Mechanical CAD software

There are more than 20 CAD software on the market today. 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, be it my elders or my teachers, they all gave me a different answer. Some asked me to opt for Catia or NX Unigraphics, while others for Solidworks or Autocad. I was worried because no one was suggesting for Solidedge and my university was teaching me Solidedge. The decision was difficult for me, but I had to choose one as my goal was to be a design engineer. In the end, I settled on CATIA, as one of my friends suggested that most car companies in Germany use this CAD software.

How did learning CAD software get me the job?

It was August 2016 when I was doing my industrial training at BFW.[Bharat Fritz Werner] and they are German and they did not use Catia but Solidworks. Somehow I managed to get the software and learned some internet modules to complete my industrial training. As I already knew Catia & Solidedge, learning Solidworks was not difficult for me. And also thanks to my project instructor, who helped me throughout my industrial training with 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 SolidWorks experience and he was impressed. But he knew he needed to learn more. So, I started learning Solidworks before joining Adobe Metals. And when I finally joined there, I was assigned the 3D modeling jobs at the company. But as time went by, I also became familiar with Autocad, as my company’s CNC punching machine only accepted AutoCAD files.

Currently, I am familiar with 4 different CAD software and I am eligible to give a decent answer to this question. Let us begin. I am going to tell you 3 different formulas to solve this problem.

1. CAD software is available in three different levels: –

Beginner level software: –

  • It is only used for 2D drawing jobs.
  • They are mainly used by micro and small scale manufacturing industries.
  • This software is very cheap or free.
  • These are not easy to use.
  • Example: – AutoCAD 2D, Draftsight, etc.

Professional level software: –

  • It is used in both 2D drawing and 3D modeling work.
  • It is a very easy-to-use software preferred by all beginning design engineers.
  • This software is used by small and medium-scale industries.
  • They are more expensive than entry-level software but cheaper than advanced-level software.
  • Example: Solidworks, Solid Edge, etc.

Advanced level software: –

  • It is used for the 3 CAD, CAM, CAE jobs.
  • This is very expensive software.
  • These are only used by major companies.
  • This is very expensive software.
  • This software is complex to use.
  • Eg: – 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.
  • 2,393 companies use Siemens NX.
  • 114,818 companies use AutoCAD.
  • Creo / ProE is used by 2355 companies.
  • 83 companies use Solid Edge.
  • Draftsight is used by 1046 companies.
  • 8,881 companies use Autodesk Inventor.

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

So these four software are the most widely used on the market and luckily we only have a beginner and pro level software.

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 all 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.
  • I believe it 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 every reason to choose the right software now. I suggest you go with the market share. After all, it’s all about getting the job with the help of software skills. Choose AutoCAD or Solidworks right now to start your career and then depending on your Dream Mechanical Company, you can choose to learn any of the advanced CAD softwares.

Best of luck!

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