Are you about to participate in an upcoming 2D and 3D graphic design project but have not found the right support tool? Don’t worry! This article will provide you with the 10 best computer-aided design (CAD) software.
Using the software makes it significantly more straightforward to visualize and simulate your designs. Besides, you can use them to simulate real-world natural conditions like wind, rain, and light.
The best CAD software will assist users in creating efficient and fast workflows. Let’s dive into these fantastic tools based on their features and applications.
- Solidworks: Best For Overall
- Siemens NX: Best For Reliable Brands
- Catia: Best For Multi-Platform
- Autodesk Inventor: Best For Built-In Tools
- Solid Edge: Best For Assembly Feature
- Fusion 360: Best For 3D Modeling
- Rhino 3D: Best For Editing Tool
- AutoCAD: Best For 3D Prints
- DraftSight: Best For CAD Drafting And Design
- OpenSCAD: Best For Experts
Without making you wait any longer, we will explore the top 10 software more thoroughly in the section below.
1. Solidworks: Best For Overall
|System Requirement||64-bit, Intel or AMD|
An ideal design program for experts is Solidworks. This software is a great choice if you are also looking for tools to support mechanical design and reverse engineering for 3D models.
Because it comes with the NURBS system, it allows users to create more detailed curvatures for 3D models and drawings. In particular, it also provides an outline feature to meet all needs for precise resizing without much hassle.
Its efficient approach has attracted far more users than the previous CAD program. Accordingly, users have accepted it as the leading standard.
In short, this CAD program introduced in 1995 is an excellent method for creating solids by adding and removing volumes.
Website Link: Solidworks
- High applicability
- Useful free trial
- Super easy sketching feature
- Compatible with many devices
- The download imposes specific hardware needs
2. Siemens NX: Best For Reliable Brands
The Siemens NX software is one of the top-selling products owned by the multinational corporation Siemens. It provides custom support for simple 2D and 3D model processing.
Besides, its many valuable features make it the perfect tool for CAM, CAD, and CAE. Therefore, choosing this tool lets you easily handle all projects, including creativity and production.
In particular, Siemens also offers many promotions for their loyal users. Accordingly, countless options are available to you so that you will have a great experience with this software.
Website Link: Siemens NX
- Great customer service
- Trusted brand
- Can handle multiple platforms
- Good price
- Not ideal for newbies
3. Catia: Best For Multi-Platform
Catia has long been one of the leading tools for cross-platform product design. It can meet any user’s design needs, whether CAD, CAM, or CAE, in the aerospace and automotive industries.
Its outstanding advantage is the immediate product modeling speed in real-time. Yet, you also need to possess specific skills in 2D and 3D to apply their advantages more easily.
In addition, this software also provides rich resources for 3D designers to create their ideas more smoothly.
Because it comes with 3D simulation, this software allows users to handle complex designs better. In particular, its powerful control panel can support several designers on their products at the same time.
Website Link: Catia
- Good support for complex models
- Many valuable and unique features
- Superior cross-platform product design
- Provide a free demo for every user
- Not ideal for beginners
4. Autodesk Inventor: Best For Built-In Tools
Want a great chance to connect your design with potential customers by sharing ideas in the secure cloud? If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. Autodesk Inventor promises to provide you with the perfect tool.
With many built-in features, it becomes powerful mechanical and machine design software.
First, it provides excellent support for 3D designs and product data modeling. Its parametric, tube, and power design functions help you improve the products.
Next, it also allows users to improve design efficiency thanks to the iLogic tool for automation. So, you can easily access its API to create plug-ins and run cloud workflows quickly.
Finally, this CAD software also comes with extensive BIM interactions. So, it will help you increase sales when participating in different projects.
Website Link: Autodesk Inventor
- Good price
- Great built-in tool
- Useful BIM interactions
- Powerful performance
- Rich resources
- Accuracy is not perfect
5. Solid Edge: Best For Assembly Feature
|Manufacture||Siemens Digital Industries Software|
Solid Edge is the best assembly software I have come across. Accordingly, it perfectly combines speed, flexibility, and control in prototype designs. In other words, using this software can quickly solve the sync tech task.
Its parametric design impressed me, allowing me to create and model exactly what I wanted. In particular, creating different techniques on this software only takes a few minutes.
Besides, it doesn’t include any rules or constraints. Accordingly, I do not have to adjust or remodel designs imported from other CAD systems. Instead, I can quickly make real-time changes to even the most complex procedures.
Website Link: Solid Edge
- Powerful assembly feature
- Easy to install and use
- No complicated rules or constraints
- High flexibility
- Slow product rendering
6. Fusion 360: Best For 3D Modeling
If you are looking for CAD software to support 3D model production, Fusion 360 is a good choice.
It’s one of the most cloud-based CAD platforms I’ve come across. I use it to create some 3D models quickly with great accuracy and aesthetics.
I also love that it allows the user to create and design even if I need to develop multiple design loops.
Besides, this software supports users well in testing for minor errors. So it improves project speed and final product quality.
