Top 11 Mechanical Design Software in 2024

Top 11 Mechanical Design Software in 2024-feature image
March 18, 2024 15 Min read

Mechanical design software plays a pivotal role in modern engineering, enabling designers and engineers to conceptualize, simulate, and optimize intricate mechanical systems with precision and efficiency. With multiple options available, selecting the right software is important to ensure seamless workflow, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness in the design process.

In this article, we will look at some of the top mechanical design software that you can consider for designing mechanical components and performing their analysis.

What is Mechanical Design Software?

Mechanical design software helps engineers and designers to develop intricate and complex technical sketches and drawings. The drawings convey essential information about the manufacturing and engineering specifications of a specific product or a component of machinery. With this software, you can create highly detailed 2D drawings or life-like rendered 3D models.

Top 11 Mechanical Design Software in India 2024

Here is a detailed enumeration of top mechanical design software that you can consider for streamlining the design process. The list highlights details like features, pricing, pros and cons of every product.

1. Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros mechanical design software

Rhinoceros generally known as Rhino, is a 3D computer graphics and computer-aided design (CAD) software. It is primarily used in industrial design, architecture, multimedia, and other fields requiring 3D modeling capabilities.

Rhino supports a wide range of file formats and offers tools for creating, editing, analyzing, and rendering 3D models. This mech design software can be used to create, design, and prototype anything from airplane to jewelry.

Rhinoceros Specifications

  • Reads and repairs meshes
  • Offers tools for editing, modifying, transforming designs, etc.
  • Inspects and analyze designs for optimal performance
  • Exports the design in multiple formats like .3dm, .3ds, .dxf, etc.
  • Converts NURBS to meshes for easy display and render

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using of Rhinoceros

  • It provides Cycles engine for faster GPU-accelerated raytracing.
  • You get unlimited viewports, shaded, perspective working views, working views, etc., under its display tab.
  • Some users feel that Rhinoceros is not fully optimized for 2D CAD drafting.

Rhinoceros Pricing: It offers a permanent license for commercial users for INR 82,585.05

2. NX

NX mechanical engineering design software offers tools for 3D modeling, drafting, assembly design, simulation, and manufacturing process planning. The software supports parametric modeling, direct modeling, surface modeling, and freeform modeling techniques, allowing users to create and modify complex parts and assemblies efficiently.

It provides advanced simulation capabilities for structural analysis, thermal analysis, motion simulation, and optimization.

NX Specifications

  • Supports freeform surface modeling
  • Offers tools for designing sheet metal components
  • Imports and analyzes existing physical products to create digital models.
  • Simulates machining processes for accuracy and efficiency
  • Designs and optimizes wire harnesses in complex assemblies
  • Generates electric machines designs and production lines

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using of NX

  • This software also comes with CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) functionalities for toolpath generation and CNC machining programming.
  • It supports powertrain and multidisciplinary designs for automobile designing.
  • NX does not provide any option to configure the assembly structure when you import the design file.

Pricing of NX: No free plan available | Paid plan details are available on request

3. AutoCAD

AutoCAD mechanical software

AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software application that allows users to create 2D and 3D designs across various industries. AutoCAD provides a comprehensive set of tools for drafting, detailing, and annotating product designs.

It provides multiple methods to create graphic objects like circles, ellipses, polygons, etc. Some other important features of this tool include surface and mesh modeling, cloud rendering, 3D modeling, documenting, system variable monitoring, and so on.

AutoCAD Specifications

  • Designs and annotates 2D and 3D models
  • Generates a customized workspace
  • Saves all versions of design in History
  • Finds and replaces block ML based suggestions
  • Offers section planes for cross-sectional views via solids, meshes or regions

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using AutoCAD

  • With AutoCAD, you can view, access, and manage several drawings as sheet sets.
  • AutoCAD mechanical software can also be used for adding geographical data and maps into your drawings.
  • Getting familiar with all the features of AutoCAD takes a lot of time.

Pricing of AutoCAD: It is available for INR 15,407/month basis

4. Onshape

OnShape enables users to create, edit, collaborate on, and share 3D CAD models entirely online. This mechanical CAD drawing software provides features like real-time collaboration, design version control, advanced mating for 3D models, model simulation, photorealistic render, etc.

It can also help you with building complex parts and assemblies, generating structural frame designs, developing production-ready documentation, generating assemblies’ configurations, and so on.

