What are good SnapCAD Alternatives that run on Mac?


I’m looking for an alternative to SnapCAD that will run on Mac computers or iPad. Cloud/browser based would work too. A combination of these or all would be great too.

This will be used in a classroom, so simple is probably better than feature rich.

Free isn’t 100% required but would be a huge plus.

Thanks for your recommendations!

I don’t think there’s much at all. The closest is Bricksmith, which is also based on LDraw just like SnapCad. But the interface is not all that good.

I would recommend OnShape for Cloudbased there’s a recent VexIQ parts library by @jrp62 (https://www.vexforum.com/t/help-with-vexiq-parts-library-for-onshape). OnShape is browser based and our team has used it on Macs, PCs, and Chromebooks. I assume it works on iPads as well since we used it with Safari on Macs. OnShape is free for educational use.

If your students find OnShape a of a learning curve, and like the snapping feature of SnapCad and something a bit easier, I would recommend LDCad.

Thank you so much! Appreciate the input.

I think you can try FreeCAD software, which has an A2plus workbench for easy assembly of IQ parts, and FreeCAD is a free and open source software that you can search and download directly from Google. Here is the link FreeCAD: Your own 3D parametric modeler.

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Fusion 360 is another option that works quite well. It runs both in the browser and locally so it’s quite versatile

Note that the OP was talking about CAD software for VEX IQ, not sure how well Fusion 360 could be used for IQ (especially since there’s no dedicated IQ library for it)…

FreeCAD runs on a variety of operating systems, including MacOS.

One of the deciding factors for our teams in choosing a CAD software, besides ease of use or breadth of capabilities, is the community surrounding it. For VRC, our CADer likes Fusion360 because the kids learned with Fusion in school and there’s a huge set of libraries and Discord group for Vex CAD. For IQ, OnShape published a VexIQ library back in 2018, and Coach Palardy published a more recent one last year. LDCad and Bricksmith both work with the VexIQ libraries for SnapCad, which are readily available. If there are no existing libraries for a particular software/platform then it’s up to each team to build/import them, which is a big task. I don’t believe there’s an IQ library for Fusion360 or FreeCad. I’m not sure if FreeCad works out of the box with the existing SnapCad libraries.

Have CADed quite a few VIQ robots using fusion 360 and it is actually quite a good experience. For this I used this library, and just imported all the files to fusion 360 which took less than 5 minutes.

Although I do prefer Inventor, Fusion 360 is a great option.

Thank you all for the suggestions. Couple I was aware of and a couple that I will check out, so thanks!

I was actually looking for a replacement for SnapCAD, I just had to tag it as VEX IQ since there was no tag for SnapCAD.