Architects and engineers were adept at the use of manual methods. They created designs and plans on paper, taking them days to finish. But with the advancement in technology, those days are gone.
Now, architects and engineers, together with 3D artists and game designers, can enjoy software programs that can assist them.
CAD or Computer-Aided Design software programs are what most engineers and architects use to accomplish their projects. Even 3D designers depend entirely on CAD software to create their designs.
Whether you are a beginner or have been around your industry for a long time, CAD software is essential to your career. But now, with plenty of CAD software in the market, it’s hard to choose which one can fit your needs.
Some budding engineers often go for the most expensive CAD version without realizing that it’s not about the price. Even expensive CAD tools can receive bad reviews.
If you are planning to get yourself a CAD solution, you came to the right place. In this article, we will talk about the best CAD software for beginners and professionals. We will also touch briefly on the meaning and importance of this software.
So, let us begin.
What is CAD or Computer-Aided Design Software?
CAD is a computer-based software that assists in the designing process of engineers and designers. They can either come in 2D or 3D models. But most CAD software has both 2D and 3D models.
CAD models are used to streamline the workflow, improve productivity, help in documentation, and enhance the design.
There are two categories of CAD software, one for creating industrial objects and the other for the designing industry. The mechanical CAD software is often utilized in the field of engineering, architecture, astronautics, and so on. This software can be used to create layouts of machines, parts, functions, and every technical aspect. But it is also equipped with advanced features like rendering and animations for product visualization.
Benefits of CAD
- Improves Productivity
Enhancing productivity can help both employees and the business/project. CAD software helps reduce the amount of time when creating designs. It assists the user focus better on their work and finishing projects faster than manually.
Users can use the same design they have as a template to create various products.
Furthermore, CAD software does all the measurements and calculations needed.
- Reduces Errors and Improves Accuracy
Manual sketching cannot measure up to CAD drawings as it fixes errors and fits everything. But of course, it still requires the help of an engineer to check on the measurements and make some adjustments.
Even when you are creating complex designs, CAD software helps in reducing errors.
- Easier to Understand
CAD software makes things easier to understand. Unlike in manual designs, you can’t check on every detail on a single drawing. So what happens is that you have to create individual sketches to see every detail.
However, when using CAD software, you can view the design or product in multiple ways without creating different sketches.
- Permits Collaboration
Gone are the days when engineers or architects needed to deliver designs or send drafts to their clients in person. With the help of technology, it became possible to send drafts and sketches online.
CAD drawings are digital files that can be shared through the cloud. Team members can view, edit, and collaborate on the design in real-time. Furthermore, it makes it possible for members to access the drawing anytime and anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.
If you aren’t using any CAD tools yet, it’s time you invest in one that will help you in your projects. Whether you need to design a product, create detailed drawings of a machine, and more, CAD tools are designed for anyone.
Best CAD Software for Any Level
AutoCAD by AutoDesk
AutoCAD by Autodesk requires no introduction at all. It has been in the market since 1982 and has been serving a lot of professionals.
Most designers, engineers, and architects trust AutoCAD for their 2D and 3D designing and printing. The 2D drafting features of AutoCAD are the most outstanding part of the software. It can be easily enjoyed by amateurs and professionals. However, the 3D component seems to be a bit difficult to grasp. It requires patience to operate the software.
But despite the steep learning curve of AutoCAD’s 3D printing, it is one of the best CAD software in the market.
Collaboration is also supported in AutoCAD. Team members can comment on a design, add annotations and share in various formats. The availability of an app version helps users to access their projects anywhere at any time.
It is rich in architectural, mechanical, and engineering toolsets. Hence, allowing a broad spectrum of professionals to benefit from it. Users can design and create prototypes, including essential parts of a product.
Furthermore, it’s flexible enough to create buildings, infrastructures, estimate costs, and forecast the outcome of projects.
When editing 2D drawings in AutoCAD, you can simultaneously change the text, color, and so on at once. All you need to do is change the text settings.
Meanwhile, 3D modeling designs can look real by adjusting shadows, lightings and improving the overall visualization. You can also create sectional planes to see the inner part of the 3D model. The cross-sectional view will allow showing different surfaces, layers, regions, and more.