Onshape Specifications

  • Supports parts and assembly modeling
  • Mixes and matches solid modeling (BRep) with mesh modeling (STL, OBJ)
  • Generates advanced sheet metal designs
  • Supports collaboration on CAD designs
  • Saves all design versions under the History Tab

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Onshape

  • It provides a built-in trim option to trim segments in your designs.
  • Onshape also creates a Bill of Material (BOM) document for all the materials needed to create the final product.
  • Sometimes it does not provide alerts when there is any failure in the product.

Pricing of Onshape: Free plan available | Paid plan starts from INR124530/user/month

5. Autodesk Inventor

Autodesk Inventor product design software

Autodesk Inventor is a computer-aided design (CAD) software used for 3D mechanical design, simulation, visualization, and documentation. It allows engineers and designers to create 3D models of parts and assemblies, simulate how they will function in real-world conditions, and generate detailed drawings and documentation for manufacturing.

Additionally, you can also generate precise 3D models of parts via parametric modeling techniques, which enable them to easily make changes and modifications as required.

Autodesk Inventor Specifications

  • Generates and simulates 3D models of weld frame designs
  • Develops and evaluates high-performing designs quickly
  • Creates precise and accurate technical drawings of a product
  • Supports Assembly modelling to see how designs perform at assembly level
  • Offers real-time collaboration to work with stakeholders from any device

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Autodesk Inventor

  • This engineering drawing software analyzes how components would perform under various conditions, such as stress, heat, and motion. This allows engineers to optimize their designs for durability.
  • With AutoCAD Inventor, you can directly open the product designs from other CAD tools into it without any additional transition.
  • Sometimes, its window crashes unexpectedly.

Pricing: No free plan available | Paid plan starts from INR 18,675/user/month


CATIA suite is used in multiple industries like aerospace, automotive, and industrial machinery for product design, engineering, and manufacturing. This mechanical software provides a wide range of tools for designing, modeling, analyzing, and simulating complex 3D shapes and assemblies.

It supports various modeling techniques, including solid modeling, surface modeling, and parametric modeling. CATIA supports the complete industrial designing procedure starting from project plan to product design, simulation, and manufacturing.

Specifications of CATIA

  • Creates related 2D documents from the 3D model
  • Supports collaboration with external partners in real-time.
  • Designs complex buildings and infrastructure
  • Provides electric schematic designer to design electrical components
  • Creates 3D designs of piping and HVAC systems

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using CATIA

  • CATIA can be used for designing and optimizing ship accommodations.
  • With it, you can create and validate complex non-regular shapes and patterns.
  • It provides options for Plane and Point commands.

CATIA Pricing: Pricing details are available on request on its official website

7. Mastercam

Mastercam software for mechanical engineering

Mastercam is a CAD/CAM platform designed for 2D drawings, 3D solid modeling, tool path simulation, voxel stitching, realistic simulation, etc. This mechanical software supports geometric modeling and provides a perfect environment to design mechanical components of your product.

Additionally, it also supports surface roughing and flexible surface finishing. With Mastercam’s tool path verification, you can also simulate the complete part processing procedure.

Mastercam Specifications

  • Develops toolpaths for complex 2D, 3D, 4-axis, and 5-axis machining operations
  • Designs and manipulates solid models
  • Simulates machining processes virtually for accuracy
  • Offers a new fixed tool to manage the tool’s contact point during machining

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Mastercam

  • Mastercam comes with modular machine architecture to organize the steady rests in various configurations of your machine.
  • It lets you create view sheet groups to efficiently manage your workflow and eliminate on-screen clutter.
  • Some users find toolpaths in Mastercam a bit complicated to use.

Pricing of Mastercam: Pricing details are available on request on its official website

8. Autodesk Inventor Nastran

Autodesk Inventor Nastran is a finite element analysis (FEA) tool to simulate and analyze the performance of designs under various conditions, such as stress, vibration, and thermal effects, helping you to optimize and validate your products before manufacturing.

It enables you to perform linear and non-linear static analysis, dynamic analysis, thermal analysis, and more. By simulating these scenarios in the design process, you can find out potential issues, optimize designs for performance and reliability, and reduce the need for physical prototypes and costly design iterations.

