Best CAD Software That Companies Mostly Use

First of all, CAD software is a very important part of engineering. There are different capabilities of CAD software. Among these abilities, creating 3D data and visualizations of the engineering designs. Therefore, lots of engineering companies are using CAD software. In this article, we will show you the best CAD software used by engineers and engineering companies.

Which are The Best 10 CAD Software That Companies are Using?

These are the general CAD software that people and companies are using in their projects.

1 – Solidworks

An example project in Solidworks CAD software

Solidworks takes first place in the top CAD program in the world list. Companies and designers are using Solidworks CAD software extensively. Because there are different advantages of Solidworks software.

The first advantage of the Solidworks CAD program is, that you can find all the information about Solidworks on the internet. Furthermore, you can find basic solutions to problems that you have with Solidworks CAD software on the internet. This is because there are lots of Solidworks users on the internet and on forums.

The second advantage of Solidworks CAD is, that the tools of Solidworks are very easy to use and easy to learn. This feature of Solidworks maybe put Solidworks first in the best CAD software that designers use.

The stress analysis feature of Solidworks makes the designers and companies prefer other CAD systems. Because of this feature, Solidworks is very good for mechanical design. Furthermore, there is a cost-estimation tool in Solidworks which is also very important for structural design.

Prices$3,995 first fee+ $1,295/year
File extensionsSLDPRT, SLDASM
Operation systemWindows

2 – Inventor

An example project in Inventor CAD software

The second competitor on the best software list is the Autodesk Inventor. Inventor is the direct competitor of Solidworks in the CAD market. Also, Inventor is released by Autodesk which is a very reliable software producer in the world.

Moreover, Inventor provides various useful tools for mechanical design and structural design. Among these tools are 3D mechanical design tools, 3D visualization with renderings, simulation by FEA, and engineering documentation. Different kinds of companies are using the Inventor CAD program.

File extensionsIPT, IAM, IDW, DWG
Operation systemWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android


Catia CAD software logo

Above all, the CATIA CAD program is one of the most capable programs among the other 10 CAD programs that companies use. CATIA is a CAD program that which engineers and designers can obtain the most developed and complex projects.

In addition, Dassault Systemes release the CATIA which is also a releaser of Solidworks. In general, the tools of CATIA provide wider tools for design. The CAM tool of CATIA is a very important aspect. Because of the CAM tools of the CATIA CAD program, various companies prefer to use CATIA in their projects.

Also, CATIA provides a very developed CAE tool. With the capabilities of the CAE tool of the CATIA, the automotive and aerospace industries are extensively used. In the design of marine vehicles, automotive vehicles, and aerospace vehicles, the biggest companies are using the CATIA CAD program.

Prices$12,000 first fee + $2,000/year
File extensionsCATPart, CATProduct, CATDrawing
Operation systemWindows

4 – Siemens NX

Siemens NX CAD software logo

Among the 10 CAD software that companies mostly use, Siemens NX CAD program takes the first place. Also, Siemens NX is a well-developed tool that includes different design features. Siemens PLM releases the Siemens NX CAD program regularly. In each release, they add different features and properties.

Furthermore, HVAC and household appliance industries are using the Siemens NX CAD program mainly. Siemens NX is a part of the Siemens NX PLM which also include Siemens NX Teamcenter. Because Siemens NX is a part of a very extensive software for big industries, the biggest engineering companies are using Siemens NX CAD program.

Siemens NX is the direct competitor of CATIA. Like the CATIA CAD program, also Siemens NX includes different kinds of extensive features such as CAE and CAM. The biggest companies that deal with machining operations are using Siemens NX CAM software. Also, the biggest research and development departments are using Siemens Nastran CAE tools. Because Siemens NX CAM and CAE tools are among the most developed software.

Prices$5,900 first fee + $1,600/year
File extensionsPRT
Operation SystemWindows, MacOS, Linux

5 – AutoCAD

Autocad logo

AutoCAD may be the most classical software that is used in most engineering schools. Autodesk releases the AutoCAD which also releases the Inventor CAD program. AutoCAD provides very developed tools to use in 2D technical and engineering drawings. So, Autocad is renowned for its 2D engineering drawing tools. This is the most important feature that puts AutoCAD among the best CAD software that companies use.

If we compare it with another 3D CAD program, maybe AutoCAD is not competitive as others. But its 2D tools make AutoCAD one of the top software.

File extensionsDWG, DXF
Operation systemWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android

6 – Creo

Creo logo

Creo Elements/Pro CAD program is among the other best 10 CAD software that companies use. Parametric Technology Corporation releases the Creo CAD software in 1988. So, Creo CAD software is among the oldest CAD program.

