Posted

It cannot be denied that design is at the core of mechanical production and has a huge impact on the mechanical performance of any company. The progress in digital technology has led to the conceptualization of various CAD softwares. 

CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design. As the name suggests, computer technology aids the quality standards and perfection of the auxiliary designs for mechanical projects.

2D or 3D modelling is an essential aspect of many industries irrespective of the size of their mechanical department. Engineers and system designers are heavily dependent on CAD software today for creating the actual designs and putting them through real time simulations. 

The results of these simulations help to adjust the analysis and performance of the design when it is going through the production phase.

Mechanical engineering does not leave any scope for mistakes and this demand for higher standards of perfection should guide your search for 3D CAD softwares.

Whether you need the software for design prototyping or printing out templates for your mechanical production, the CAD software is your basis for precision in either cases.                                       

Top 3 Software for Design Engineers in 2021

Before we move on to the three best CAD softwares for engineers, let us outline what qualities these CAD softwares should have that will simplify the job of the engineers. 

Computer-Aided design tools reduce the margin of errors for complicated mechanical drawings. These softwares allow documenting the design in a way that is more uniformly standardized.

This automatically improves the understanding of the design and communication across the other departments of the organization.

CAD software helps with the visualization of the final product in real time simulations. Engineers can even render functional animations of the products for presentation to the client and the manufacturing unit.

Most modifications can be made at the design level reducing the overhead costs and time of final production.

A handy feature of the CAD softwares is they allow storing your 3D core design as templates. Engineers working on frequent design development no longer have to start each of their work processes from scratch. This helps save time without compromising on the design precision.

CAD software is a key strategic tool for every design engineer. However, you need to try the tool that best suits your designing style to make the process most simplified and effective for you. 

We have curated the best three options for CAD softwares that are leading their game in 2021. Each of these have been detailed along with their unique features and significant advantages to help make the selection process less complicated for you.

So let’s dive right in!

1. CATIA

CATIA stands for Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application. It is one of the world’s leading CAD softwares available for design engineers.

Dassault Aviation developed the software primarily for the company’s internal use. However, the company soon realized that the scope of the CAD tool is much more comprehensive that they initially realized.

In fact, the tool is actually much more comprehensive than a simple CAD tool. This is when Dassault patented the tool and made it available for public use.

CATIA gives you a cross platform suite in the guise of a software. This allows the software to function as a core CAD (Computer-Aided design) platform but also as a CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) and CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) tool as well.

The tool has single handedly redefined the product design and development experience.

Integration of multiple approaches for design, across various disciplines of industry and at every stage of the product development process, give CATIA its leading edge as a CAD/CAM software in 2021.

No wonder CATIA has been quick to cement its position as a simulation solution and 3D design tool for designers, and engineers.

Advantages

CATIA is significantly more popular in eight primary industries. This ranges from automotive, factory design, shipbuilding, manufacturing, aviation design, consumer goods design, and electronic engineering.

Here is a list of advantages that specifically improves design experience on CATIA.

a) CATIA has a social design interface empowered by a single source of truth. You can access this interface through robust 3D dashboards.

b) CATIA interface can power concurrent design development in real time and collaboration amongst mobile workers and decision makers. This improves the communication across all channels while propelling business intelligence for added efficiency.

c) CATIA is unchallenged in its instinctive 3DEXPERIENCE, which allows unparalleled 3D modelling and functional simulations for experienced and new users alike.

d) As a product development interface, CATIA is inclusive and can easily collaborate with the existing tools and system environments of a production unit. This allows multiple industries to incorporate the software for specialized applications during various stages of the production development.

Pricing

CATIA offers a free 30-day trial option for its tribe of 3D innovator products, which is a collaborative platform powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE environment.

You can use this platform to learn and perfect your design skills through the CATIA xDesign interface.

It allows you to interact with CATIA experts and Dassault communities directly during this free trial for troubleshooting and learning the use of the tool.

This also includes the CATIA xDesign’s web application within the trial.For the pricing of the CATIA suite license, you have to contact the sales team at Dassault Aviation.

2. nTopology

nTopology is a generative simulation software. It allows designers to accelerate the process of product design and increase the efficiency of the product development process.

This is the primary reason for nTopology being consistently absorbed by advanced manufacturing industries. The speed of performance from the software is its USP.

Generative design uses logical operations at the core of simulating the design. Thus, the design is created by a computational approach and subset of rules instead of depending on manual precision of the engineer for design creation.

This holistic methodology minimizes the possibility of errors while increasing the speed of innovation.

nTopology is the only generative engineering simulation software of its kind in the market right now. Engineers have been increasingly using the software to create reusable workflows customized to adjust to specific applications.

This cutting edge generative technology is the leading edge of the nTopology solution.

Further, the software also allows for topology optimization. This is a key characteristic of the field-driven solution of the nTopology software.

You can use the software for combining your simulation results with the experimental data and generate customized solutions for individual design requirements.

Advantages

Here is a list of advantages specific to the nTopology software.

a) nTopology is a generative solution using a holistic methodology that preserves precision of design production at augmented speed levels.

b) It integrates with all leading CAD softwares to help with collaborative design and development across multiple channels.

c) It allows users to easily import and export files in open engineering formats, particularly in Parasolid, STL, STEP 3D scanning, and 3MF.

d) You can also use it to integrate with 3D authoring tools using command line prompts.

This unique feature allows engineers to imbibe the most effective solutions from custom enterprise systems into their current 3D software environment.

Pricing

The pricing for the nTopology software license is only available on request. You have to contact the sales team at the official Topology site.

3. SolidWorks

SolidWorks has created a solid niche amongst professional engineers and 3D designers. The tool offers a wide range of features including tools for reverse engineering and design validation.

It has steadfastly been carving its position as a utility designing tool for industrial objects.

SolidWorks uses the Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines (NURBS) system for simulating curves on gently inclined flat surfaces. The tool is excellent in creating precise curvatures.

Also, the default preference in SolidWorks is for dimensional sketching which takes precedence over the conventional polygonal modelling. It reduces the need for consistent resizing afterwards.

Advantages

Here are some major advantages of this Computer-Aided Design software:

a) It captures the expansive design intent, which can be used for more intuitive design changes.

b) It is definitely more user friendly as a CAD software environment. Users can choose to adopt different approaches like top-down or bottom-up to create the final assembly design.

c) It can be accessed in three different editions. All of the editions are equipped with 3D design features. However, the SolidWorks Professional and Premium editions are definitely more powerful in terms of design features and facilitating collaboration across multiple platforms.

Pricing

You can get a customized quote for the type of SolidWorks license that best suits your needs. The software is available in Commercial, Academia, Research, Enterprise, and Student editions.

Conclusion

The precision standards expected of design engineers have only risen with the years. 

The advanced technology now available to engineers is unprecedented in the level of free hand customization and powerful simulation features.

Investing in CAD software is equivalent to investing in the future of manufacturing design and development. 

These tools improve the productivity and overall efficiency of the design as well as its adaptation at each level of the production lifecycle. 

It can be safely claimed that all the above tools are deservedly leading the industry with their innovative features and are worthy of your foremost consideration.