Autodesk Inventor Nastran Specifications

  • Analyzes the effects of conduction and convection on designs
  • Supports Linear Static studies to identify stress or strain in designs
  • Connects parts in assemblies with bolt connectors
  • Provides automatic midplane mesher to get bending results for thin components
  • Supports Linear buckling to analyze the structure designs under catastrophic failure

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Autodesk Inventor Nastran

  • With its integration with Autodesk Inventor, you can transfer CAD geometry to the Nastran environment to set up and run simulations.
  • It supports a wide range of analysis types, including static, modal, thermal, buckling, and fatigue analysis.
  • Autodesk Inventor Nastran might need additional licensing depending on the specific analysis types you need.

Pricing of Autodesk Inventor Nastran: No free plan available | Paid plan starts from INR 34,014.22/user/month

9. Creo

Creo mechanical engineering tools

Creo provides a comprehensive set of tools for 3D product design, simulation, visualization, and collaboration. Creo is known for its parametric modeling capabilities, which allow users to create and modify designs by defining geometric relationships and constraints.

You can also use this mechanical software for managing product data, generating technical drawings, and for computational fluid dynamics.

Creo Specifications

  • Supports parametric and freestyle surfacing
  • Provides thermal analyses to check heat and pressure effect
  • Generates AR (Augmented Reality) supported sharable product designs
  • Tests and refines the product’s mechanisms performance
  • Supports Motion, Mold Fill, and Fatigue analyses of components

Advantages and Disadvantages of Creo

  • This mech design software also supports advanced framework designing.
  • With Creo, you can also manage the product’s assemblies and parts design.
  • Creo’s design rendering speed is a bit slow.

Pricing of Creo: This mechanical design software offers its pricing details on its website

10. Altium Designer

Altium Designer is a comprehensive electronic design automation (EDA) software suite used mainly for designing printed circuit boards (PCBs) tools, field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and embedded system design. It offers a unified environment for schematic capture, FPGA design, PCB layout, and simulation.

This mechanical software offers features like advanced projects routing, signal integrity analysis, manufacturing output generation, hierarchical and multi-channel design, project schematic capture, etc.

Specifications of Altium Designer

  • Designs harnesses in the electronic designing environment
  • Supports 3D-MID (Molded Interconnect Device) designing
  • Supports project collaboration with others in real-time
  • Offers HDI Design to design complicated devices
  • Manage components and suppliers of the product with BOM management

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Altium Designer

  • This mechanical design software provides access to a vast library of pre-made components from various manufacturers to speed up the design procedure.
  • Altium Designer has an active community where you can discuss design problems.
  • It is resource-intensive software that needs a high CPU computer to develop complex designs.

Altium Designer Pricing: No free plan available | Paid plan details are available on request on its official website

11. Mathcad

Mathcad engineering drawing software

Mathcad enables you to solve, document, analyze, and share engineering calculations. You can show your calculations via rich formatting options, plots, images, text, etc., in a professionally formatted document.

Its powerful math engine can handle the easiest equations or the most complicated multi-step engineering analysis. It can be used for multiple purposes like writing and evaluating equations, resolving 3D statistical problems, performing numeric analyses, and so on.

Mathcad Specifications

  • Offers templates to create worksheets
  • Provides several text styles to organize your sheets
  • Creates internal links for easy navigation in sheets
  • Offers color selection menus to highlight the sections in your document
  • Automatically recalculates and updates calculations results

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Mathcad

  • Mathcad also supports Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE).
  • It can also generate graphs, charts, and other visual representations of the data and results.
  • The pictures added in Mathcad documents do not align properly.

Pricing of Mathcad: Free plan available | Paid plan starts from INR 61,016.87/year

What are the Features of Mechanical Design Software?

Mechanical designing software typically offers a range of features tailored to the needs of engineers and designers working in fields such as manufacturing, product design, and mechanical engineering. Some common features include:

  • CAD Modeling: Mechanical software allows users to create precise 2D and 3D models of mechanical parts and assemblies easily.
  • Parametric Design: This software enables users to define parameters and constraints, allowing for easy modifications and updates throughout the design process.
  • Assembly Design: With this feature, engineering drawing software simplifies the creation and management of complex mechanical product assemblies, including part relationships, constraints, and motion simulations.
  • Drafting and Annotation: This software provides tools for creating detailed technical drawings, including dimensioning, annotations, and part lists of mechanical systems.
  • Simulation and Analysis: It allows for the analysis of mechanical properties like heat transfer, fluid flow, and other factors to validate the product designs and optimize performance.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: Mechanical engineering tools enable teams to work together on mechanical systems designing projects, share files, and track the designing changes in real-time.
  • Standard Parts Library: These tools come with a library of standard parts and components that can be easily used in designing to save time.