In short, you can model and edit effects and features with its built-in CAD and CAM software tools.
Fusion 360 software supports converting 3D models into 2D drawings. So you can easily add notes and measure dimensions with great accuracy.
Website Link: Fusion 360
- Can handle both CAD and CAM
- It provides many modern and functional features
- Great value to use
- Offer a free trial
- High price
7. Rhino 3D: Best For Editing Tool
|System Requirement||Mac, Windows and iOS|
With any operating system, you can also use great 3D CAD software like Rhino. Indeed, it will benefit any curve processing, design, and Modeling task.
I also like how it supports the multi-shape design, including meshes, prints, and solids. So, that allows me to present 3D models easily with varied graphics.
Besides, it has built-in tools to support super-efficient workflow. That’s why it can meet all your imaging, CFD, and data rendering needs.
Last but not least, this software offers SubD, a new geometry type with quick and precise editing. That way, you can simultaneously vary the shapes in your product design for multiple projects.
Website Link: Rhino 3D
- Ideal for experts
- Powerful rendering performance
- Provides precise and fast editing
- Quickly model curves and various shapes
- Only compatible with some devices
8. AutoCAD: Best For 3D Prints
Whether you are an architect or a mechanical engineer, AutoCAD software will be handy for your 2D and 3D printing tasks. Indeed, it makes it easy for you to design, annotate, and sketch models in 2D and 3D geometry.
This software will be simple if you know how to use solids, surfaces, and meshes. That is also why I am impressed with its interface and ease of use.
Not only that, but this software also helps to improve product manufacturing thanks to electrical, mechanical, architectural, and MEP tools.
Moreover, it makes it easy for users to complete projects by automating tasks such as creating schedules, counting, adding blocks, and comparing drawings.
Website Link: AutoCAD
- Can handle the project on any device
- Easy to download and use
- Improved handling of tasks
- Useful built-in automation features
- Long response times directly to DWG files
9. DraftSight: Best For CAD Drafting And design
|Price||From $249 to $750 USD/year|
I chose DraftSight for my 2D drawings after looking at reviews on e-commerce sites. It works great and allows me to do a lot of pictures, wiring diagrams, and control panels without any problems.
Besides, its 2D drawing support far exceeded my expectations. Indeed, I have tried working with the DWG files available on this software. And it handles the job better than most programs I’ve purchased.
Therefore, this software will easily support many 2D or 3D DWG file formats.
Finally, the user-friendly interface is a big plus. It helps me convert CAD templates according to project needs more quickly.
Website Link: DraftSight
- Supports all DWG formats
- simple and easy to use
- Friendly interface
- Good price
- Little tab view support
10. OpenSCAD: Best For Experts
The top suggestion for free CAD software for you is OpenSCAD. It is also the perfect choice for highly technical users and experienced designers.
I’m impressed with how it creates 3D models on machine parts. As a 3D compiler, it can read and display 3D models from existing scripts.
So it will take you only a little while to complete the design. Instead, you can be creative and unleash your design prowess on every drawing when using this software.
Compared to most other CAD versions, this software has the upper hand in user control over the modeling process. Furthermore, the easy-to-read specifications allow users to change and adjust the design whenever they want.
Finally, this software supports multiple data formats for 2D and 3D files. I can save my 3D design model in OFF and STL files without problems.
Website Link: OpenSCAD
- Allows downloads on multiple operating systems
- It gives reasonable control to the user
- Multi-format support
- Powerful and fast performance
- Missing some advanced features
Choosing the best CAD software from the many available options is complex. If you face similar difficulties, please refer to the helpful buying guide below.
Most CAD programs have a mission of their own. However, I recommend choosing a version compatible with the program or production management software you are working on.
They allow you to easily convert between file formats for consistent and smooth product design and production.
The CAD program only works properly when the device has the processing speed and performance to keep up.
Some versions work well with the Windows operating system, while others only support Mac OS platforms.
Therefore, checking the operating system and processor requirements is better when making your final choice.
Budget is another crucial factor to consider. Accordingly, most of the CAD software offers a free trial for users. Therefore, make sure you use these versions before spending money on the paid versions.
The most significant users of CAD include engineers, construction managers, and architects. They need to use this tool to model projects in 2D or 3D.
The short answer is Autodesk CAD. It is one of the earliest software to lay out the equipment, create blueprints, and construct cutting planes.
The truth is no. Most CAD programs that require RAM of the devices are pretty light, with only 8GB of RAM. For users who want to run more CAD on their devices, 32GB is a great starting point.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a familiar concept if interested in a CAD alternative. This tool provides faster product processing and file processing performance than CAD.
Sure, engineers will continue to use CAD. It plays a vital role in the civil and engineering industries.
Now, you have known the 10 best CAD software from paid to free versions. It’s time to decide your needs to make the most suitable choice.
If you are starting with 2D Modeling and want to improve your work efficiency, DraftSight is the right choice. Alternatively, consider Rhino 3D if you’re looking for a useful polygon mesh editing solution.
My sharing and suggestions above are helpful to you. Thanks for reading!