Despite the fact that the mobile market expanded to the point where now most of the work is done on the go, AutoCAD remained one of the few software solutions to keep its desktop-first legacy intact.
The folks at AutoDesk definitely recognized the workplace evolution pattern (and even made a mobile version of AutoCAD), but that didn’t change the fact that the art of producing top quality drafts and designs still resides in the realm of the good old mouse and keyboard.
However, engineers and designers still largely belong to that group of tech-savvy people who spend a lot of free time on their mobile phones. Especially youngsters who are just starting out in the business.
That’s exactly why we decided to round up iOS apps that every CAD user needs to have.
From generating product design ideas to sketching and sharing your work, we’re sharing 7 best mobile apps that can make you more efficient and help you at each step of the design process.
Mobile Apps for Product Design Ideas
A great way to streamline your CAD workflow on a mobile device is to generate ideas for product designs on the go. Here are two handy apps for the ideation phase of project and product design:
Red Dot Design App
Red Dot Design App is a mobile app for iOS users that lets you browse through high-quality design products and awarded works. The app contains more than 1,000 images, categorized by different filters, making your search for a specific product much easier.
Source: Apple iTunes
An app that needs to introduction, Behance is an ever-useful tool for presenting and exploring different projects. The app lets you showcase your creative ideas and discover other designs, completely free of charge. When you need inspiration, dive into some similar projects in the world’s largest creative network.
Mobile Apps for Sketching Design
Once you’ve decided on the general approach to your design, it’s time to start working on the first sketch.
At this stage, you can use Morpholio Trace, a sketch mobile app that can be used by architects, designers, and product illustrators alike. The app allows users to directly draw on their imported images, photos or background templates.
Source: Apple iTunes
Besides Morpholio Trace, another great app to help you in this area is Concepts. Concepts is basically a digital sketchbook created for product designers.This is a powerful and flexible tool, allowing you to go from basic sketches and multi-touch shapes to precise and adjustable vector illustrations. Both of these apps can really shape your design and prepare you for the next step.
Productivity Apps For AutoCAD Users
Behind every good designer, there’s a good productivity tool.
One such tool is Autodesk’s AutoCAD 360 — a mobile app for drafting, editing, viewing and adding markups to CAD drawings directly from your smartphone. Product designers can increase their productivity by connecting their work to cloud storage and directly synchronize and check in with their work.
Source: Apple iTunes
With the possibility to access document annotation, you can get your design improved through quick consultation with your boss or employee. To sum it up, AutoCAD 360 gives you the power of AutoCAD desktop software in the palm of your hand.
One similar productivity-booster is AutoDesk’s Fusion 360 mobile app. It’s the first 3D CAD tool of its kind, as it connects the entire product design and development process to a single cloud-based platform.
Here, you can also collaborate on your 3D designs, as the tool supports more than 50 file formats which can be shared with your teamsters, clients, and partners.
Best Apps For Collaborating And Sharing Projects
If you need a second opinion or creative feedback, you can always ask your colleagues for help.
To do this more efficiently, use Sketchdrive, an online collaboration app specifically created to help designers visually develop and share their ideas. Cooperate with co-workers, including engineers, architects, developers, and receive and provide timely feedback.
Working with tools like CAD is time intensive and, at times, repetitive. It may feel like you’re no longer in the driver’s seat of your own project. The trick to maximizing on results, though, is not about staying in your lane with the same desktop platform and tools— it’s about breaking out of that mindset, exploring other lanes, and making the best of your journey.
Why not give one of these apps a chance and see how it goes? It may just be that secret shortcut you’ve been looking for all along.