Introduction to Various CAD Software’s and their Usages

CAD Software's are used for designing new machine parts and elements. Know about them in the article below.


Hey Welcome to our very first article. We are here to help you with all your CAD design needs. In today’s article we are going to discuss about various types of CAD software’s and a basic introduction of what CAD is.

  • What is Design?

In simple words “Design” can be defined as ‘a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of building, garments or object before it is made.’

  • Types of Design Jobs

  1.  Product Design
  2.  Tool Design
  3.  Graphic Design
  4.  Transportation Design
  5.  Architecture Design
  6. Fashion Design
  7. UX/UI Design and many more. (As many field’s of design emerged in last 20 years due to evolution of technology and availability of resources. )
  • Why is Design important?

Design and the study of design is very important because it’s the first impression of product which people see.

Now moving onto CAD we’ll explore what CAD is and information about various CAD software’s.

  • CAD (Computer-Aided Design)

Designing the product or object in the designing software is called as computer-aided design.

  • General terms used in CAD

  1. 3D Modelling – Creating the model with solid body. ( Generally used for Part design, Tool design, etc.)
  2. Surfacing – Creating any product with the help of surface. ( Generally used for product design.)
  3. Assembly – It is the combination of two or more parts in order to get the final order with proper mating.
  4. Drafting – All the required views of the object with proper dimensions, geometrical symbols, and tolerance is called as drafting.
  • Benefits of learning a CAD software

  1. The person can make any complicated design/model easily in CAD.
  2. Accuracy level is better.
  3. Modifications can be easily done.
  4. The drawings can be stored electronically for a long time.
  5. It consumes less time than that of manual drawing an object.
  6. Before manufacturing the product, the drawings can be visualized in CAD software.
  • Types of CAD software

   According to the ways of modification:

  • Parametric Software:

It can modify the parameters of the model easily, which means the model can be edited if one wishes to make any change to the existing model. (One change of value is easily adopted through entire model, and the whole model tree is updated with new values of the modified component. )

  • Semi-Parametric Software:

It can only modify the parameter’s up to a certain limit. (Some values needs to be put down manually. As it cannot update the whole model tree after the modifications.)

  • Non-Parametric Software:

This type of CAD software cannot edit the parameters.

   According to the design module present:

  • Low-End Software: Here only design module is present. Ex. Auto-CAD.
  • Medium-End Software: Here design and manufacturing module is present. Ex. Mastercam, Delcam.
  • High-End Software: When more than two modules are present in a software then it is called as high-end software. This kind of software’s usually contains modules such as design, manufacturing, analysis and etc. Ex. UG, Pro-E, Catia.


  • AutoCAD

AutoCAD is best drafting, semi-parametric, low-end software.

Developer – Autodesk

Initial Release – Interact CAD/Micro CAD In 1979

Stable Release – AutoCAD 2018 In 2017

File Format – (.dwg)

Available In Languages – English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Brazilian, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Polish and Hungarian.


  1. Best 2D drawing/drafting software.
  2. Easy user interface which has visible icons.
  3. Easy for loading in less system requirement.

Cons –

  1. Time-consuming and complicated 3D design interface.
  2. If you desire to work fast then you need to remember certain commands.
  3. Is not that much usable for product design.


  1. Widely used in Civil Industries.
  2. Used for Tool Design (Press Tool, Mold).

Website –

  • SolidWorks

SolidWorks is a Feature Base, Medium End, Parametric, Bidirectional Associative CAD software, which is very popular in design and manufacturing industry.

  • Feature Base

Any model is created by number of features & these are connected in a sequential manner in feature tree known as feature base.

  • What does Parametric mean?

We can modify the parameters at any stage of modelling. We can also add functional relations between parameters & features.

  • Bidirectional Associative

If we change any parameters in any work bench then it will also get automatically updated in other work bench.

  • Medium End

In SolidWorks modelling, kinematics and making an assembly is possible but manufacturing is not. For this reason it is called as medium end CAD software.

