Solidworks vs autocad

Difference Between Autocad and Solidworks : Autocad vs Solidworks

Autocad and solidworks both are cad tools used for design and development of products. CAD software can be classified based on type of technology they use : Parametric or Non-Parametric. In this article we will talk about the difference between autocad and solidworks. Refer this article for more details of type of cad modeling tools.


AutoCad is Non-Parametric cad tool preliminary used for 2D drafting. But it also has limited 3D functionality as well. AutoCad was first released in 1982. It was the fist cad software running on personal computers. Before AutoCad most cad programs was not popular and most of work was done on drawing board.
  • Non-Parametric
  • Import and Export of image and pdf formats.
  • Native Cad Format : DWG
  • Supports other Vector Formats such as : DXF

Autocad has applications across various industries. AutoCad also has industry specific software such as AutoCad Electrical and AutoCad Architecture. It has applications almost in every industry. Autocad applications includes:

  • Preliminary used for 2D Drafting
  • Limited 3D Functionality
  • Map 3D is for GIS analysis and planning
  • Mechanical Architecture Design
  • Electrical and Plumbing systems design


Credit Solidworks

Solidworks is a parametric based CAD tool used for design, simulation and development of mechanical products. It is preliminary used for 3D drawing but also has limited 2D drawing functionality as well.

  • 3D Parametric CAD Tool
  • Limited 2D Functionality
  • Part and Assembly Design in 3D
  • Rendering Tool
  • Surfacing
  • In-Build Simulation
  • Life-cycle Management
  • CAM ( Computer Aided Manufacturing )

Solidworks has applications in across wide array of industries where there is a requirement of designing product or services in 3D. It includes automotive, aerospace, machinery and electronics and BIM industry. Solidworks applications includes:

  • Creating 3D part and Assembly Design
  • Engineering Drawings
  • Design Evalution using integrated simulation tools
  • Animation and Realistic Rendering
  • CAM ( Computer Aided Manufacturing etc. )
Features Solidworks AutoCad
Initial Release Date 1995 1982
Application Preliminary used for 3D design with limited 2D Functionality Preliminary used for 2D drawings with limited 3D Functionality
Features Parametric, Part and assembly design, Rendering, in-Build simulation, CAM, Life Cycle Management etc. non-parametric, import and export image and pdf formats, Designed to work in 2D, industry specific software ( AutoCad Electrical and Architecture)


To sum up, both solidworks and autocad caters for different markets. Autocad is used for 2D releated work. Autodesk has inventor and Fusion 360 to cater 3D market. Whereas solidworks is used for 3D related work. It has draftsight to cater 2D market. Refer this article to know free available cad softwares. 

If you only want to view cad data you can use free cad viewers.

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