You can import data and tables to AutoCAD using your updated Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and PDF files.
Price: You can try it for free or get a monthly or yearly subscription.
Need something that’s best for beginners? TinkerCAD is a CAD software with a web app version. The interface of which is designed for beginners. All tools and features are accessible and easy to navigate through the application.
Individuals who might enjoy this software are those in the manufacturing, advertising, and architectural industry.
Why is it a highly recommended beginner’s software? You can use a pre-existing design and edit or recreate it. There is no need to start from scratch, whether you are creating 2D drawings or 3D models.
It’s easy to build new models as objects and shapes are adjustable. In addition, you can combine different shapes and even add movements.
With these actions, you can create a 3D design for prototypes. You can also develop circuits using TinkerCAD’s lines and customizable shapes. The code blocks help in devising marketing campaigns via GIFs. Furthermore, TinkerCAD offers design presets to help get started in the designing process.
TinkerCAD can save on cost production by allowing to store prototype designs on the cloud and allocate budget.
TinkerCAD is a free software program. It includes free classes and tools for creating 3D designs, electronics, coding, and AR. If you want to learn more about Autodesk CAD software programs, TinkerCAD is the ideal start.
Sketchup is a powerful professional CAD solution that’s perfect for creating 2D and 3D models. Professionals and amateur engineers, designers, and architects will benefit from the uncomplicated interface.
In addition, it provides different light effects, animations, and selections of materials with Trimble 3D.
There are plenty of customizable templates for interior and landscape designing. You can add, rearrange, or remove items on the template.
Sketchup has better 3D features than their 2D support. But, users can still enjoy its basic features.
No matter what skill level you have, Sketchup is easy to manage and navigate through.
Price: Sketchup has various plans to choose from, and each includes packages too. They include plans for personal, professional, and education.
It belongs to one of the best CAD solutions for personal or business use. With its professional tools and interface, TurboCAD Deluxe can compete with leading names in the industry.
Whether you want to sketch 2D drawings, create 3D models, make photorealistic designs, and build products for 3D printing, TurboCAD has everything you need.
TurboCAD Deluxe’s main features include architectural tools, mechanical and 3D printing features, and a rendering engine.
Deluxe offers a large selection of 2D/3D tools from line to spline that can get the job done. You can generate 2D drawings from 3D models and vice versa. Therefore, there is no need to start drafting a new design.
The great thing about Deluxe is that it can compete with leading brands such as AutoCAD. You can enjoy powerful professional tools not only to create 3D models. Architectural tools can help in designing buildings and infrastructure, with multiple items and materials to choose from.
Engineers and 3D designers will rejoice with the mechanical features to build product designs. A detailed view of prototypes can be made showing layers and the creation of irregular objects.
TurboCAD includes rendering features to make designs look realistic by using the LightWorks engine.
You can import files such as AutoCAD DWG/DXF, Sketchup SKP, and more. Also, you can easily export 3D models to STL file format for 3D printing.
You can get yours at our online shop. We offer a Windows and Mac version.
Rhino 7 is a 3D CAD program for a more graphical depiction of 3D models. You can use this powerful software to construct curve lines and other organic shapes, such as meshes, solids, and points.
There are also numerous plugins and third-party add-ons to enhance the software’s capability.
It also has improved presenting features that help to streamline the procedure. As a result, it can be used for animation, rendering, reverse engineering, CFD, and a variety of other tasks.
It can also construct shapes more accurately and alter them. As a result, you can anticipate the desired ultimate product design outcomes.
Rhino 7 is perfect for those designing cars and requires an easy way to work on different shapes accurately. Also, it is for those who want a CAD software program that’s compatible with almost all operating systems.
Price: They offer various plans – for commercial, student, and school.
There are three things to consider when picking a CAD tool, skill, features, and budget. Using the best CAD solution can help architects, designers, and engineers in their projects. With minimal effort, professionals can build designs with every detail they need. It also helps in working with your team and clients. Check out which software works best for you and what feature you need before buying one.