Choosing a 3D cad software for your company or project is a very important decision. Selection of right 3D CAD software can save your money and solve unforeseen future problems. Various 3D cad software options are available in the market. Each cad software has its own advantages, limitations and applications. In this article we will discuss key points you should consider before the selecting 3D CAD system for your company. Don’t miss this article on various software used by mechanical engineers.
How to Choose best CAD Software?
Existing market is flooded with lots of cad software. Each software has its own advantages and limitations, but still most software can create CAD models. Therefore the selection of 3D CAD software is becoming a very tedious task. Following points should be considered before selecting the 3D cad system.
- Type and nature of work
- 3D Cad modeling software type : Parametric or Direct 3D CAD modeling
- Set of features required in CAD system.
- Cloud based on on-system CAD software.
- Type of License : Standalone or Server License
- Total Cost of Ownership
We will discuss all of above points in detail. This will help you in the selection of best 3D cad system for your application.
1. Type of Work Nature
Nature of work you want to do with 3D CAD software has an impact on the selection of cad software. Industry specific cad software modules are also available in the market.
For example, IronCAD is a good option to design and develop sheet metal parts. Whereas solidworks, catia and UG, Creo are not specific to any industry. Buying industry specific software is always recommended because they have more industry specific features and low in cost.
2. Type of CAD Modeling Software : Parametric or Direct
Parametric 3D CAD modeling is recommended for a company that works on similar type of products. Whereas direct cad modeling is used to design products with complex surfaces very quickly.
Therefore various industries are using direct modeling to prepare product outer design and parametric modeling for the design of internal features. Read that article for more details on synchronous, parametric and direct cad modeling.
3. CAD Ecosystem : Set of Features Available
Different cad software comes with different sets of features. Depending on your requirement, selection of the best 3D cad system shall be done. Apart from 3D CAD design you can look for the following features in a CAD system.
- Structural simulation
- Product data management
- Tolerance stack-up analysis
- CAM features
- Industry specific modules etc.
4. Cloud Based CAD or CAD Software on Local System
Compared to conventional cad software, Cloud based 3D cad software does not require a high end workstation. But cloud based cad software requires a very good quality internet connection. Therefore pros and cons of selecting a cloud based cad system should be considered.
5. License Type : Standalone or Server License
Most cad software comes in two types of licenses : Standalone and Networking. In Standalone license, CAD software is installed only in one system. Whereas in networking license, cad software can be installed on multiple systems but at a time, software works only in one system.
6. Total Cost of Ownership
Total cost of ownership of 3D CAD software includes following cost.
- CAD software license cost.
- Annual maintenance cost.
- Workstation cost
- Training cost.
All of the above costs should be considered before choosing the best cad software for your application.
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