Best CAD Software for Mechanical Engineers - ExtruDesign (2023)

Are you not sure which CAD software is best for you if you are a mechanical engineer?. Well, I will help you choose where to start and what you need to learn first. Let us see what are the best CAD software for mechanical Engineers to learn.

Best CAD Software for Mechanical Engineers - ExtruDesign (1)

CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software is a must-learn skill for every Mechanical engineer. And many Mechanical Engineers frequently asked us what types of Jobs are available for Solidworks, Creo, NX Unigraphics, and CATIA.

Similarly, Engineers asked us which CAD software is mostly used in mechanical engineering companies. Engineers are also concerned about which CAD software is the best to start learning so that engineers make their way into the CAD world with ease.

We will make a very short list and give you more details about that Particular CAD software why you need to learn that CAD software, Which companies use that CAD software use, the level of competency required to learn, and CAD software Features.


Best CAD Software for Mechanical Engineers - ExtruDesign (2)

Solidworks is a very popular 3D modeling software for mechanical engineers. Solidworks has the highest user base among the other CAD software for Mechanical Engineers. It’s dominant CAD software in terms of users base.

What are Solidworks Features

  • 3D Modelling
  • Sheetmetal and Weldments, profiles sections
  • Mold and die design and analysis
  • 2D Drafting for drawings and automation (by using Driveworks to automatically generate the drawing with coding)
  • Design Simulation module for the designer level (ABAQUS and ANSYS enables for complex simulations. Solidworks is only capable of very beginner level simulation with very restrictive control over the model for simulation)
  • PDM Pro for Product data management

Which industries use Solidworks?

  1. Most of the Packing Machinery industries use Solidworks (where there are tiny components with very large assemblies)
  2. Machinery
  3. Computer hardware designs (Electrical engineers also use SOLIDWORKS)
  4. Medical devises manufacturing industries use Solidworks
  5. Automotive industry
  6. Aviation and Aerospace

The order of the above-listed industries is based on the highest number of companies that use SOLIDWORKS to the lowest. It is wildly popular in small-scale industries.

(Video) Helical Sweep- Explained in detail |ExtruDesign|

What level of competency is required to learn Solidworks and why do you need to learn it first?

Well, it’s very easy to learn the software. We recommend starting with Solidworks will make it easier to get your way into the CAD world. being its easiness many engineers are learning it and becoming pro with this software.

Strength Training with Shin Splints...

The next generation of the drafting of 2D drawings is complete automation. With Solidworks, it is possible to automate by integrating it with the Driveworks module to automate many drafting tasks, automatic drawing generators with web clients.

So there is a lot of room for you to improve and scope for the future with Solidworks and learn it to be placed one of the many organizations which are using it.

If you learn Solidworks first it will be easier to learn the remaining CAD software with ease.

2. PTC Creo

Best CAD Software for Mechanical Engineers - ExtruDesign (3)

PTC creo is also known as ProEngineer/ProE. Creo is a parametric modeling and direct modeling software. Some of the biggest companies use creo, and it also has a good user base after Solidworks.

What are PTC Creo Features?

  • 3D Parametric Modelling
  • 3D direct Modelling
  • Generative Sheetmetal and surface design, plastic part design
  • Design automation with Option modeler, Pro programming, and toolkit
  • 2D drafting
  • Geometric Tolerance Analysis
  • Windchill for Product lifecycle management

These are the most important features of Creo, and simulation is also possible with Creo but limited for the designer level. Hard to perform Complex simulations.

Which industries use PTC Creo?

  1. Machinary
  2. Automotive
  3. Computer Hardware and electronics and plastic mold
  4. Mechanical Indiustries
  5. Architecture and Planning
  6. Aviation and aerospace.

The order of the above-listed industries is based on the highest number of companies that use Creo to the lowest. You know Cummins, Toyota, and Coca-Cola Uses Creo.

What level of competency is required to learn Creo and why do you need to learn it for sure?

Learning creo will land you into a big pool of opportunities and lead you to unlock many ways of modeling techniques such as parametric modeling, direct modeling, bottom-up approach, and top-down approach. Conceptual Design implementations with option modeler to generate multiple concepts and automation with programing and toolkit will open a new world for the programmers(C++, VB API, HTML, Java, Weblink) to play with the Creo to the bottom of its heart.

(Video) What Kind of Skills Do You Need to be a Mechanical Engineer? - Important Job Skills # 119

So If you need to learn basic Creo you have to put little effort, to become pro in it you have to put lot more effort and you will love it thou. But if you know Solidworks little and it will be much easier for you to start with PTC creo.


