run designspark mechanical on mac

How to run DesignSpark Mechanical on Mac

What is DesignSpark Mechanical?

DesignSpark Mechanical is a free CAD software that focuses on mechanical design – that is to say, it provides tools that are most suitable for designing machines and machine parts. Despite being free, it offers many features typically associated with paid (and expensive) CAD software. For example, DesignSpark Mechanical has a library of various machine parts from different suppliers, and allows users to insert 3D models of these parts into their designs. Additionally, if you’re using RS Components or Allied Electronics as your supplier, the software suite can also tell you how much these components will cost you. A variety of tools for measuring the geometry of created models are also included. However, DesignSpark Mechanical cannot natively run on MacOS – but this is not a problem as the application can still be launched in several ways described in the article below.

Why DesignSpark Mechanical doesn’t run on Mac?

There are several reasons why some apps don’t run on Mac. It could be an incompatibility with Mac or macOS version. Also, MacOS Catalina and Big Sur don’t support 32-bit apps. Most developers are designing new, 64-bit versions of the apps, but, in spite of that, there are still hundreds of apps that can only run on 32-bit Macs. In our case, the reason is that DesignSpark Mechanical native Macintosh version simply doesn’t exist. At the present moment, there is no information about the release date and the possibility that DesignSpark Mechanical will be available for Mac.

How to run DesignSpark Mechanical on Mac

The most popular solution for running DesignSpark Mechanical on Mac/MacBook is virtualization software. Despite the fact that emulators usually demand quite a lot of computing power out of a Mac, some of them, for example, Parallels, VirtualBox, or VMWare, can help to run different programs on OS X with minimal losses in the performance of your machine. Moreover, some of them are compatible with DirectX 11, which can help with running graphically demanding apps and games. Also, you can change desktops and copy any files between your Parallels program (Windows Desktop) and OS X freely.

Running DesignSpark Mechanical through Parallels

DesignSpark Mechanical emulation via Parallels

If you wish to run DesignSpark Mechanical on Mac, Parallels Desktop can be a solution. This is an application that allows for Windows virtualization on Mac with the full support of DirectX and GPUs. In simpler terms, what this means is that it allows you to install Windows 10 on Mac with just a couple of clicks and switch between MacOS and Windows instantly. So you will be able to run Windows and install DesignSpark Mechanical just like on a regular PC.

Download Parallels Desktop

Running DesignSpark Mechanical though other virtual machines

Another popular virtualization program is VMware Fusion. It is a software hypervisor that allows running virtual machines like guest operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris. Fusion’s current versions provide hardware-accelerated DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1 capabilities to virtual machines, which allows them to run heavy, GPU-intensive applications and games with top 3D graphics.

Download VMware Fusion

You can also try VirtualBox, Wine, and QEMU, however, the latter two are not very accessible to users and require advanced computer skills to use.

Running DesignSpark Mechanical on remote server

If you have a powerful Windows-based server and a fast internet connection, another method is DesignSpark Mechanical running on Windows on a Server machine (in the cloud, or remote desktop) and looking at the screen from your Mac.

You can use TeamViewer, AnyDesk, or other software for this purpose.

Running DesignSpark Mechanical on Windows 10 using Boot Camp

BootCamp allows users to choose the system to work in on startup, however, you won’t be able to switch between systems like in Parallels. Do note that you will need no less than 64 GB of free space on your device (we recommend having 128 GB). After Windows installation completes, your Mac starts up in Windows and opens a ”Welcome to the Boot Camp installer” Window. You will need to reboot your machine every time you want to switch from Mac to Windows and vice versa. To set up Windows via BootCamp, please, do the following:

For OS X El Capitan 10.11 or later

Important: for MacOS versions prior to OS X El Capitan 10.11 you will need to create bootable Windows USB.

  1. Download Windows ISO file
  2. Open Boot Camp Assistant (Go to Applications > Utilities)
  3. Define the Windows partition size, choose downloaded Windows ISO file
  4. Format Windows partition and go through all Windows installation steps
  5. When Windows boots for the first time, follow on-screen instructions to install Boot Camp and Windows support software (drivers)

Note: Mac M1 chipsets are not supported by BootCamp

Software Alternatives

If you did not succeed using methods above, feel that it is too difficult, or wish to run native software instead of DesignSpark Mechanical, there are alternatives that support MacOS and offer the same or similar features. Among the best ones are SketchUp, Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk Fusion 360, and BRL-CAD.

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