What is the best mechanical CAD software?

June 21, 2014
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Which engineering design software should I prefer among Pro E, Catia, Solidworks, AutoCAD, etc for having a good knowledge and having a better future (say as in automobile/areospace industry)?

I would really appreciate if anyone tells me the reason to their answers because everyone seems to be giving different answers but I would really prefer something which is worldwide.

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  1. Rajaa C
    June 22, 2014 at 12:54 am

    You can also checkout Graebert Custom CAD- ARES Commander Edition http://www.graebert.com/ . Seems AutoCAD used to use their CAD engine.

  2. Jan F
    June 21, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    You can't go wrong with AutoCAD until you hit the predominantly 3D market. If we are talking 2D design it's pretty much the goto tool.

    Beyond that it appears that most companies have moved on from Autodesk (Autocad + Inventor experience required) to preferring knowledge of Solidworks [in their job offers].

  3. Greg Kaepp
    June 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Depends on that you wish to accomplish. For styled surfaces such as the sculpting of automobiles I would put Catia at the lead. With regard to retaining knowledge within the CAD system itself, I would put AutoCad as top dog for a couple reasons. Firstly one would have the ability to embed in the CAD system the reason the design was constructed the way it was done in the first place. Secondly, AutoCad has so many delicious plugins and passages to higher order applications delivering Ray Trace, particles, etc. such as Maya, V-Ray, to name a few and some parametric abilities. PTC ProE always had a leg up with parametrics early on when the Automotive Companies migrated to 3rd party CAD software over existing in house developed CAD. However PTC ProE fell severely short in creating styled surface. All the above including Solidworks have the ability to to create solids which is nice if you have to do mostly primitives such as plumbing, engines, castings etc.

    You must consider data manipulation such as revisions, render times if used, record retention, scalability, transfer between suppliers with like systems and accuracy such as 32bit vs. 64bit. In consideration of data you may require Finite Method of Structural Analysis and Knowledge Based Engineering.

    I am biased to the latter. For me the ideal system is to be able to reuse current and new designs in such a manner that the design system is able to improve upon itself without human intervention. In my world a CAD system would be selected such that it can be initially fed engineering considerations such as draw angles, wall thickness, material properties, to name a few, after which it would be "launched" with guiding parameters that would be coupled to not only the "rules" but also performance via load requirements and multi-objective optimization (there may be tradeoffs). In this fashion, designs evolve on their own (computational power vs. engineering best guess direction) and present the engineer with viable and feasible solutions (designs) meeting all requirements (objectives) in a fraction of the time rather than the engineer spoon feeding designs that couldn't possibly take in to consideration all the variables.

    I fully believe in using computers for that which they were intended, namely to compute. I hope this helps.

    • Sashank G
      July 5, 2014 at 5:45 am

      Thank you very much for the information.
      Before I did not understand which one to choose from. After reading I think Solidworks and Catia are the one I should choose from. Thank you. Appreciate your advice.
      If you think to add anything else to your answer, please do. It always helps.

  4. Hovsep A
    June 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    SpaceClaim
    for reasons check this youtube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QQD9hnMeU8

    SolidWorks good for beginners

    Autodesk Inventor free for student, 3 years license
    http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/inventor-professional

    • Sashank G
      July 5, 2014 at 5:50 am

      Thank You,
      SpaceClaim looks good.

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