Best CAD Software for Mechanical Engineers - ExtruDesign (4)

CATIA’s full form is Computer-Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application. It’s well known for surface modeling, So it is the most dominant OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in Aviation and Aerospace industries. CATIA and Solidworks is developed by the same developer Dassault Systems.

What are CATIA Features?

  • Geometrical Surface Modelling and high detail and controlling, shape manipulations
  • Digital Prototyping
  • Mechanisms
  • ENOVIA as Product Data Management
  • Integrated Multidisciplinary Approach

With its many feature-based design controls for surface modeling and generative shape design and part modeling and assembly, it is one of the powerful CAD systems among the other software. Read about all the CATIA Modules here.

Which industries use CATIA?

  1. Automotive
  2. Aviation and Aerospace
  3. Machinary
  4. Compute software industries

The order of the above-listed industries is based on the highest number of companies that use CATIA to the lowest. You know BMW, Porsche, Daimler Chrysler, Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley Motors, Volvo, Fiat, Benteler AG, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault these big companies use CATIA.

What level of competency is required to learn CATIA and Benefits of learning CATIA?

I must say you need a bit of skill in basic modeling knowledge to get started with CATIA. Since many big automotive companies like BMW, Porsche, Daimler Chrysler, Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley Motors, Volvo, and Fiat uses CATIA, you can be placed in one of the biggest companies. But you have to be fully equipped to beat ou the competition and stand out.

4. Unigraphics / Siemens NX

Best CAD Software for Mechanical Engineers - ExtruDesign (5)

If you are familiar with Solidworks and you can easily learn this Simens NX. This is pretty much the same way of working with features and modeling techniques, capabilities, and opportunities as Solidworks.

The best notable feature with Simens NX is that it has the best product life cycle management (PLM). Mostly used for electromechanical designs and mechatronics design.

(Video) What is Machine Design Procedure?

If you have learned Solidworks give it a try, you can learn and add this to your resume. By the way, Solidedge also developed by Simens it’s also good too to learn.


Best CAD Software for Mechanical Engineers - ExtruDesign (6)

It is also well popular software, in the market INVENTOR is the competitor for Solidworks with a user base. Online collaborative design and parametric modeling are the main features. Automotive industries and aviation industries use this software.


Best CAD Software for Mechanical Engineers - ExtruDesign (7)

AUTOCAD is one of the legendary engineering tools for every engineer. And market share is also huge but it is mostly used for civil engineering, architecture, and planning.

There is other CAD software used by small-scale industries.

Let us rearrange the above CAD software list based on big company’s use and Market share

Based on the Market share of CAD softwares

Based on the internet sources, the following are the number of companies using the CAD software.

S.NoCAD software NameNumber of companies using it
4Autodesk Inventor14,000+
5PTC Creo6,500+
6Siemens NX3,800+

This data is for your reference only. The actual number of companies using CAD software is more than the reported above.

(Video) Animate Constraint in CATIA V5 | ExtruDesign |


I would strongly recommend you to learn Solidworks first and move on to either PTC Creo or CATIA based on your interest. Creo for machinery, industrial equipment, and OEMs segments with complex assemblies and design automation. On the other hand CATIA for automotive industries and aviation, and aerospace for strong surface modeling. once you have these 3 CAD software skills in hand you can learn any other CAD easily. By the way, AutoCAD is the basic stepping stone into the CAD world and I believe you have already learned the 2D drafting knowledge from your academics. Comment your interest in the below and let me know how can I help.


Which is better AutoCAD or SolidWorks for mechanical engineering? ›

For general drafting purposes for both 2D and 3D concepts of all kinds, AutoCAD is the winner. Solidworks is the clear winner for developing sophisticated machinery or other 3D objects.

Is FreeCAD good for mechanical engineering? ›

FreeCAD has some great modeling tools, like Finite Element Analysis, or a nice robot simulation module. From product design to mechanical engineering, FreeCAD will help you to create your best 3D projects. It can really suit all CAD users and it is constantly improved by a whole community of users.

Which CAD software should I learn first? ›

CATIA and NX are the most used software . Apart from these industries Creo parametric, Autodesk inventor and solid works are the most widely used.

Which is the most advanced CAD software? ›

Top 10 General-Purpose CAD Software
  • AutoCAD.
  • SketchUp.
  • Onshape.
  • Solid Edge.
  • Fusion 360.
  • AutoCAD LT.
  • Shapr3D.
4 Dec 2022

What are 2 CAD software packages a mechanical engineer should know? ›

Popular examples of 3D CAD software include SolidWorks, Unigraphics NX, CATIA, and Autodesk Inventor.

