Computer-Aided Design (CAD) comes in many different shapes and sizes, and the software used will depend on the project you have in mind. However, there’s a steep learning curve when it comes to CAD, so you will need to consider your skill level before jumping in. Throughout this article, we have broken down six CAD software into beginner, intermediate, and professional skill levels.
Created for education, BlocksCAD lends itself perfectly to beginners. The tools within this software are broken down into colourful blocks, which help direct users toward the right area. Granted, this is aimed more at children, but it will lead you directly onto OpenSCAD, which hits a much more professional tier.
TinkerCAD is completely free and can be used from any device, including a Lenovo Autocad Laptop. The tool supports 16 different languages and allows for block construction, which means putting together simple shapes to create designs. If you’ve ever used the construction tools in Planet Coaster or Planet Zoo, TinkerCAD should come easy to you.
Fusion 360 is a powerful cloud-based CAD tool designed by Autodesk. Its basic functionality is for PCB, CAD/CAM, 3D modelling and product design. Access to the internet allows creators to work with other engineers. Further, the entire design history is saved, which means you can go back to earlier formats and start over. As well as designing products, you can run manufacturing simulations, which will save you time before sending off your final designs to manufacturers.
If you’re experienced in CAD and you’re looking to create products at speed, Creo is the software for you. It’s packed full of features that you won’t find in the beginner category, but you will find an extensive library of instructions. As well as creating rapid products, Creo helps to improve profits through automation, augmented reality, and additive manufacturing.
AutoCAD, also created by Autodesk, is considered the original modern CAD software and was released back in 1982. You will find plenty of tools within the software, but it assumes users already know how to navigate the platform. Despite having years in the business, its popularity among engineers has declined recently because it’s not that good for 3D printing. To get the most out of AutoCAD, you need to have experience in algorithmically programming models.
Solidworks is typically used by 3D designers at a professional level. The feature-rich software comes with reverse engineering, validation tools, and much more. If you’re in the industrial engineering space, this tool will be perfect for you. Unlike any other CAD software, Solidworks uses NURBS to create detailed curves.
The CAD landscape has grown considerably since its humble roots in the 1960s. There is a lot to learn when it comes to CAD, so you need to know which tools to use from the beginning. If you stick to the software and online tools outlined above, you will transform into a professional designer in no time.