CAD Program Reviews Analysis of CAD programs

Analysis of major CAD programs

Knowing at least the names of the main products of CAD becomes important to who is responsible for implementing a system of CAD in your company.

Choosing the right product depends on various factors such as:

price of the product in the face of competition: how much each place of work?

the learning curve: how long until an operator working fully know?

Profitability: how long it takes shape determined geometry?

- cost of maintenance contracts: what price a year and how many updates will be distributed?

cost of the various modules: which required modules, in addition to the main program, to meet the needs?

interfaces included: what the interfaces to other CAD programs, which are included in the price of venda?

interfaces available: what the interfaces that you can buy extra?

It must therefore know, first, what kind of solution is sought: 2D CAD, 3D CAD by land or by 3D CAD solid.

In the case of 2D CAD, applications usually limited to the technical drawing and design of moulds, not making sense to want to use the 3D functions of these packages, since the programs are not geared for that.

The 3D CAD on surfaces has its vocation in shaping the pieces with areas designated as "free form" - free forms, which can have virtually any form.

This type of freedom can not be achieved using the modeladores 3D by solid, much more limited in the complexity of the areas that may be generated.

However, this type of software has its place in the development of product and design, particularly given the tools of assembly, which allow several pieces unite to achieve joint, as in the case of an engine, or even a car.

The person responsible for acquisition of CAD software must, therefore, in mind, which the application for the CAD system and what are their needs. It is important to know which programmes CAD used by customers and suppliers to ensure compatibility of files, which the interfaces for programs CAM, CAE or rapid prototyping machines, etc..

Knowing what the CAD programs on the market, helps to define their own needs and serves as a starting point for the successful implementation of the CAD in the company.

Finally, it should be noted that practice is selling CAD programs through a demonstration standard, which is to show the shaping of a piece of demonstration. During the modelling used the potential of CAD program in question. Who attend a demonstration of these, should know that this presentation was studied, refined and timed so that the CAD program is brilliant in shaping that part of the demonstration.

The potential client should ask the geometry of the piece of demonstration, since this may have been adapted to remedy shortcomings of the CAD program and must be present, many operations that may seem easy, quick or smart, when they are not: the From CAD program can be run macros, special settings, high tolerances and so on.

AutoCAD & Mechanical Desktop

The AutoCAD software for CAD is the most sold in the world. It was one of the first CAD products to be sold by large scale and there is virtually since the first computer type PC.

Their versatility allows to be used by mechanical engineers for product development, moulds, and so on. As well as by architects and civil engineers for the planning of infrastructure ¬ structures, houses, etc..

Regarding the quality of the product itself, opinions differ, as some people adore and that the odeie. It is a reality that AutoCAD provides a user interface with at least a little antiquated, although exactly what appeals to all who already use AutoCAD for many years.

New users are confronted with many buttons and keyboard commands, making the learning less easy than it would be possible.

What are the reasons for the huge success of AutoCAD:

- was the first CAD software to be available;

- CAD software is the most pirated in the market;

- is the CAD software for which there are more training courses;

- is the CAD software for which there is a greater number of books;

- is the CAD software for which there is a greater number of people already formed;

- is the CAD software for which there is a greater number of libraries and "Add-On's.

Truth is that any company which see the need to purchase a product 2D CAD vai at least consider the purchase of AutoCAD, since:

- easily found in the labour market know that personal use AutoCAD, without having to give training courses;-probably the company is already using the AutoCAD illegally;-the majority of customers and suppliers also uses AutoCAD for 2D drawings and soon vai provide or request files in the formats of AutoCAD.

In short, we can say that AutoCAD is probably the best choice for a 2D CAD, which already supports all the main entities, all possible operations on those entities, in addition to many libraries and have "Add-On's" ( applications that run inside of AutoCAD, increasing its functionality) of outsiders.


At the launch of this software for 3D CAD solid, dropped a bomb in the market for 3D CAD programs: the first was born of solid modeler.

The manner of work, totally different, forced a new way of thinking during the modelling of geometry. Instead go for help in building entities then create surfaces, intersections, etc.., It moved to build a rough geometry, which is subtraía or add new geometries. The modelling has become similar to sculpture: it is a parallelepiped and to remove the material in excess.

Another particularity of solid modeler, became the parameterization. Any entity is now defined by parameters, these parameters that depend on other entities. Changing to a property of an entity, the whole adjusts itself automatically.

This feature is excellent for the designer, since the amendment of a quota no longer require the shaping of the entire piece. Instead, updates to the value of the quota and all the rest is instantly updated.

Any demonstration of this product leaves potential customers so astonished that the purchase is inevitable. Habituados the hour delays for a given model with modeladores geometry of surfaces, the solid modelling by the same geometry may take a few minutes with the additional advantage of the full parameterization of the piece.

The ProEngineer was a success. But not everything is roses ...

Sooner or later, any operator of a solid modeler, discovers that there are geometries that are not possible to be carried out in this type of CAD.

Another discovery is the long learning curve of this program CAD. We need many hours of training to master the ProEngineer, since the interface for the user is not very intuitive.

Additionally, this program is composed of many modules, designed to facilitate or even to allow modelling of geometry specific. The purchase of all these modules leading much the price of software.