Is AutoCAD harder than Solidworks? ›

If a complete novice were to consider both programs, AutoCAD is the easier program to use, and then with a basic understanding of 2D drafting the user could progress to 3D modeling and more complex designs that would include multiple parts, assemblies and animations.

Which one is better CATIA or Solidworks? ›

Catia will also provide you with customized programs dedicated to different industries. SolidWorks is more user friendly and easier to learn as it is used for educational purposes, it is a great starting place for engineers to learn CAD Software.

Which mechanical engineer has highest salary? ›

Highest-paying mechanical engineer jobs
  • Automation engineer.
  • Research and development engineer.
  • Senior mechanical engineer.
  • Senior design engineer.
  • Powertrain engineer.
  • Instrumentation engineer.

Is FreeCAD better than CATIA? ›

When comparing quality of ongoing product support, reviewers felt that FreeCAD is the preferred option. For feature updates and roadmaps, our reviewers preferred the direction of FreeCAD over CATIA.

Is CATIA similar to Solidworks? ›

CATIA and Solidworks are owned by the same company and do many of the same things. CATIA is primarily focused on surface modeling, and tends to be used by the automotive and aerospace industry more often than not. Solidworks is 3D parts and assembly modeling.

Which software is in demand for mechanical engineers? ›

SolidWorks is a powerful and complete tool that will help designers and engineers to build innovative mechanical models. This 3D software has a user friendly interface and can be used for design, or to create machinery parts, for example.

What are the 2 types of CAD software? ›

2D and 3D are the Types of CAD Software Available Today.

How can I learn CAD fast? ›

Here are some extra helpful tips for self-learning with AutoCAD:
  1. Search tutorials and blogs specific to your field. ...
  2. Find exercises that will help you understand different commands through the activities. ...
  3. First, learn how to use 2D drawing tools. ...
  4. Practice, practice, and practice more.
17 May 2022

How fast can I learn CAD? ›

Depending on the instructor and individual, AutoCAD is pretty basic software to learn. For beginners, 4 hours a week for 30 days is sufficient to learn Autocad. For every level, you need to spend 4 hours weekly for 30 days more. Learning AutoCAD well means following the steps carefully and practicing after every step.

Which CAD software is used by NASA? ›

NASA uses several CAD software packages. They use CATIA, Unigraphics and CADDS.

What CAD system does Tesla use? ›

“Tesla has been using DS products almost since its inception,” notes Paul Lomangino, Tesla's engineering tools director. Designers started with SolidWorks and other tools to design the Roadster. As its models became more complex, Tesla moved to CATIA for 3D modeling and ICEM Shape Design for Class A surfaces.

Which is best Creo or Solidworks? ›

Learning curve of SOLIDWORKS is higher compared to Creo, however, stability and more design control is provided by Creo. Creo also have more robust and stable interfaces. For larger assemblies, Creo works better than SOLIDWORKS.

Is CAD useful in mechanical engineering? ›

CAD can convey many types of information, including dimensions, types of material, and tolerances and is essential in offering solutions to both engineering and manufacturing problems. By producing photorealistic animations and videos, it can simulate how a design will actually function in the real world.

What is Catia full form? ›

CATIA stands for Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application. It's much more than a CAD (Computer Aided Design) software package. It's a full software suite which incorporates CAD, CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) and CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacture).

Is there a better program than AutoCAD? ›

CMS IntelliCAD was specifically designed to serve as an alternative to AutoCAD. It supports both 2D and 3D modeling techniques, including full BIM support and LISP compatibility. IntelliCAD works natively with DWG files and allows digital signatures just like AutoCAD.

Which is easier CAD or Revit? ›

Conclusion. In conclusion, Revit is harder to use than AutoCAD. Although it offers more features, the learning curve is much steeper. If you are already familiar with AutoCAD, it will be much easier for you to learn Revit.

Is AutoCAD better than Revit? ›

Revit is a BIM tool which considers the project as a whole, whereas AutoCAD does not and only focuses on individual components. Revit allows for better work sharing, if everyone is using it. AutoCAD is ideal for 2D drawing, representing real-scale elements for your project.

Is CATIA harder than AutoCAD? ›

The difference between CATIA and AutoCAD

Drawing in AutoCAD is powerful and easy to create. In CATIA, creating a drawing is difficult since it is an advanced design software with engineering capability, which Mechanical Engineers typically use.

