Cloud Based CAD Software : Advantages Limitations and Options

Easy availability of internet and advancement of cloud computing technologies has opened new opportunities for CAD software companies as well. Cloud based CAD software is similar to traditional CAD software. But instead of utilizing local computational resources they run on cloud (Outsourced Computing Power). 

In this article we will focus on how CAD in cloud works? their advantages, limitations and Top 5 Cloud based CAD software.

How does Cloud Based CAD software work?

Cad software in cloud does not require complete software installation on your local computer. They take the advantage of cloud computing and the internet.

This image shows the working of cloud based cad software.
Working of CAD in Cloud

To start with, a user needs to register with the cloud software provider and pay a license fee if applicable. Afterwards They can start using CAD software in internet browser apps such as google chrome or software dedicated apps. During CAD design, a designer does not need to worry about your system computing power. Because all computation work is done in the cloud.

In other words, to use a cad software in the cloud, You just need to sign in to your account from any device and start designing!! All of your data will be stored in the cloud. But for that you need to have a good internet connection.

Advantages of CAD in cloud

Cloud-Based CAD softwares has the following advantages compared to conventional CAD software.

1. Low Cost

Since all computation is done in the cloud servers, CAD software in the cloud does not require expensive workstations to work on. This saves lots of hardware buying cost.

2. Latest Version

Since the software is installed in the cloud where it gets automatically updated. A user will always work on the latest CAD software version.

3. Accessibility from multiple devices

Users can access Cloud-based CAD software from any internet connected device such as laptop, tablet or smartphone. For that they only need to install the app and Sign-in.

4. Improved Productivity

Cloud-based CAD software can be accessed from anywhere provided you have a good internet connection. For example, During vendor or customer visits engineers can explain design on any internet connected device. In this way overall productivity increases.

5. More Flexibility

Since cloud-based cad software cost is charged on a monthly or yearly basis. Therefore according to workload companies can quit or buy additional software licenses, buy more computing power or additional software modules.

6. Fast Speed

Since all computation is done in the cloud, complex CAD problems can be solved very fast. If required users can buy additional computing power to increase speed as well. Users also don’t need to worry about reduced computing power with time.

7. Improved Collaboration

In Cloud based cad software, authorized users can access CAD data in collaboration with other users and start work on it. In this way collaboration between team members while working remotely improves.

8. Improved Safety

CAD data in a cloud based software is managed by cad software itself. Therefore in case of corruption of a file, a previous version is always available. 

Disadvantages of cloud in CAD

Along with so many advantages, Cloud-Based CAD software has the following disadvantages as well.

1. Security

In this your cad data is kept on other company servers. It may have potential risk of hacking data. But these days cloud servers are very secure. Final decision on whether you want to keep your data on a shared cloud has to be taken by individuals.

2. Require a Good Internet Connection

To run CAD software in the cloud, you need a very good internet connection. Otherwise software response may lag because all computation is done in cloud.

3. Limited Options are Available

There are only a few companies that offer cloud based CAD software solutions. Therefore users have very limited options available.

Click this link!! to know the difference between CAD CAM and CAE software.

Top 5 Cloud Based CAD Software

Following are the top five cloud based cad softwares available in the market:

Fusion 360 from autodesk is one of the best option available for 3D CAD design. For hobbyists and small entrepreneurs it is available free of cost. You can get a Fusion 360 professional license in 300$ for 1 year per user.

Fusion 360 is for professionals who are looking for a cad software that can help them from concept design to manufacturing.

Onshape offers complete product design and development solutions to its users in the cloud. It utilizes cloud and user desktop computing power to deliver fast results. Different users can collaborate in fusion 360 from different internet connected devices such as desktop, laptop, Tablet and smartphones.

Compared to fusion 360, Onshape is more costly. Onshape professional and standard licenses are available at $2100/- and $1500/-  per user per year respectively.

Solidworks xDesign

xDesign enables users to design, collaborate, communicate, share, get feedback, assign tasks, manage versions, send messages, find new suppliers and get quotes all without leaving the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It helps in the entire product design and development cycle. Therefore With x Design you can create, share ideas and collaborate anywhere.

Nutanix Frame

Frame is not a cad software. But this tool helps in running required CAD software in the cloud servers. Afterwards you can access CAD software from the internet browser. Therefore Frame frees your Windows desktop applications to run in the cloud, allowing you to work from anywhere, on any device.

As claimed by frame Configuring Autodesk Revit to run on this page took less than 15 minutes and didn’t require any changes to the application. You can start using frame in $33 per user per month.

By using the Autocad web app, you can edit, create and view cad drawings in the web browser. To start work, you just need to sign in. No software installation is required. AutoCAD in cloud monthly plan starts at $160/-

To sum up, CAD in Cloud has numerous advantages compared to its limitations. But during the final decision making all of the above points should be brainstormed. We suggest you to also read this article on buyers guide to select best cad software for an application.

I will keep adding more information on CAD in cloud based. Please add your suggestions, comments or questions in the comment box.

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