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Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Best Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
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Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software Overview
What is Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software?
Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of a computer to help create or optimize a design. Therefore, CAD software allows engineers, architects, designers and others to create precision drawings or technical illustrations in 2D or 3D. This category of software can increase productivity, improve quality and maximize organization by creating a documentation database for manufacturing.
CAD software has a host of applications, including the design of manufacturing parts, electronic circuit boards, prototypes for 3D printers, and buildings. Typically, this software uses either traditional vector-based graphics or raster graphics which show how finished objects would actually look.
CAD software can also facilitate the flow from the design process to the manufacturing process. This software can simulate the movement of a part through the manufacturing process in three dimensions. As this software becomes ever better at simulating the manufacturing process, specialized software for designing the manufacturing process and controlling machine tools called Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) has become integrated with CAD as a single platform.
Features & Capabilities
Professional level software packages usually have the following features:
Simulation and analysis, such as simulating real world use of an item to identify areas with a propensity for thermal stress and buckling
On average, you will pay around $2,000 for professional level software, but you can find a solution in the range of $200 to $5000. If you don’t need the data management and manufacturing integration, a home/student version can be obtained from $0 to $100.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Products
Listings (1-25 of 39)
AutoCAD is a CAD product from Autodesk. It allows designers to work in 2D and 3D, and has extensive online collaboration tools.
Dassault Systemes offers SOLIDWORKS, a computer-aided design (CAD) system for education and manufacturing supporting 2D or 3D design, electrical design, simulations, and product development with collaboration tools.
Trimble is a leading provider of advanced positioning technology and mobile solutions that maximize productivity and enhance profitability. Trimble products are used in over 141 countries around the world. Employees in more than 30 countries, coupled with a highly capable network of dealers and ...
Onshape is a next-generation cloud design platform that speeds up product development. It’s an all-in-one system that combines CAD, release management, workflow, real-time collaboration tools, and an API with more than 50 engineering applications. Onshape helps extended design teams work together...
Autodesk Inventor 3D CAD software offers professional-grade 3D mechanical design, documentation, and product simulation tools.
Siemens PLM Software (formerly UGS) is a computer software company specializing in 3D & 2D Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software. The company is a business unit of Siemens Industry Automation division, and is headquartered in Plano, Texas.
Autodesk Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE tool which integrates design, modeling, and simulation capabilities.
Siemens PLM (formerly UGS), a division of Siemens AG, offers Solid Edge. Solid Edge is a 2D/3D CAD modeling, simulation, CAM, and 3D printing suite offered free to students, hobbyists, and learners or at relatively low cost to mid-tier companies. It's capabilities are limited relative to Siemens ...
CATIA from Dassault Systemes is a 3D product modeling and design tool used across multiple industries.
PTC offers Creo, the company's line of computer-aided design (CAD) products that support the product lifecycle management (PLM) process with 2D and 3D design kits (Creo Elements and Creo Direct), an augmented reality module, Creo Illustrate for technical illustrations, Creo Sketch, Creo Schematic...
National Instruments headquartered in Austin offers LabVIEW, a systems engineering software platform and toolkit.
Bentley Systems offers the MicroStation application and product family as a 3D and 2D modeling and computer-aided design (CAD) solution for engineers and designers.
PTC offers Mathcad, the company's engineering analytics engine including Mathcad Prime, for managing complex mathematical calculations inherent in solving engineering problems. Additionally the software includes Area Protection and Locking, which limits access to information based on role so that...
Autodesk offers Tinkercad, a 3D modeling and design tool available free for educational purposes.
TurboCAD is 2D and 3D CAD software sold in many different editions, including Deluxe, Expert, and ProPlatinum.
Vectorworks headquartered in Columbia offers Fundamentals, a computer-aided design (CAD) application supporting 2D and 3D design and drafting.
ARCHICAD is a 3D architectural design application and BIM from Graphisoft, a Nemetschek Group company headquartered in Budapest.
GrabCAD Workbench is a CAD collaboration solution that helps designers to manage files and engage partners in the design process.
Bentley Systems offers OpenRoads Designer, their civil engineering and design platform which replaces the former GEOPAK Civil Engineering Suite, InRoads, MX, and PowerCivil.
Vectorkworks, headquartered in Columbia, offers the Landmark BIM design application.
Codeware, headquartered in Sarasota, offers COMPRESS, a pressure vessel design application.
Robert McNeel and Associates headquartered in Seattle offers Rhinoceros 3D (or Rhino 3D), a 3D modeling and design application.
Inspire from solidThinking is a CAD system enabling designers and architects to create structurally efficient concepts quickly. It includes structural simulations allowing engineers to check if a design will support the required loads.
CADWorx Plant Design Suite from Hexagon PPM is a 3D plant design software toolset that allows for the option to run on the AutoCAD or BricsCAD platform and design piping, structural steel, equipment, process and instrument diagrams, and design review, plus automatic isometrics and bills of mater...