Is NX better than CATIA? ›

In this article, we will be comparing two multidisciplinary CAD software giants, CATIA, and NX.
The interface is not as easy to navigate and learn as NXNX has a more basic and modern interface, therefore, is easier to learn
6 more rows
27 Dec 2020

Which is better Ansys or CATIA? ›

"CATIA has better performance in simulation and surfacing tool than other design software I have used.

Which country is best for mechanical engineering? ›

United States. The US has the most number of top mechanical engineering schools; 29 out of the world's top 100. This reason is alone to attract international students that you can aim to apply to multiple universities, all of which are one of the best in the field.

Which job is best after mechanical engineering? ›

Job Positions after Mechanical Engineering
  • Mining Engineer.
  • Water Engineer.
  • Aerospace Engineer.
  • Mechanical Engineer.
  • Automotive Engineer.
  • Maintenance Engineer.
  • CAD Technician.
  • Nuclear Engineer.
17 Jan 2022

Which country has more demand for mechanical engineers? ›

In Canada, they are in high demand. With a rapidly expanding economy, the country's infrastructure requires skilled immigrants to keep up. Canada is one country that welcomes immigrants. As the demand for engineers has increased, a large Indian population has settled in Canada.

Which FreeCAD is most like Solidworks? ›

FreeCAD. FreeCAD is one of the most popular alternatives to Solidworks. It is open-source parametric software with a great community working on improving its features and helping other users. This CAD software gives you the most popular 3D modeling tools such as booleans, extrude, etc.

Should I learn AutoCAD or CATIA? ›

Yes, CATIA is one of the best CAD software you should learn. Apart from CATIA, you should first learn AutoCAD which will clear your 2D and basic 3D Concepts. Apart from CATIA, NX, Solidworks and Creo also are good CAD Software.

Is CATIA better than Creo? ›

"CATIA has better performance in simulation and surfacing tool than other design software I have used.

Does BMW use CATIA? ›

CATIA V5 addresses important criteria defined by BMW engineering for their new vehicles, including high performance modification capabilities that help increase productivity when designing chassis parts. CATIA V5 provides the technology, including parameterization, for very quick design modifications of components.

Does Ford use CATIA? ›

Leveraging CATIA V5 enabled Ford to take a top-down, functional approach to BIW geometric modeling. This included product & process associativity and integration.

What companies use CATIA? ›

Companies that use Catia Cad
Company NameWebsiteRevenue$134 Billion$112 Million
Bird RF$34 Million$29 Million
1 more row

Does NASA use mechanical engineers? ›

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices including tools, engines, and machines. These are essential systems in platforms in NASA's Earth Science missions, like satellite and airborne missions.

Does NASA want mechanical engineers? ›

Mechanical engineers are vitally important to NASA's operations and space projects; whether it's designing mechanical ground support equipment, developing shutter mechanisms for space telescopes, or testing engine components, there are literally hundreds of jobs you could be asked to work on.

Which field is best in future for mechanical engineering? ›

Robotics, automation, and mechatronics are considered the most important knowledge and skills that engineers in the manufacturing sector should have in the next 10 years. This is according to the recent poll conducted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Engineering Technology (2021).

Which CAD version is best? ›

Some people prefer the older versions of AutoCAD because they are more user-friendly. Others prefer the newer versions because they have more features and are easier to use. Ultimately, it depends on your personal preferences and what you need the software for. There is no one "best" AutoCAD version.

What are the 5 types of CAD? ›

Popular types of CAD software companies use include SolidWorks, Inventor, Revit, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, MicroStation, CATIA, Creo, and Siemens NX.
  • SolidWorks. ...
  • Inventor. ...
  • Revit. ...
  • AutoCAD. ...
  • Civil 3D. ...
  • MicroStation. ...
  • CATIA. ...
  • Creo.
8 Jul 2021

What is the best software for 3D design? ›

Best 3D modeling software of 2022
  • Unity.
  • 3ds Max Design.
  • Maya.
  • Blender.
  • Creo Parametric.
  • Cinema 4D.
  • Intergraph Smart Review.
  • Modo.
27 Jun 2022

What is the most common CAD software? ›

Autodesk AutoCAD software is the most widely used CAD solution in the world, allowing you to design in both 2D and 3D environments. With AutoCAD design system, you can build 3D models, create and format drawings, and much more.

Why is CAD software so hard? ›

CAD still has a hard time with creating initial concepts (sketching), imagining the perfect shape (optimization), managing organic and natural shapes (for which Euclidean geometry is inadequate), and dealing with discontinuous data (from scanners and sensors).

