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Enscape is a powerful 3D real time rendering and virtual reality software that’s finally available on Mac to SketchUp users only.

Here we’ve looked at the new Enscape for Mac and looked at other options for running Enscape on a Mac in 2022.

With VR on Mac now starting to develop and eGPU’s for Mac giving Macs much greater graphics processing power, more and more Mac users want to use powerful 3D rendering and VR tools like Enscape.

If you’re an architect or retail designer working in an office full of Macs or a student of architecture and design that uses Macs, then running Enscape on a Mac is much more convenient than having to use a Windows PC.

However, although there’s now a lot of CAD for Mac software such as Sketchup, ArchiCAD and Vectorworks, many CAD designers using Macs have been forced to switch to a PC to do 3D rendering in tools such as Enscape, Revit and Lumin.

This is particularly frustrating for ArchiCAD and Rhino users on Mac as both ArchiCAD and Rhino now support integration with Enscape on Windows PCs but not with Macs.

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How To Use Enscape On Macs Including M1 & M2 Macs

The good news is that if you use SketchUp, you can now use Enscape on a Mac using the Enscape plugin for SketchUp.

The Enscape for Sketchup plugin works on both Intel and Apple Silicon M1 and M2 Macs.

The Enscape for Mac SketchUp plugin is currently the only way to use Enscape on a Mac without running Windows on a Mac via Boot Camp.

The exact system requirements for running Enscape on a Mac are below and include the M1 MacBook Pro and Mac Studio with M1 Pro and M1 Ultra chips.

The M2 chip is not listed yet but since it’s built on the same architecture as the M1 chip, there should be no problem.

enscape mac system requirements

The Enscape SketchUp plugin for Mac renders in real time so you can walk around your model as you edit.

Other features of the Enscape for Mac SketchUp plugin include:

  • Enscape Asset Library which allows you to fill your designs with assets such as accessories, vegetation, people, furniture and vehicles.
  • New export options so you can share and collaborate on high-quality rendered designs with batch rendering.
  • Multi-language support: Enscape for Mac is now available in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, and Dutch.

You must also be using SketchUp 2021 or SketchUp 2022 to use the Mac Enscape plugin for Sketchup – it does not work with SketchUp 2020.

The Enscape plugin for Mac also only works with Sketchup – other architectural applications such as ArchiCAD and Rhino don’t support the Enscape plugin on Mac yet.

Note that the new release of Enscape for Mac is not to be confused with the previous beta version of Enscape For Mac which only worked on Sketch 2021 and was unstable.

In the beta version of the plugin, there’s also no video support for movie exports, no batch rendering support and screenshot renders only.

You can try the final version of the SketchUp Enscape For Mac plugin free.

Other Ways To Use Enscape On Intel Macs

To use Enscape on an Intel Mac you can also install Windows on a Mac Pro or a MacBook Pro.

The more powerful the Mac you have, the better when it comes to 3D rendering and VR software like Enscape.

The best Mac to run Enscape in Windows on a Mac is undoubtedly the Mac Pro followed by the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini.

Although there are various ways of running Windows on a Mac, the only method that will work for Enscape is using Boot Camp on an Intel Mac.

Boot Camp is a free application in macOS which allows you to install Windows for free on Mac in a separate partition on your hard drive.

Note that this does not work on M1 or M2 Macs because the latest Apple Silicon Macs do not support Boot Camp anymore.

Normally we would recommend using a virtual environment like Parallels to install Windows on a Mac but in the case of Enscape, the graphics driver in virtual environment software like Parallels simply isn’t powerful enough for 3D rendering VR software like Enscape.

The Boot Camp graphics driver is far more powerful to leverage the graphics card in your Mac to work with Enscape.

There are also unofficial enhanced drivers for Boot Camp which will get more out of your graphics card for demanding tools like Enscape.

You can find instructions here on how to install Windows for free on a Mac using Boot Camp.

As you can see below, the results aren’t bad running Enscape on a Mac using Boot Camp and it also works for Revit and Lumion.

Enscape works very smoothly using a Boot Camp Windows installation although you will notice your Macs fans will start whirring as it’s very demanding on your Mac’s GPU.

Rotating and rendering in Enscape perform just as smoothly and quickly as on a Windows PC and as you can see, the results are pretty impressive.

Does Enscape Work with an eGPU on Mac?

An eGPU is an external graphics unit that super charges the graphics processing power of your Mac.

Since macOS Mojave, there are now Mac compatible eGPUs that you can use to enhance your Mac’s graphic capabilities.

In theory, connecting an eGPU to a Windows installation in Boot Camp would be enough to run Enscape on a Mac.

The problem however is that most eGPUs available for Mac simply aren’t powerful enough to run Enscape.

Enscape requires ultra powerful NVIDIA cards like the NVIDIA 2070 RTX but Macs are currently incompatible with NVIDIA graphics cards.

Although you can use graphics cards like the AMD Radeon Pros with Mac compatible eGPUs, they still don’t come close to the power of cards like the NVIDIA 2070 RTX.

The other problem is that even an eGPU is around 30% less powerful and effective as an internal chip so nothing beats an on board chip for using GPU intensive apps like Enscape.

Note that M1 Macs do not work with eGPUs and are unlikely to support them in the future.

Will Enscape Work with the Mac Pro?

Even the basic version of the Mac Pro which currently costs over $5000 doesn’t have the real-time GPU performance to run Enscape on a Mac natively.

It does however have the option to fit a Radeon Pro Vega 2 which can out perform even the Titan RTX which works with Enscape.

If you were to get a Mac Pro, install a Radeon Pro Vega 2 and then install Windows via Boot Camp on your Mac, you’d have no problems running Enscape but it’s a pretty expensive setup and you still won’t be running Enscape natively.

Our advice however is, if you’ve got that kind of money to spend, you’d probably be better off spending this on the Razor Blade which costs half as much as a Mac Pro and use it specifically for apps like Enscape, Revit, SketchUp, Lumin etc.

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Can I Use Enscape With The Oculus Rift on Mac?

Unfortunately the Oculus Rift does not work with Macs.

At the moment, there are very few VR headsets that work with Macs natively apart from the HTC Vive Pro which we ranked as the best VR headset for Mac on the market.

Note that you will need to install SteamVR in Windows on your Mac in order to use the HTC Vive Pro with Enscape as SteamVR is no longer available for Macs.

Alternatives To Enscape For Mac

There aren’t too many native rendering software solutions for Mac on the market but the best alternative to Enscape for Mac is Twinmotion.

Twinmotion works natively on Intel Macs and although there’s no native M1 or M2 Mac version yet, it also works on M1 and M2 Macs thanks to Rosetta which translates Intel apps to work with Apple Silicon M1 and M2 chips on the fly.

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