Developer – Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.

Initial Release – SolidWorks 95 In 1995

Stable Release – SolidWorks 2017 In 2016

File Format

  1. .slddrw (Drawing files)
  2. .sldprt (Part files)
  3. .sldasm (Assembly files)

Available In Languages  English

Website –


  1. Easy to understand User Interface.
  2. Name of the tools in SolidWorks are simple and it’s easy to understand their purpose.
  3. Drafting is Easy.


  1. Surfacing is only possible up to a certain limit.
  2. Limited tools for giving motion. (Showing cycle of process.)

Applications – Part Design and Simple Product Design.


Catia is a Feature Base, High End, Parametric, Bidirectional Associative CAD software.

  • High End

If many number of modules are present in a software then it is called as High-End Software. It means it includes modules such as Design, Manufacturing, Analysis and etc.

Developer – Dassault Systèmes

Initial Release – CATIA v1 In 1981

Stable Release – CATIA v20 In 2013

File Format – (.catpart)

Available In – English

Website –

Catia is generally used for Product Design. It has many tools and features which help and ease the work for Product Designing.


  1. All the modules like Fluid System, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, CAM are present.
  2. The name of the tools are simple and it’s easy to understand their purpose.
  3. Drafting is Easy.


  1. Little hard to understand User Interface.

Applications – Product Design of complicated shapes. Specially used as Surfacing Software.

Aerospace, Automotive, Ship Building and etc.


Developer – Unigraphics/Siemens

Initial release – Unigraphics r1 In 1978

Stable Release – NX 11.0 In 2016

File Format – (.prt)

Available In – English


NX is generally used for design of Parts having complicated shapes. It has many tool for Part Designing.


  1. Lots of tools are present to design a Part.
  2. The name of tools are simple and easy to understand their purpose.
  3. Drafting is easy.


  1. Little hard to understand User Interface.
  2. Surfacing section is less.
  3. Less rendering options available.

Applications – Part Design, CAM, Tool Design, etc.

Key Functions of NX:

  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) (Design)
    • Parametric Solid Modeling (Feature-Based and Direct Modelling)
    • Free Form surface modelling ( Class A Surfaces)
    • Reverse Engineering
    • Styling and computer-aided industrial design
    • Engineering Drawing (Drafting)
    • Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI)
    • Reporting and Analytics, Verification and Validation
    • Knowledge Reuse, Including Knowledge-Based Engineering
    • Sheet Metal Design
    • Assembly Modelling and Digital Mockup
    • Routing for electrical Wiring and Mechanical Piping
  • Computer-Aided engineering (CAE) (Simulation)
    • Stress Analysis/Finite Element Method (FEM)
    • Kinematics
    • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Thermal Analysis
  • Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) (Manufacturing)
    • Numerical Control (NC) Programming
  • Other Famous CAD Software’s:

  1. PTC Creo
  2. SketchUp
  3. Autodesk Inventor
  4. Rhinoceros 3D and etc.

In practical approach different industries adopt to different CAD software’s as per their demands and requirements. But its always a good choice for students to master any 3 or 4 CAD software’s to stay ahead in the competition. Also learning CAD helps individuals to visualize their ideas which then can be turned into actual reality. Each day advancement in technology is helping us to ease our tasks, so its essential to learn and adopt this new trends in order to get productive and make better use of our time.

If you think any additions can be made to this article then feel free to drop us a mail at

Thanks for Visiting, Stay tuned!

– Team DTI 



Ashish Shegaonkar

Ashish Shegaonkar

Trainee Engineer at IGTR Aurangabad
A guy following his dreams!


  1. The basic info related to CAD design is very important to a designer which is in this article, so Thank You!

    1. Thank’s for the Comment! We really appreciate your kind words. Support us in the same way in future too. We will publish more interesting articles in future after our site is fully functional.
      – Team DTI.

  2. This is best for fresher’s to read the article about cad software… Very useful information to choose a design software.
    Thank u so much

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