Astropad with CAD programs and 3D Programs like Rhino


Hi everybody!

I have a biiiig question because I am planning to buy or a new iPad Pro 2 and make the subscription with Astropad or a Wacom screen tablet.

I am an architect and a designer and I use CAD programs like Vectorworks, Archicad and Autocad and 3D programs like Rhino and Sketch Up to name a few.

I´d love to make the iPad Pro my tablet for everyday use at the office and home (for its portability, the performance and for the price which is quiet lower if compared with a Wacom Screen Tablet), so I´d like to know if Astropad is currently giving you the same performance as with the drawings programs (I mean Photoshop, etc etc).

Can you use all the options? Have someone tried it out with such programs?

Thank you so much for your availability and looking forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day! POLFUS


Hi Polfus,

Unfortunately we would not recommend use with CAD programs.

It would work, but Astropad currently isn’t optimized for AutoCAD/CAD programs.
The sidebar can be customized for these programs’ shortcuts, but some shortcuts are limited though.

We will be working to improve this, but at this time it may not be the best setup for your programs.

If you would still like to try, you could take a look at Astropad Studio’s 7-day trial
and see how well it works with your setup .


Hi Malyse!

Thank you so much for the answer.

That´s pity because a lot of architects who are using the iPad Pro -as an
every day tool- need this important optimization. I know you have a lot of
priorities to improve the jet excellent Astropad, but this particular
feature and compatibility would be really an important working-change for
many people like me who are willing to use a very portable and great device
like the iPad.

An example: you can draw at the office, CAD and modeling let´s say and then
you can go on the building construction site to take notes, hand drawings,
infos, fotos, etc, then come back at the office, connect and et voila you
complete the CAD drawing or the model you were doing previously…

I´d like to make a video where I can explain how to use CAD programs with
Astropad. Can you involve professionals in the program development?



Hi Polfus,

For sure, we agree it would be great to have compatibility with CAD programs.

Relating to your proposal, please send us more details at studio[at]
We’re always open to hearing more professional feedback about possible Astropad + CAD setup,
and ideas on how we can improve!


Hi Malyse.

Thanks for your reply.
In short, I’ll write a more detailed email at the address you wrote, so I
can explain better my ideas and suggestions.



Hi, totally agree with Polfus and it has always been my wish!

As an architect (apple user: ArchiCad, AutoCad, Rhino…) I’ve thought that it’ll be great to handle a better “mouse” for controlling our professional design apps with the Apple Pencil and iPad instead of a regular mouse, trackpad or 3d mouse, for mention some.
I think that we have to go back to basics, sketching with a pencil like we use to be in the past but with the help of technology of CAD and 3d apps.
I think is time enough for architects to have the same tech that the photographers and drawers have with Astropad in team with photoshop and illustrator.

My little peace of advice for this adaption of astropad with cad is to have the same techniques of manipulation of apps like concepts, shapr 3d or sketchbook for the Apple Pencil to control the laptops or desktops, that’ll be the Wacom or cintiq tablet killer.

I’ll be waiting for this upgrade to purchase this great app, regards.


Redeveloping the full Adobe / Autodesk products for non-Intel/AMD chips is extremely long and costly. But using CAD programs though Astropad will make the iPad an extraordinary professional use.


I am also an architect and have been explaining this exact scenario to the people at AstroPad for almost a year now. We are heavy ArchiCAD users and have found it nearly impossible to utilize AstroPad in our daily workflow. In addition to just the regular use of AstroPad, we desperately need a way to allow the main screen at high resolution to be used, while at the same time allowing AstroPad to be used. This way two users could be drawing and collaborating together on designs.