Knowing the right kind of CAD software to choose is an important step for engineering and architecture professionals alike. CAD software enables artists, construction professionals, architects, and engineers to render 2D designs into 3D models and images. To deliver impeccable renderings, the software must be the best fit for the designer. Two leading CAD software are AutoCAD and Solidworks. But which is better? Read on to find out if AutoCAD or Solidworks better suit your CAD engineering needs.
AutoCAD design has the capability to handle a variety of projects. Its specialized toolsets allow for many different kinds of professionals to use, whether they are architects, interior designers, or even fine artists.
AutoCAD has a $440 2D design option with no toolsets, and a $1,775 package that includes all of their toolsets (architecture, mechanical, Map 3D, MEP, Electrical, Plant, Raster Design, and more) along with many automated building blocks to streamline productivity and workflow. For many users, the 2D option will most likely prove insufficient, and the largest package will need to be purchased.
Learning AutoCAD is pretty easy, and the interface is known to be incredibly user-friendly. Its strength is in traditional 2D drafting. If the larger package is purchased, it is widely sharable and printable throughout many stages of the design, meaning any potential problems can be caught very early on.
To fully access all that AutoCAD is capable of, the larger package needs to be purchased, which can be an expensive investment for many. The sheer amount of available functions also require some time investment so that users can take full advantage of everything the program has to offer.
Solidworks is the leader in 3D imaging, and seamlessly integrates a variety of tools for fluid workflow. It has many different price points depending on whether your needs are academic or commercial, but its most affordable option is for students at $99 per year. There is also an option to buy a standalone license for $3,995 or an annual $1,295 option that gives you access to tech support and upgrades.
Solidworks is known as the best in design for parametric solid modeling and can handle a vast array of different-sized projects. It has a ton of features, fantastic customer support, and engaged user participation which makes problem-solving easy and fast.
While Solidworks has a fantastic ability to design 3D modeling, its options for traditional design are more lacking. The software has also been known to crash unexpectedly and can take a lot of time to render projects.
AutoCAD or Solidworks?
Both CAD softwares are known to be user-friendly, and powerhouses in design. However, the variety in which AutoCAD can design for both 2D and 3D projects across different industries might make AutoCAD a better choice for users that need to have both of those options, or need to focus on traditional drafting. Solidworks seems to be better software for users that need to design 3D imaging. It is also better for projects that require insight into the physics and motion of machine parts.
The Choice is Yours
The choice is yours!
If AutoCAD is the tool for you, be sure to check out our list of tutorials for learning the software in the post Complete Guide for Top Learning Tutorials for AutoCAD. If Solidworks is your choice, we also have a great list of tutorial suggestions for this software as well! View our list here in the post Best Tutorials for Learning Solidworks.