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best CAD software for production design

10 Best CAD Software For Product Design

These options for the best CAD software for product design are surely bang for the buck.

It’s hard to choose the best CAD software for your work when there are more than a hundred to choose from..

Irrespective of whether you’re a teacher, architect, or engineer, you tend to buy CAD software for your work.

Whatever your profession is, it gives you many benefits.

Increasing productivity, high-quality designs, and simplifying sharing are some of the advantages of CAD software designs.

This article will guide you to 10 best CAD software for product design with the highest reviews and excellent feedback. 

With that said, let’s dig into details!


CATIA, which stands for Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application, requires specialized knowledge and training to work on the platform.

This comes with three different tasks and roles such as;

  • 3D CAD software
  • CAM or Computer-Aided Manufacturing
  • CAE or Computer-Aided Engineering

This is from Dassault Systèmes Company.

You’ll need a powerful PC to work on, and this software can also be used on very lean PCs.

Its user interface is user-friendly, and assembling seems to be excellent drafting.

This software will make your workflow fast and efficient.

It gives you benefits like quick 3D modeling, quick assembling of parts, and realistic animations.

This is a highly advanced design tool that possesses many features, such as Kinematics.

Kinematics is an essential factor to animate the assembled machines.

CATIA is one of the best CAD designs for architecture engineering, automotive, aerospace, industrial equipment, and shipbuilding.

This offers you many options and approaches to take your design to a new level.

It also empowers different orders to use their current apparatuses all through the phases of the item advancement process.

The software provides a 3D design platform that allows online people and stakeholders to share product designs and collaborate on product modeling.

Through this, you can gain innovative ideas from your colleagues and get advice when you run out of ideas and need help.

If you’re an expert in this industry, this is the ideal CAD software design for you since it meets all the professional ends that you wish to have.

The price range starts at $10,000.

If you’re an amateur, planning to use this CAD software at once isn’t a wise idea because you’ll have to spend hours wasting to find out how the software works.

CATIA is sophisticated software designed for professional and expert product designers.

As the programming language of CATIA is in C++, this software slightly has an outdated look.


SOLIDWORKS is also powered by Dassault Systemes.

This is compatible with a wide variety of design industries such as automotive, shipbuilding, aerospace and industrial equipment.

It is also compatible with architecture, medical, and energy sector in contrast to the other CAD design software.

This is also ideal for experts and professionals since it requires specialized and advanced knowledge and training.

The user interface of SOLIDWORKS is easy to use and straightforward. 

Its tools and fixtures not only provide you better quality but also gives you instructional drawings.

If you do the product designing on a large-scale, this software will fasten your workflow.

There are comprehensive standard parts libraries such as bearings and fasteners, which makes transferring files more accessible.

This CAD software is a parametric feature-based model, which is also practical and detailed.

The best feature of SOLIDWORKS is that it uses a NURBS system, which allows it to create very specific curvatures.

Price of one license of this software is $3,995.

In contrast to all the other CAD software, SOLIDWORKS is the most affordable one.

You can also use this software as a 3D design learning tool.

If you’re an amateur, this is a useful software since you can create intricate designs as this software is highly visual and intuitive UI with tutorials and online courses. 

This is a cloud-based manufacturing software system which gives benefits like,

  •   Quicker implementation
  •   Cost-effectiveness
  •   Security
  •   Accessibility of features
  •   Data and integration enhancement
  •   No physical servers

The presence of extensive online forums helps you be 100% successful in your production design.

You can quickly put your ideas into action without worrying too much as this software provides a seamless and integrated workflow.

Apart from all of these, SOLIDWORK offers,

  •    User-defined drawing paper
  •    Good quality rendering
  •    Realistic stimulation
  •    Suitable for designing small parts

3. Autodesk Inventor

Autodesk Inventor is best if you want to visualize your product to be built before you build it. 

This CAD software allows you to produce accurate 3D models that help in designing, visualizing, and stimulating products.

Thus, you’ll be able to refine and improve many product characteristics by foreseeing the product to be built.

Also, you can shape up your ideas on designing and to minimize the errors in the process.

To get the best use of this software, you should have advanced and expertise in engineering. 

This software offers you a top-level toolset, from which you can simplistically produce intricate designs.

Also, these tools can be used for,

  •    parametric modeling
  •    assembly modeling
  •    drawing creation

Autodesk Inventor CAD software is excellent for both experienced and amateur designers.

It simplifies the workflow for beginners while automating particular processes for experienced users.

Though the audience is smaller for Autodesk Inventor than in other CAD packages, it works well for less complicated product designs.

The limited compatibility might be off-putting sometimes for some buyers.

This CAD software can be used for various industries such as graphic design, architecture, engineering, machinery, automotive, and manufacturing.

You can test the strength and function of virtual products you create using data points like friction loads, stress, and weight.