What skills are needed for CAD? ›

Skills needed to be a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Technician
  • A sound knowledge of engineering design principles.
  • Good numeracy and computer skills.
  • Good communication skills.
  • A knowledge of material properties.
  • An understanding of manufacturing processes and construction methods.
  • Good problem-solving skills.
  • Creative flair.

How long does it take to master Catia? ›

As a certified CATIA Assembly Design Expert, you prove your knowledge and skills with CATIA advanced modeling techniques after solid training and between six and twelve months of advanced hands-on practice and work experience in Assembly Design.

Is there a lot of math in CAD? ›

Description. The use of computer-aided design (CAD) systems always involves the introduction of mathematical concepts. It is important, therefore, for any systems designer to have a good grasp of the mathematical bases used in CAD.

Are CAD skills in demand? ›

Yes, CAD designers are in demand.

The demand for drafting jobs is expected to grow through the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate is about 7% for computer-aided design (CAD), similar to the average for all other occupations.

Do mechanical engineers do CAD? ›

That being said, both mechanical engineers and mechanical design engineers both use CAD (Computer Aided Design) to convey their designs.

Do mechanical engineers need CAD? ›

AutoCAD is among the most useful softwares for mechanical engineers. It enables them to create 2D and 3D models of their designs, which can be used for analysis, prototyping, and production. Additionally, AutoCAD can be used to generate manufacturing drawings and bills of materials.

Is AutoCAD or AutoCAD mechanical better? ›

AutoCAD Mechanical software includes all the functionality of AutoCAD, plus a library of standards-based parts and tools. Users can automate mechanical engineering tasks generating machine components, creating BOM, it has 700,000+ intelligent parts to support ANSI, ISO, DIN, JIS, BSI, CSN, and GB standards.

What are the 3 major roles of CAD in engineering? ›

CAD allows experts to create more accurate design representations. CAD replaced manual design drafting, allowing design development, alteration and optimization. CAD enables engineers to craft more precise designs and manipulate them virtually. CAD software calculates how multiple materials relate.

Which engineering uses CAD the most? ›

CAD is usually use in mechanical and civil engineering.

What are CAD engineers called? ›

A CAD technician, also known as a draughtsperson, uses CAD software to create technical drawings and plans - also known as draughting - for products and parts used in the engineering, construction and manufacturing industries.

Does NASA accept mechanical engineers? ›

NASA employs a variety of types of engineers, including aerospace engineers, computer hardware engineers, electronics engineers and mechanical engineers. Find out more about what engineers do at NASA and what it takes to become a NASA engineer.

Is mechanical engineering a good salary? ›

Mechanical Engineer salary in India ranges between ₹ 1.4 Lakhs to ₹ 7.5 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 3.2 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 50.8k salaries received from Mechanical Engineers.

Do engineers use SolidWorks or AutoCAD? ›

Which industry?
IndustryPreferred Software
Architectural and construction designAutoCAD
Civil and structural engineeringAutoCAD
Mechanical and industrial engineeringEither, depending on toolkit needs
Electronic, electrical and technology designSolidWorks
2 more rows

Is mechanical engineering a lot of coding? ›

To work as a mechanical engineer, only a basic knowledge of coding is required. Typically, mechanical engineering students are required to take one coding class in college. Other engineers, like Computer Engineers, take many coding classes as part of their studies.

Is Mechanical Engineer high demand? ›

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for mechanical engineering jobs will be at 4% through 2029.

Should I use Revit or AutoCAD? ›

In conclusion, Revit is harder to use than AutoCAD. Although it offers more features, the learning curve is much steeper. If you are already familiar with AutoCAD, it will be much easier for you to learn Revit. However, if you have no experience with either program, I would recommend starting out with AutoCAD.

Is more RAM better for AutoCAD? ›

It's better to use more RAM than written in the system requirements for good performance. For 2D drawings, 16 GB is a good value. For 3D drawings, 32 GB should suffice.


1. 01. Creo 3 0 Basic Part modelling Extrude, Revolve, Sweep, Helical Sweep, Swept blend, Datum Plane
2. How to Create a Drawing with GD&T in creo 3.0
3. How to use Fillet Gauges? | Radius Gauges |
4. 00. Creo 3.0 Tutorial for Beginner . Creo User Interface part 2
5. 05.a) Creo 3.0 Exercise session - Creo basic modelling exercise
6. 04. Creo 3.0 Basic Part modelling- Hole wizard (Hole Command) and pattern
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated: 24/09/2023

Views: 5602

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.