Buyer's Guide for Top CAD Software

Found our list of CAD Software helpful? We’re here to help you make the right choice and automate your business processes. Let’s discover some of the essential factors that you must consider to make a smarter decision!

Buyers Guide Content

  1. What is 3D CAD software: Computer Aided Design Software Definition
  2. Must-Have Features of 3D CAD Software - Free & Paid
  3. How to Find the Best Computer Aided Design Software for Beginners
  4. Computer Aided Design Software Examples & Applications

What is 3D CAD software: Computer Aided Design Software Definition

3D CAD software is a three-dimensional computer-aided design technology that is used by engineers and architects to manage technical along with design documentation. CAD design software uses multiple points in 3D to help professionals visualize an object. 

Precise technical drawings with unprecedented visibility is possible with CAD design software. All possible because of the application's inbuilt documentation and drafting tools. 3d CAD modeling solutions are also deployed by machinists, engineers and product designers for advanced simulation and high-quality generative designs. 

The best CAD software with its robust freeform modeling, direct editing and parametric tools aid in both multi-CAD translations as well as industry-standard drawings. Here are some of the general purposes filled by paid and free 3D CAD software solutions:

  • Maintaining essential design and manufacturing databases
  • Enabling collaboration and communication with teams and clients
  • Precision and accuracy in designed drafts
  • Altering and editing designs easily
  • Efficiency in preparing 3D/2D models and drawings

Design professionals find CAD drafting tools most useful for reducing errors associated with 3d modeling. For instance, the best CAD software for mechanical engineers helps with identifying structural flaws in building designs so that they can be corrected before the same get implemented for construction purposes.

Must-Have Features of 3D CAD Software - Free & Paid

Data management, technical documentation or electrical design, perform these tasks easily with 3D CAD modeling software. Here’re some of the other 3D CAD software features:

  • Drafting tools

Drafting tools within 3d CAD software are mostly used in architectural drawings such as floor plans and house spaces. Smart symbols, scaled plans and object placement are the important options built-in within drafting tools to serve the purpose.

  • Automated tape measurements

Taking measurements with 3D CAD software is easy because of its inbuilt ruler options. Setting up metric and imperial measurements, document scrolling and panning or just setting up a page ruler, all is easy with computer-aided design software.

  • Smart dimensioning

Blueprints and drawings require accurate dimensions for the right final design. Best 3D CAD software solutions thus offer snap tools for locating tangents, automatic alignments, and identifying object centers/perpendiculars.

  • Auto shaping

3d CAD software lets you add shape to all designs in few simple clicks. These shapes can be resized, ungrouped, recolored and unlinked easily using CAD drafting tools.

  • Assembly modeling

Assembly modeling is a technique most useful for putting together design tasks. This feature is most important for developing product concepts. You can use popular CAD design solutions for doing assembly modeling.

  • Drawing

This is perhaps the primary and most important function of CAD design software. You can create precise initial designs using 3d CAD modeling techniques like visualization, documentation, and simulation so offered by CAD software. 

  • Rendering

3D CAD rendering lets you create 3D raster images that in turn provide a clearer version of the designs that you are going to make. Such renderings are important for checking the impact of shadows and light.

  • Coding & classification systems

Coding and classification systems help professionals pull out particular designs from their related classifications. This feature is important because it saves you from the hassle of drawing a new design. 

  • Standard drawing templates

Manually maintaining accurate dimensions is cumbersome if done without 3d CAD software. Here you can prepare standard templates with details of dimensions, etc. so that they can be both used and circulated amongst teams for use. Standard templates also mean that you don't have to create dimensions for a new design from scratch.

How to Find the Best Computer Aided Design Software for Beginners

Most used CAD software provides support for various collaboration, design and data management tools. Along with these, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind before buying a CAD drafting solution. The most important factors are:

  • Determining your specific requirements: Determine first whether you want a solution that supports on-premise deployment or is cloud-based. Second, understand the purpose of getting CAD design software. It could be that you have 3D CAD requirements or multi-CAD/2D CAD projects to work on.
  • TCO: TCO or total cost of ownership includes all costs starting from direct or procurement costs besides maintenance, upgrade and other such indirect costs. TCO helps determine such indirect costs associated with buying a product rather than just the procurement price. This would ensure that the 3d modeling solution fits your budget.
  • Efficient 3d designs: The best CAD designing solutions let you draw even the most complicated designs in a few simple steps. Before buying such an application, check the efficiency of its features. For example, if you are into the business of designing stylish products then look for tools that offer support for continuous curvature and freeform surfaces. 
  • Drafting tools- CAD software should help in making drawings because information like critical dimensions, surface finish specifications, and tolerances aren't clear in 3D models. Therefore, check for such drafting tools that would help with lettering, tolerances, parts and dimensions.
  • Ability to revise designs- The ability to revise designs reduces time spent on inspections, estimating costs, machining and testing.
  • Assess the package & vendor support: Good vendor support means a vendor is willing to help its customers with training sessions, user groups and general help for integrating 3d designs with the manufacturing process. 