Creo provides lots of kinds of features such as manufacturing, surface modeling, simulation, and 3D design. Because of these extensive properties, different companies are using Creo. These extensive features make Creo one of the best CAD programs that companies use.

Creo is the direct competitor of Solidworks, Siemens NX, and CATIA. In addition, the most important companies that are using PTC Creo; are Northrop Grumman, Caterpillar, General Atomics, etc.

File extensions.prt .asm
Operation systemWindows

7 – Autodesk Revit

An example project in Revit CAD software

Autodesk releases Autodesk Revit which provides various tools of BIM. BIM means Building Information Modeling which comprehends all elements of a building. Designers and civil engineers can use Autodesk Revit to design all the fittings of a building.

Autodesk purchased a company named Revit Technology Corporation and became to release the Revit to the market. Compared with other top CAD software, the Autodesk Revit program is somewhat different. Different kinds of tools make Autodesk Revit the best CAD software among civil engineers.

File extensionsDWG, IFC, RVT, PLN
Operation systemWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android

8 – Autodesk Fusion 360

An example render in Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is also another CAD program released by Autodesk. There are different features of Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software. Among these capabilities, are CAE, CAD, PCB design, and CAM platforms. Because of these features and tools, Autodesk Fusion 360 is one of the best CAD programs.

First of all, CAD and CAM modules of Autodesk Fusion 360 are integrated into each other. This makes the Autodesk Fusion 360 very easy to use.

In addition, the PCB design software of Autodesk Fusion 360 makes it the preferred CAD program among designers and companies.

File extensionsF3D
Operation systemWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android

9 – Solid Edge

Solid Edge interface

Solid Edge is another CAD tool released by Siemens. In general, Solid Edge competes mainly with Solidworks, CATIA, and Creo. There are different features of Solid Edge to make it one of the best CAD software in the world.

CAD designs in Solid Edge are directly integrated with the CAE simulation tool. This feature of Solid Edge makes the design and research and development activities much easier. Furthermore, an AI-powered user interface makes the user experience useful for its users.

In addition, 2D illustrations and design interface of industrial control panels of Solid Edge, lots of companies prefer to use it in the manufacturing processes.

Cloud-based cooperation feature of the Solid Edge is another important advantage. Companies can integrate the Solid Edge system to obtain a very high level of collaboration.

Prices$2,760/year Classic,
File extensionsPAR, ASM, DFT
Operation systemWindows

10 – 3DSMax

3DS max CAD software logo

Finally, 3DSMax is another CAD program of Autodesk. As you understand that Autodesk is one of the best CAD systems producers in the world. Lots of companies are working with Autodesk systems.

The most important feature of the 3DSMax is the developed rendering features. Because of its functional rendering, illustrators and industrial designers prefer 3DSMax software.

Also, the pipeline design tools of the 3DSMax CAD program make this software one of the best CAD software used in related projects. In building information modeling, 3DSMax is preferred by engineers and designers.

Prices$1,620 /year
File extensions. MAX
Operation systemWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android


Because of their different features and advantages, these CAD programs are among the best CAD software that companies and designers use. According to the features, you can choose one of these CAD programs to use in your projects.

In conclusion, do not forget to leave your comments and questions below about the best CAD programs that engineers and companies use.

Your precious feedbacks are very important to us!

FAQs About the Best CAD Software

What is the most common CAD software?

In general, it changes according to the features of CAD software. But in mechanical engineering and mechanical design, the most common CAD software are; Solidworks, AutoCAD, Siemens NX, and CATIA. This CAD software have also different features for different projects.

Which CAD software is the best?

There is no direct answer to this question. It depends on which purpose you will use that CAD software. Different CAD software has different capabilities. In general mechanical design, CATIA can be the best choice.

What can CAD software do?

CAD software can create 3D models of the objects in a computer environment. CAD software has different tools to do it. For example, you can design an automobile from scratch with well-developed CAD software.

Which CAD software is best for mechanical engineering?

Among the best CAD software mentioned above, Solidworks can be the best for beginners in mechanical engineering. And for professionals, CATIA and Siemens NX can be the best CAD programs.

Which CAD software do the biggest companies use?

For example in F1 teams, NX and CATIA are the most common CAD software. Because they are best for automotive design projects. Also SpeceX is usign Siemens NX as CAD software. In general, aerospace industries are preferring Siemens NX and automotive companies prefer to use CATIA.

Is it hard to learn CAD software?

In the era of the internet, no it is not that hard. There are various tutorials and sources to learn different CAD software. By the way, if you learn CAD software, learning other ones will be much easier. Because you have learned the general logic of CAD in the first program.


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