AutoCAD vs SOLIDWORKS | Mechanical Engineering HQ


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AutoCAD vs SOLIDWORKS is a generally heard comparability within the engineering and Pc Aided Design (CAD) worlds. It is because they’re the 2 largest names and types within the CAD program area. Their names are the primary two that come to just about each engineer’s thoughts when CAD packages are talked about. Nonetheless, when this comparability is damaged down and analyzed, it turns into obvious that it’s not a good and even comparability. Apples to oranges because the previous saying goes.

Each of those highly effective packages have the power to create designs, enabling engineers to satisfy the expectations that comes with modern-day engineering. No extra drafting, erasing, and drafting once more together with your pencil and ruler. These days are gone, and the digital age of actual measurements and fancy 3D fashions are right here. On this battle of AutoCAD vs SOLIDWORKS, have each established themselves because the trade leaders and have been developed to serve the precise wants of their customers. They’re additionally appropriate with the entire fashionable and crucial equipment wanted to create bodily components from stated designs.

AutoCAD focuses on the 2D drafting aspect, the place SOLIDWORKS concentrates on 3D fashions. There’s crossover as each packages can perform each 2D and 3D designs, however it’s clear which one they’re optimized for. A extra smart comparability is likely to be between Autodesk Inventor and SolidWorks.

Nonetheless, lets delve into each of those CAD packages and see what the 2 largest names in pc aided design have to supply. Put together for AutoCAD vs SOLIDWORKS!


AutoCAD, standing for Computerized Pc Aided Design, is commonly known as the very first drafting software program that was broadly tailored. The OG of the drafting sport, if you’ll. The very first iteration of this CAD large was launched in 1982, and was the primary CAD program that was designed for use on Private Computer systems (PCs) and never industrial minicomputers, which have been… a little larger than fashionable desktops. AutoCAD was immediately widespread, and just like SOLIDWORKS, it has been developed and developed over time to extend the probabilities and energy that it possesses.

Some won’t notice that AutoCAD does in actual fact provide 3D design options, however honestly most (if not all) of AutoCAD’s customers avail of its 2D drafting energy.

AutoCAD Interface
Supply: Autodesk


The preliminary intention of AutoCAD was to offer its customers a solution to digitally create and edit 2D geometry, that is the primary distinction between AutoCAD vs SOLIDWORKS. This was on open ended imaginative and prescient that allowed AutoCAD to develop into what it’s in the present day. The flexibleness supplied is prolonged to the person and offers them limitless choices for his or her varied tasks.

As AutoCAD has grown, it has branched out into varied industries with quite a few completely different software program packages. This has allow them to tug one of the best options from these industries and combine them into AutoCAD via software program updates. This has allowed AutoCAD to particularly goal sure industries by providing bundles that embody instruments which can be wanted for particular drawings. For instance, when you work within the electrical design area, you’ll be able to select the Electrical model of AutoCAD. This provides {the electrical} engineers instruments that you’ll want with out supplying you with greater than you requires and slowing down this system.

It’s a good suggestion to at all times have your work backed as much as the cloud, and AutoCAD has you coated right here as nicely. Accidents and pc meltdowns won’t fear you anymore as they’ve built-in cloud storage in to their platform. This enables the customers to entry their design from wherever, and by no means have to fret about dropping them. The perfect half is, its free!

The drawing modifying course of is made a lot simpler as a result of you’ll be able to annotate drawings at will in AutoCAD. Including notes to sure areas in your drawings has by no means been simpler, and this make collaboration a lot simpler. Observe-up work could be directed via notes and annotation, and never via guesswork.

AutoCAD Annotation
Supply: Autodesk


Simply because AutoCAD was the primary one on the market to satisfy the trade’s drafting wants and loved success, it doesn’t imply that completely everybody has tailored it blindly. There are those that should not followers of AutoCAD, and for these individuals there are many alternate options on the market. Lets dive in.

AutoCAD at first look, to an entire novice can look intimidating and troublesome. We might like to say that it actually isn’t like that, however there’s a steep-ish studying curve when beginning off on AutoCAD. The sheer quantity of instruments and their respective buttons could make discovering a easy characteristic fairly troublesome. On the plus aspect, there are an enormous quantity of guides and tutorial on-line that may make it easier to alongside via the educational section.

As talked about above, AutoCAD does have the power to create 3D fashions inside its software program. That being stated, we might not suggest utilizing AutoCAD for an 3D work that you’ve got arising. The 3D modeling just isn’t parametric and it’s not almost as intuitive as what you get while you use a program like SOLIDWORKS. Additionally, the testing outcomes you obtain should not as correct as these from different packages, nevertheless it does allow you to visualize the outcomes from a 2D draft.

Tech assist is sweet for AutoCAD, there are numerous other ways to contact them and they’re at all times responsive. Reside chat, assist tickets, and speaking on the cellphone are the most well-liked methods to contact them. There are additionally loads of tutorial on their web site that discover the frequent points and issues that customers expertise on the software program. Nonetheless, there may be not a widely known or official person group, the place one can put up questions and obtain suggestions and solutions from fellow customers. It is a downside as teams like these are invaluable when person expertise issues. Professional customers are additionally put earlier than common customers within the queue to obtain assist from AutoCAD.