It allows you to validate and concentrate on minute details of the product design you create to enhance the productivity.

Since the user interface is easy and straightforward, you can get done with it in no time.

Although many people don’t use it, there are plenty of tutorials outside the platform, facilitating you to learn how to use Autodesk Inventor.

4. AutoCAD

AutoCAD is one of the oldest CAD design software which can be used in industries like

  •   Architecture
  •   Engineering
  •   Graphic design
  •   Management
  •   Plumbing
  •   Fire alarm systems

This is way compatible with 2D drafting rather than for 3D modeling. 

From one command, you can get your job done without redrawing or retracing.

This is best for graphic representation to be shown in multiple drawing locations.

In case you want to change it, all the occurrences will be automatically updated.

Many architecture schools use it to teach entry-level architects because of its user-friendly and straightforward nature.

This software is highly versatile and you can make changes quickly as you wish according to your preference.

Since beginners also can understand how they work, companies can speed up their workflow without wasting time on training programs.

This software is ideal for simple floor plan drawings.

AutoCAD software is faster than manual design, allowing you to save your data securely.

It allows you to get the accurate product you wished for with high quality.

You can also draft drawings and layouts in AutoCAD mechanical, and according to the reviews, this software is secure and best for drafting.

As you can make your work easy and smooth through AutoCAD, it allows you to identify the problems before they happen.

Irrespective of the device type, this software is compatible with both iOS and Android.

The presence of keyboard shortcut commands options like move, copy, stretch saves your time of searching the command button on the screen.

Also, it saves a lot of time.

As the AutoCAD classic workspace is not there in the new versions, you can easily include classic workshops manually in the latest versions.

5. Rhinoceros 3D

Rhino3D is beneficial for a wide variety of industries such as

  •   Architecture
  •   Industrial design; automotive design and watercraft design
  •   Product design (jewelry and furniture)
  •   Multimedia
  •   Graphic design

This software plays a vital role in prototyping, making your final product perfect.

It is highly user-friendly, and it fastens your workflow.

This is useful for processes of CAD, CAM, rapid prototyping, 3D printing, and reverse engineering.

The geometry of this 3D CAD programming depends on the NURBS model, which centers around creating a numerically right portrayal of bends and freestyle surfaces in PC designs.

To place and shape models, you will have to enter numbers during the 3D process.

This feature has a benefit and a drawback as well.

The advantage is it will make the mechanical designs perfect, and the drawback is it can slow down the workflow.

Unlike the other CAD software, this software allows the users to ultimately model and render the space for them to visualize.

Regardless of your experience level, you can bring your sketches to reality through Rhino3D.

This software allows you to conceptualize and study different design options quickly.

With the presence of many supported formats, this software can be considered an excellent file converter of different 3D file types.

Rhinoceros 3D is highly versatile; it gives the freedom to design as they wish without any constraints.

It lets you implement the plugin use quickly.

According to the reviews, this software is more compatible for entry-level designers as it’s a perfect tool for the conceptual design phase.

Rhinoceros 3D supports you in handling intricate product designs simply.

This software acts as a translator as well.

You can take in client models and afterward add optical segments to it in a point by point and exact way.

6. DraftSight

DraftSight is also an output of Dassault Systemes.

The best feature of this CAD software is it comes in two versions as a free and paid version.

Beginners will find this software interesting since the clear and straightforward user interface allows them to learn the program quickly.

The components of structures are in layers that allow you to make exact revisions.

This software consists of all the 2D tools which allow you to make detailed production drawings.

You don’t necessarily need training in a 3D package to use this software.

The professional version of DraftSight can think about plans and show the distinctions, annex PDFs to the venture document and even add equipment images to your structure.

The difference between the paid and the free version is the latter adds additional features to the toolbox. 

It allows you to reuse resources from previous ventures using the structure library.

You can always design products and send them to the customers to get their feedback and approval.

Also through this, you can explain products and critical components to customers.

It provides security requirements as well.

This software allows you to interact with top-level architects and engineers.

Hence you can enhance your knowledge on CAD, correct mistakes, and generate more innovative ideas.

You can also detect the defects of your product beforehand and show progress and advancement for future establishments by correcting those mistakes.

Through DraftSight, you can manage symbols and block libraries to stay steady with drafting shows and images.

The best use of DraftSight CAD software is for creating floor plans and interior elevations.

7. SketchUp

If you prefer neatness and tidiness, SketchUp is the ideal CAD software for you.

The interface is super easy and straightforward.

Beginners can figure out quickly the way it works without any confusion.

The fundamental belief of this product is that it means to encourage and cover the expectation to absorb information to the less conceivable.

It is pulling in a lot of clients from this equivalent truth.

You can use this software for mocking up products and structures.

