Mechanical CAD Software

Kimiko G. Judith

There is more than 20 CAD software in the current market. Which one should you learn?

Well, this was the most annoying question for me when I was pursuing my engineering degree. Every time I ask someone, either my seniors or my professors, all of them gave me a different answer. Some asked me to go for Catia or NX Unigraphics while others for Solidworks or Autocad. I was worried as no one was suggesting for Solidedge and my college was teaching me Solidedge. The decision was difficult for me but I had to choose one as my aim was to be Design Engineer. In the end, I went for CATIA as one of my friends suggested that most of the automobiles company in Germany use this CAD software.

How learning CAD software got me the Job?

It was August 2016 when I was having my Industrial Training at BFW[Bharat Fritz Werner] and they are Germans & they were not using Catia but Solidworks. I somehow managed to get the software and learned few modules from the internet to complete my industrial training. As I was already aware of Catia & Solidedge, learning Solidworks wasn’t difficult for me. And also thanks to my project instructor, who helped me throughout my industrial training with the software.

It was June 2017 when I was facing an interview at Adobe Metal Products and the factory manager questioned me ‘Do you know Solidworks?’

Obviously, the answer was Yes, I know SolidWorks. I told him about my previous experience of SolidWorks and he got impressed. But I was aware that I need to learn more. So, I started learning Solidworks before my joining in Adobe Metals. And when I finally joined there, I was assigned the 3D modeling jobs in the company. But as time passed by I got familiar with the Autocad too as the CNC punching press of my company only accepted AutoCAD files.

Currently, I am familiar with 4 different CAD software and kind of eligible to provide a decent reply to this question. Lets start. I’m gonna tell you 3 different formulae to solve this problem.

1. CAD software is available on three different levels:-

Beginner Level Software:-

  • Only used for 2D drafting work.
  • They are mostly used by micro & small scale manufacturing industries.
  • This software is either very cheap or Free.
  • These are not user – friendly.
  • Example:- AutoCAD 2D, Draftsight etc.

Professional Level software:-

  • Used in both 2D drafting & 3D modeling work.
  • These are very User-Friendly software preferred by all the beginner design engineer.
  • This software are used by small & medium scale industries.
  • They are costlier than the basic level software but cheaper than the advanced level software.
  • Example:- Solidworks, Solid Edge etc.

Advanced Level Software:-

  • Used for all 3 CAD, CAM, CAE work.
  • This are very costly software.
  • These are only used by top companies.
  • These are very costly software.
  • This software is complex to use.
  • Ex:- Catia, Siemens NX etc.

2. Market Share of Different CAD Software

According to ‘idatalabs’ research, we have the following data:

  • Solidworks is used by 38099 companies.
  • Catia is used by 11,369 companies.
  • Siemens NX is used by 2,393 companies.
  • AutoCAD is used by 114818 companies.
  • Creo/ProE is used by 2355 companies.
  • Solid Edge is used by 83 companies.
  • Draftsight is used by 1046 companies.
  • Autodesk Inventor is used by 8881 companies.

This means that AutoCAD has a maximum share of 36%, preceded by SolidWorks at 21%. Autodesk Inventor & Catia takes 5% & 6% respectively.

So, this four software are most widely used in the market and luckily we have only one software each from Beginner and Professional level.

3. CAD Software used by different companies:-

  • 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.

So, you have all the reasons to choose the right software now. 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.

Best of Luck!

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