There are methods to qualify for an academic license for AutoCAD, and when you do qualify you’ll be lucky sufficient to obtain a FREE three-year subscription. Sadly, for these of us that don’t qualify, AutoCAD will run you $1,690 per yr. You can too acquire a month-to-month subscription for $210 a month or a three-year subscription for $4,565. Expensive, however value it!


Popping out in 1995, SOLIDWORKS almost immediately grew to become the trade commonplace when it got here to 3D modelling. It was then acquired by Dassault Systèmes in 1997, who introduced simulation options to the platform in 2001, for which it grew to become recognized for.

As talked about at first of this text, SOLIDWORKS contains a “constructing” method to its design, The person creates 3D fashions by using commonplace engineering options like slots, holes and executives. These are mixed to develop of ultimate mannequin that may be rendered and introduced.

Just like AutoCAD, SOLIDWORKS does have performance in each 2D and 3D design. SOLIDWORKS makes use of 2D sketching in the beginning of the design course of that it then bases the later 3D modelling on. Nonetheless, it could be troublesome to generate a full, competent design in 2D like could be finished on AutoCAD.



SOLIDWORKS has a big following of devoted customers, and that’s as a result of quantity of helpful options it gives, and the consistency that Dassault Systèmes have proven in creating and upgrading the platform. Professionals use SOLIDWORKS to create simulations and renders as near real-life as attainable.

If you’re on the lookout for a program to hold out machine simulation, look no additional. SOLDIWORKS is by far the most well-liked program on this planet for designing and simulating just about each product that you simply consider. Bedpans which can be utilized in hospitals? SOLIDWORKS. Rockets that may carry people into area and perhaps additional? SOLIDWORKS. You’ll at all times know precisely how your design will carry out as a result of intuitive expertise that’s encompassed in AutoCAD. Among the options it consists of in its simulations are:

  • Time-based movement
  • Excessive-cycle fatigue simulations
  • Mechanical resistance
  • Topology
  • Design optimization
  • Buckling instabilities
  • Pure frequencies

Amongst many extra! Now expertise has additionally introduced in the usage of touchscreen tablets to assist with the design course of. Design on-the-go and freehand sketch your concepts!

SOLIDWORKS additionally consists of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), as liquids don’t act in any means just like solids when below forces. The software program realizes this and has a completely separate solution to consider liquids when in a simulation. The life-cycle evaluation additionally offers the person an thought of the life-span that they need to count on from their design below the situations they’ve set it up in. You need to see what is going to go incorrect or fail in your design first and tips on how to treatment the scenario earlier than it occurs in actual life!

Picture-realistic rendering has develop into one other characteristic that SOLIDWORKS has grew to become recognized for. Its highly effective rendering software program offers the person an thought of how their design will look with the appliance of various supplies in varied environments. Additionally it is handy to collaborate with different customers via the file-sharing 3DExperience module.


Having hassle with SOLIDWORKS? Properly their web site has just about each useful resource that you would consider at your disposal. Educate your self via product assist, paperwork, information, finest practices and make the most of the SOLIDWORKS neighborhood to enhance your data.


SOLIDWORKS is the world chief in 3D modelling, however that doesn’t imply that it has pushed all different CAD packages out of enterprise. There are some weak factors that it has, and that you need to learn about earlier than you determine that it’s the program for you.

The most important situation we have now discovered with SOLIDWORKS is the if you’re a MAC person, you’re out of luck. SOLIDWORKS just isn’t appropriate with the MacOS platform. This may increasingly not sound like a giant deal to you if you’re a Home windows person, however when the time comes that it’s a must to collaborate with a Mac person, there shall be some issues.

Though 2D drawing is used to sketch the system that it then created right into a 3D mannequin, SOLIDWORKS doesn’t have a reliable 2D drafting system. If that’s your want, please refer again to our AutoCAD part.

Other than the above objects, there a only a few destructive issues we might say about SOLIDWORKS. You’ll not be disillusioned!


SOLIDWORKS doesn’t come low cost, you weren’t anticipating to get all the facility for nothin now have been you? To buy the software program you should buy an preliminary license, after which an additional annual subscription when you want entry to tech assist and updates. These collectively will run you $5,290.

Once more, if you’re a scholar you’ll be able to acquire a diminished license for instructional functions, however there aren’t any freebies this time as Dassault Systèmes doesn’t give out free licenses to anybody!

So there you’ve gotten it, not the comparability of AutoCAD vs SOLIDWORKS that you will have been anticipating, however nonetheless an amazing useful resource if you’re seeking to discover out extra about each merchandise.

Thanks very a lot for being right here – we respect you taking the time to learn our content material. Which program do you like between AutoCAD vs SOLIDWORKS? And do you’ve gotten any expertise utilizing both? Be at liberty to depart a remark down beneath – we might love to listen to from you! And signal as much as our publication for extra of the identical!

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