What is the best CAD software for a mechanical engineer
Choosing the right CAD software to learn is a difficult. After all, there are more than 20 CAD software in the design market. The answer to this question can be different based on your requirements. Below are 4 different ways of choosing the best CAD software to learn.
1. Based on the Level of CAD Software
You might have heard of different companies offering different types of CAD Software. We have an example Dassault Systemes which offer three different CAD Software namely DraftSight, SolidWorks & CATIA. The reason behind this is to separate the CAD software into different levels. Basically, there are 3 different levels of Cad Software.
a. Beginner level software
If you are a beginner and have zero hands-on experience, starting with a beginner level software is a good idea. The beginner level CAD software is: –
- Only used for 2D drafting work.
- Mostly used by micro and small-scale industries.
- Either very cheap or free.
- Example: – AutoCAD LT, Draftsight etc.
b. Professional Level Software
Once you are done with the beginner level cad software, go for the professional one. According to the research of idatalabs around 85% companies out of 185,174 uses a professional level cad software for their modeling work. The professional level CAD software is: –
- Used for both 2D drafting and 3D modeling work.
- Very user-friendly software and preferred by all the beginner design engineer.
- Used in colleges and small and medium scale industries.
- Costlier than basic level software but much cheaper than the advanced level ones.
- Example: – SolidWorks, Solid Edge, AutoCAD 3D etc.
c. Advanced Level Software
As the name suggests, this type of cad software is used by advanced level companies. These software’s are mainly used in billion dollar companies due to their high price. I suggest you not to directly start with an advanced level software. The advanced level CAD software is: –
- Used for all the 3 work i.e. CAD, CAM, and CAE.
- Very costly software’s.
- Only preferred by big companies.
- Very complex software to use.
- Example: – Catia, NX, AutoDesk Inventor etc.
2. Based on Market Use
If you are looking to learn a CAD software just for the sake of job then choosing the software w.r.t. to their market share might be the best choice. One of the Data companies idatalabs performed their research on 180,174 companies and found the following results: –
- AutoCAD is used by 115323 companies (includes both AutoCAD LT & AutoCAD 3D).
- Solidworks is used by 38417 companies.
- Catia is used by 11478 companies.
- Autodesk Inventor is used by 8985 companies.
- Siemens NX is used by 2428 companies.
- Creo/ProE is used by 2392 companies.
- Draftsight is used by 1068 companies.
- Solid Edge is used by 83 companies
The above data clearly depicts that AutoCAD & SolidWorks completely dominates the CAD market. Together, they are used by around 85% of the 180,174 companies. Although, CAD software like CATIA & AutoDesk Inventor is used by 6% & 5% companies respectively. The share of other software is negligible in the CAD market.
3.Based on Company
The final way to decide which cad software is to learn is on the basis of your Dream Mechanical Company. If you have a goal to work for a particular company in future then you must learn the cad software used by that particular company. I hope you find your dream company in the below list. However, if you can’t find one, Google search is still free.
- Solidworks is used by Tesla Motors, Illinois Tool Works, BFW, Adobe Metals, Pentair etc.
- Catia is used by Triumph Group, Honda R&D Americas, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Škoda, Bentley Motors Limited etc.
- AutoCAD is used by Atkins, Restoration Hardware, almost every micro/small scale industries etc.
- Siemens NX is used by Rolls-Royce Holdings, B/E Aerospace, Daimler, SpaceX etc.
- AutoDesk Inventor is used by Parker-Hannifin, Cameron International, Mettler-Toledo International etc.
- Creo is used by Paccar, Cummins, Lockheed Martin, Toyota etc.
- Solid Edge is used by Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc, The Wooster Brush Company, CNH Industrial NV etc
- Draftsight is used by Semtech Corporation, Mecsmart Systems Inc., Terex etc.
4. Based on Industry
You might have a goal of the type of product you want to design in future. It could be a car, a plane, or even a telescope. And if you have such goal then you must go for the CAD software which is best suited for the type of industry manufacturing that product.
Solidworks being the most versatile Cad Software as it is preferred by every type of industry. Although, AutoCAD dominates the machinery industry. Also, the automotive and aerospace industry prefer either Solidworks or CATIA. Below is the exact number of the type of industry using different CAD software.
- AutoCAD is used by 5404 machinery industry, 2842 computer hardware industry, 2618 education industry.
- Solidworks is used by 3732 machinery industry, 1281 automotive industry, 929 aerospace industry, 2414 computer hardware industry, 1404 education industry.
- Autodesk Inventor is used by 1233 machinery industry, 286 automotive industry, 449 computer hardware industry, 512 education industry.
- Catia is used by 610 machinery industry, 1277 automotive industry, 690 aerospace industry, 523 education industry.
So, you have all the reasons to choose the right CAD software to learn. I would suggest you go with the market share. After all, it’s about getting the Job with the help of software skills. Choose AutoCAD or Solidworks right now to begin your career and then based on your dream mechanical company you can choose to learn any of the advance Cad Software.
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