Thus, you’ll be able to get an idea of what the product/structure will look like.

Designers find this as a perfect method to explain every laborious or minute detail of the products or structures to customers.

Also, through this, you can get their feedback and approval as well to enhance your final output.

It will cater to you to look at it from different perspectives and do the best thing.

This is very economical since there are no generous discounts.

As the free app runs in the cloud, you can use it from anywhere without needing to install the software.

SketchUp CAD software will come in handy for creating quick conceptual mockups of real-world objects.

There is an “intuitive” tool that enables you to make straightforward 3D models without any long stretches of learning.

Besides, there are tons of YouTube tutorials to get the information and guidance you want.

You can build a model in a quick turnaround and save a lot of time.

As this software is highly versatile, it’s easy to change details, materials, or scenes.

The Pro version of SketchUp CAD software lets you import, edit and export CAD designs.

This software comes with an advanced toolbox, including tools like solid modeling.

You can also quickly sketch an idea in an emergency when you don’t have time to build an entire 3D model.

8. Onshape

Onshape also comes in two versions as free and paid versions.

The paid version is explicitly for proficient clients who need rendition control and even community apparatuses to work in large groups.

Since this app runs in the cloud, there’s no need to install the software; you can use it from anywhere you want.

The free version is ideal for file conversions purposes.

You can create high standard and error-free models using Onshape.

This software allows physical prototyping work for research purposes.

With the user-friendly nature and portability of this software, you can do rapid prototypes on whatever the device you’re using.

It makes collaboration between members easy.

You don’t even have to save your work manually, the software automatically collects and syncs your files.

This software is also ideal for beginners since they can start working on this software at once without any training.

Onshape is a browser-based application.

You can use CAD software on a free old PC and safe Linux rather than on a paid Windows.

Hence, this software is budget-friendly and cost-efficient.

The interface is intuitive, and you’ll face crashes while you work.

Its best feature is that Onshape CAD software is compatible with other CAD software as well.

Onshape provides you online tutorials and webinars.

So you can have a better understanding of how it works and get new insights as well.

Manufacturing techniques are straightforward, fast, and transparent.

The self-paced learning resources will let you get used to how it works while also speeding up rapidly and looking back at the data you need.

You can simply share your work without difficulty.

This software allows you to compare one revision of a document to another to track your progress.

9. Fusion 360

Fusion 360 CAD software is also a cloud-based tool that caters to designing, modeling, and simulation capabilities.

Since it’s cloud-based, you can work with multiple users on the same file.

This software is excellent for its assembly features.

You’ll be able to create assembly parts quickly and effectively.

If you’re someone who makes last-minute changes, Fusion 360 is the software for you as it allows you to change design parameters after the whole job is done.

This software offers its full features to the free version so that you can start up your work even if you’re broke.

It allows you to view your latest designs, conduct measurements, and post remarks on the project.

In addition to CAD, you can have everything on this software such as CAM, FEA, rendering, and drawing.

The high speed feature of this software will allow you to design your product in no time.

Presence of a parametric design workplace facilitates every designing part you need to create your design.

This software stores the entire history of the model, including all the changes.

It has regular updates with new features for the smooth and perfect functioning of the platform.

Fusion 360 offers you many design options like slid, mesh, and freeform modeling.

You can subscribe to either monthly payment or yearly salary. ($60/month and $495/year).

Designing for 3D printing will become easy and painless in this software, and the process is compelling.

The workflow of Fusion 360 is easy to learn, and thus you can start designing in minutes.

This software will make you a CAD expert just in weeks.

It offers you tools you require irrespective of your job, whether you are a teacher, a designer, or a hobbyist.

10. Siemens NX

Siemens NX is one of the best CAD software tools in the market. 

This is ideal for creating intricate product designs.

It offers specialized help for the structure of advanced twin models and provides help for item improvement.

This also acts as an invaluable product life management software that covers the whole procedure of industrial design from start to finish.

You can do all types of modeling like surface modeling, solid modeling, and sheet modeling in this CAD software.

Its user interface is easy, and all the tools are in an organized way to comprehend them easily.

This software is highly budget-friendly and cost-efficient.

The sheet metal environment is excellent at Siemens NX, allowing you to create error-free designs and to save a lot of time.

Rendering option is at its best in this software.

You can give color for each part and surface of an assembly using the rendering option.

The toolset of Siemens NX includes tools for design, manufacturing, Fibersim, and sketching your ideas.

This software offers support for generative engineering through the use of tools that can automate aspects of the design process.

It lets clients make complex apparatus to encourage their understanding when introducing to forthcoming clients.

Final Thoughts 

There are many CAD software available online; you can choose the best one by reviewing the pros and cons of each software. 

We’re sure that these options for the best CAD software for product design are worth spending your money on.

Want to add more to the list? Let us know in the comments below. 

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