The Solidworks was the second revolution in the world 3D CAD, after ProEngineer, although different for two reasons:

- The Solidworks has a similar feature with the ProEngineer but its price is only a fraction, reaching four to five instead be cheaper;-The Solidworks provides a user interface with the modern and intelligent, allowing a learning software in a way autonomous within hours.

A curiosity of this software is that the core of mathematical Solidworks is licensed by another company. Thus, initially, the Solidworks used the mathematical core of ACIS. After some time, the core was replaced by mathematical PARASOLID of Unigraphics.

It therefore to be more than a software using the same core math and the same software can replace a core math the other. These concepts are quite innovative and to create specific programmes CAD development with less than previously, reflecting also the dynamic that exists in this market.

The success of Solidworks was such that the PTC forced to rethink the price of ProEngineer and even led the PTC to devote itself to other areas of business, including the management of information.


The SolidEdge now, as the Solidworks a story something others, since this program was originally developed by Intergraph, relying, as the Solidworks, in the core mathematical ACIS.

When Intergraph decided to abandon the market for applications for CAD modelling of geometry, to focus on its core business ", the GIS applications (topographic maps, etc..), The SolidEdge was purchased by Unigraphics, who was with some difficulty in modernising of its current CAD software.

The SolidEdge then went to use the core PARASOLID mathematician, developed by the Unigraphics and is the main competitor Solidworks, which curiously uses the same core math.

The differences between the two CAD programs are essentially visible at the interface with the user and the approach and resolution of certain problems.


The PowerShape is the modeler of areas of Delcam and belongs to a package of integrated solutions but independent of this company.

The PowerShape replaces former Duct5 of Delcam, one of the most powerful modeladores of surfaces. The main difference between these two programs is that the PowerShape only be one of CAD software, while the Duct5 was a single modular programme of CAD / CAM.

Another difference is that the PowerShape replaced with the user interface, replacing the traditional console commands typed, which worked together with a heavy structure of menus, for a technology called "smart mouse", which makes the PowerShape one of the programmes CAD Surface easier to learn.

Finally, the PowerShape been fully integrated and rescheduled for the Windows environment, so you do not need, such as Solidworks and SolidEdge, to run emulators of X-Windows. The interface is like any other Windows application.

This program CAD is especially designed for the modelling of cavities, moulds, or presents tools for the implementation and verification of angles of output, creating lines of joins and so on.


The Catia is the CAD software produced by Dassault which belongs to IBM. This software for CAD is a hybrid, since it permits the shaping of surfaces, as well as solid.

The implementation of Catia has increased considerably, thanks to two factors:

The aviation industry and the automotive industry have a natural tendency to use this software, since the areas are NURBS surfaces, thus describe the major areas with high accuracy;

The popularity of CAD software due to the fact that use of file formats that are difficult to read in other programmes of DAC. The result is that many suppliers are obliged to purchase this program, even if only to read the files to their customers.

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Comments 13 comments

Greg Palmer profile image

Greg Palmer 7 years ago

AutoCAD also has the distinction of being the agreed upon standard that most CAD users start from. AutoCAD's file format is interoperable between most CAD software. It makes sense to use AutoCAD when sharing designs becomes a necessity; I would add that as a bullet point.

sandhyap profile image

sandhyap 6 years ago

I have a great passion for autocad but I love mobiles also.

Amila Ekanayake 6 years ago

I have used solidworks for years. Have tried other products like proe, catia and auto cad and so on as a student. for me the best is SW. very easy to work, learn than any other. Great interface.

Steven 6 years ago

The comments about Pro/Engineer really need to be clarified. Pro/Engineer also has the capability to create very complex shapes using surfaces. The author makes it sound like that Pro/Engineer can only make solids.

RF Tooling 5 years ago

Thanks for the detailed information regarding these programs. The feedback and information is very helpful.

MemoryMegaMall profile image

MemoryMegaMall 5 years ago

I haven't used cad since mechanical desktop 3 I wish i still had some of those drawings laying around. I was so much more creative in those days.

swilkes 5 years ago

looking to get back into CAD work, only know Bentley Microstation, formerly by Intergraph CAD, but really like Microstation over AutoCad. What do most companies expect these days?

imkd profile image

imkd 5 years ago

great hub friend...linked back from my hub

huanitoswd 4 years ago

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panteleeza 4 years ago

магаз ровный сколько раз заказывал ,всегда было чють больше чем заказывал ))) ,став у них отменнный

optlwhspiz 4 years ago

поддерживаю обеими руками! магазин и персонал- один слаженный и четкий механизм!

Bob Halvorsen 3 years ago

I have Autosketch 2.1, which I have been using for years and really like.

It is my understanding that Autodesk leased that program from another vendor until they developed their own format, which is completely different from the 2.1 format. I cannot get the 2.1 to work on Windows 7, but had it working on XP.

My question is, do you know the name of the original vendor for Autosketch 2.1. Also, how close does your program come to following the setup and format of Autosketch 2.1?

I am a draftsman who wants a program that uses similar terminology and procedures to pencil and paper drafting.

I would appreciate any information you could provide.

Thank you,

Bob Halvorsen

Jack Vierheller 3 years ago

You have the mayor players, I think that all of them should perform well deppending of the user....Hummm I will strive the comparison with resposiveness of technical support, or how quick I can find the answers I need. to check what we do visit:

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