiring a PC can now be accessed via mobiles, and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is no different. Leading companies in this field have made it their priority to create apps that allow you to view, edit and even create CAD files on your mobile. This availability makes it accessible, and useful for collaboratory works.
The five apps below include the most basic of CAD apps, allowing users to view files and make small changes, and the more complex apps which allow for a wider range of capabilities.
1. CAD Pockets
CAD Pockets supports a range of CAD file formats, including DWG, DXF and DWF, regardless of size. Users can view, revise and markup these CAD files. They can then be imported or shared via email or cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Users can then export to PDF or DWF.
It provides a set of basic drawing functions (lines, circles) alongside editing functions like copy or rotate. Its multi-touch interface enables users to zoom, pan and snap. Users are also able to insert and edit text.
The app’s offline function is particularly useful for users on the move. Users can also view downloaded files on their cloud drive without access to the internet.
2. DWG Fastview
DWG Fastview opens 2D/3D DWG files, alongside other CAD formats enabling the ease of importing or sharing via email, Dropbox or WebDAV. No registrations or logins are necessary.
Its features include single and multi-touch interface allowing users to pan, zoom and rotate. Users can make annotations and edits using the basic drawing tools provided. It allows for multiple layers, layouts and perspectives.
The app enables users to open CAD files in either ‘view mode’, or ‘edit mode’ where they can then make use of the drawing capabilities.
3. AutoCAD 360
Free (Offers in-app purchases)
AutoCAD 360 comes from the familiar Autodesk stable of products, and is in some ways the younger sibling to the most well-known CAD software, AutoCAD. We’ve previously discussed how AutoCAD 360 is a great alternative to AutoCAD for viewing DWG files. However, there’s even more to it than that. This app allows users to view 2D/3D CAD files, and import or share them via email or cloud storage services.
The user can draw, measure and edit shapes/objects using tools available in the basic version of the app. Upgrading to pro gives you access to advanced capabilities, like arcs and offsets. The Design Feed feature allows teams to communicate via adding comments and inviting responses.
The app also has an offline setting, so users can edit without an internet connection and upload changes once they’re online again.
Regular readers may be familiar with Onshape. Back in May, we discussed their the possibilities of their innovative FeatureScript programming language. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Onshape is the first fully cloud-based 3D CAD application. Designs are stored on the Cloud, which allows for full collaboration in teams. Users can look at their designs via phone, tablet or web browser.
Onshape allows you to create new sketches and modify imported files. The app can use real-time constraints so the user can test mechanism layouts. Its ‘Unique Part Studios’ allows users to build and modify 3D geometry from sketches or from other CAD systems.
Once users have completed their designs, they can create ‘read-only’ versions to prevent any further edits. Or they can use ‘follow mode’ to look at the edits other people are making in real time.
5. eDrawings Pro
With this handy app, users can view 3D and 2D CAD files, with the ease of importing and sharing via email, iTunes Sharing and Cloud storage services.
It allows for multi-touch gestures which allow users to pan, zoom and rotate. Augmented Reality (AR) is also included in this package, allowing users to visualize their 3D models in real context, in a 1:1 scale. Users can also view cross-sections in XY, YZ and XZ directions.
The app includes markups through freehand notations and text notes. These can be shared with others for further comments.