Who Uses Mechanical Engineering Drawing Software?

Mechanical designing software is used by professionals across different industries such as mechanical engineers use it to design mechanical systems. Similarly, automotive engineers use this software to design vehicle components.

Here are some other use cases of mechanical engineering tools in detail below:

  • Mechanical Engineers: They use mech design software to design and analyze mechanical systems, components, and machinery, ensuring they meet performance, safety, and regulatory requirements.
  • Product Designers: Product designers utilize this software to generate and visualize concepts, develop detailed designs, and prototype new products before production.
  • Manufacturing Engineers: Mechanical engineers employ engineering drawing software to optimize manufacturing processes, design tooling and fixtures, and approve the design of parts and assemblies.
  • Automotive Engineers: They utilize this software to design vehicle components, systems, and assemblies, and conduct simulations for crash testing, aerodynamics, and performance analysis.
  • Aerospace Engineers: Aerospace engineers use it to design aircraft structures, propulsion systems, and components. It further helps to analyze aerodynamics, thermal management, and structural integrity.
  • Civil Engineers: Civil engineers use mechanical design software for tasks such as designing bridges, dams, and other structures where mechanical components are involved.

How to Choose the Best Mech Design Software?

To select the right mech design software for your business, make sure it supports Finite Element Analysis and comes within your budget.

Moreover, it should be cloud compatible and easy to use. Let’s look at the essential factors you need to consider while selecting the right software for your design project.

  • Cloud Compatibility: Any mech design software you want to purchase must be cloud compatible so that you can use it over the cloud to streamline collaboration.
  • Finite Element Analysis: With FEA in your software, you will be able to analyze the effect of heat, pressure, light, etc., on the design before prototyping.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Some software might be easy to use, and some may need additional training. Therefore, select the one which is more user-friendly.
  • Design Methods: The mechanical design software should provide you with multiple design methods to design the product’s prototype like bottom-up and in-place design methods
  • Industry Type: Every mechanical design caters to different industries like automobile, aeronautics, construction, etc. Therefore, choose software that offers features catering to your industry.
  • Budget: Select the mechanical engineering design software that falls within your budget and does not put financial constraints on you.

How We Evaluated and Tested Top Mechanical Design Software?

Mechanical design software helps in creating 2D and 3D models of mechanical systems. Moreover, it also helps in simulating the product’s behavior under various physical conditions like heat, light, pressure, etc.

You will find multiple software available in the market based on the designing features you want. But which one can you choose for your project? To help you with the selection, we have compared some of the best mechanical design programs based on a few parameters such as their features, cost, compatibility, benefits, etc.

When we compared mechanical design software, we considered functions like 3D modeling, product simulation, parametric designing, etc. You will find a few software that will provide these functions for free whereas some of the software would offer them under their paid plan.

A comparison of mechanical engineering and design software has also been made on metrics like free trial, free version, and paid plans. In the software list, there are various software that also offer a free version for beginners to use.

Which Mechanical Design Software to Use?: Conclusion

Whether it’s about creating complex assemblies, simulating real-world scenarios, or streamlining collaboration multidisciplinary teams, mechanical design software provides all the functionalities to meet different engineering challenges.

By leveraging these software, you can create complicated technical drawings, develop high quality designs, and automate designing processes easily.

Mechanical Design Software: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which software is best for mechanical design?

    There are several mechanical engineering design programs that you can use for streamlining mechanical components’ designing procedures. Some of the top choices include Rhinoceros, NX, AutoCAD, Ansys, Onshape, etc.

  2. Which software is used for mechanical drawing?

    You will find multiple mech design software that you can consider for mechanical drawing and sketching. Mastercam, FEA (Finite Element Analysis) Software, Creo, Altium Designer, and Simulia are some of the best options.

  3. What are the tools for mechanical design?

    CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, MATLAB, Autodesk, and Solid Edge are some of the popular tools that you can use for designing components and assemblies of mechanical systems.

  4. What is CAD software for mechanical design?

    AutoCAD, Solid Edge, Ansys, CATIA, and NX are some of the most popular CAD software that you can consider for mechanical design.

Written by Varsha

Varsha is an experienced content writer at Techjockey. She has been writing since 2021 and has covered several industries in her writing like fashion, technology, automobile, interior design, etc. Over the span of 1 year, she has written 100+ blogs focusing on security, finance, accounts, inventory, human resources,... Read more

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