Computer Aided Design Software Examples & Applications

3D CAD software online with its powerful drawing tools is an ideal choice for engineers, consultants and architects. The software offers a good number of benefits and what these advantages are and how they help professionals, let us go through them here.

  • Architecture 

Computer aided design software helps architects draw plans for houses, offices and such buildings. 3D CAD models offer designs for countertops and floor textures for creating stunning living spaces. Modules like pop-up photos help architects get a real-view of the spaces designed. For the best architectural designs, popular 3D CAD modeling software also provides popup text notes and videos that can be attached with floor plans, etc. for documenting all the design ideas.

  • 3D Printing

3D CAD modeling solutions offer box/solid modelling parameters for the best 3D prints. The 3D warehouse with pre-made models is used by graphic designers and such professionals for 3D printing purposes. End users can also use CAD drafting for exporting STL file and making 3D prints. Besides the above, the best CAD design software can also be used for rendering, rigging, texturing, skinning and particle or smoke simulation.

  • Furniture modeling

Create blueprints of your furniture designs and share them with other stakeholders using 3d CAD modeling software. Prototyping is possible too with an engineering CAD software as you can draw here a full 3D model of your furniture design. You can manage processes like spatial relationships, dimensions and features of your furniture blueprints with mechanical design software.

  • Interior designing

Computer aided design software is used by interior designers for managing hand-drawn renderings of all interior designs. Along with an extensive library of 3D objects, 3D CAD software online also offers material editor for advanced designing. There are other tools for doing annotation, previewing and inspection to give to the best 3D interior designing experience.

  • Fashion

Professionals in the fashion industry use 3d CAD software for creating fashion items like clothes, accessories and shoes. Fashion sketching and illustration is easy when done with a CAD design software. Textile prints, clothing templates and digital fabrics are all available in these applications. Manufactures and designers deploy CAD drafting for grading and drawing advanced patterns. You can also use 3d CAD modeling for editing patterns, matching fabrics and exporting files.

Best 3D CAD Modeling software List for Beginners & Professionals

Here is the computer aided design software list that you can refer to fulfil your modeling, designing and drawing needs. 

Creo Parametric 3D Modeling Software 

Creo Parametric 3D Modelling Software uses direct modeling and parametric capabilities for creating, analyzing and sharing designs. The software is best for streamlining design workflows using modules like augmented reality and generative design. Professionals use this computer-aided design software for additive manufacturing and real-time simulations as well. 

Key Features:

  • Brush variety and effects
  • Template library
  • Linework drawings
  • Sculpting
  • Renders and views


IronCAD is one of the most used CAD software for its repositioning components abilities and quick 3D modelling. The software also offers object resizing capabilities along with visualization tools and predefined shapes. IronCAD is one of the best 3D CAD software because it helps manage the entire designing process from start till completion. 

Key Features:

  • Variable radius blend
  • Wall thickness shelling
  • Edit enhancements
  • Guide curves
  • Dimension displays


Drawing shapes and transforming them into stunning CAD designs is easy with Shapr3D 3d CAD modelling software. Designing detailed concepts within short time frames using direct modelling technique is the unique selling point of Shapr3D CAD software. The application's inbuilt intuitive tools can be used for creating strong prototypes too.

Key Features:

  • Constraints, snaps and items
  • Boolean commands
  • Transform tools
  • Granular editing

Fusion 360

Quick iterations in sculpting is quite easy with Fusion 360 3D CAD software. Photorealistic renderings, creating assemblies or performing simulations, all can be done with this CAD design software. You can also use this platform for PCB designing and schematic captures.

Key Features:

  • Simulation and documentation
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Data management and collaboration
  • 3D modeling and designing


Bring your ideas to life by using Catia 3D modelling software. Rendering 3d models is easy as the software lets you combine different 3d shapes, colours and figures with ease. You can design models, apply computational thinking and print them in 3D format through Catia 3d cad modeling tool.

Key Features:

  • Instinctive 3d experience
  • Systems engineering
  • Relational designs
  • Product modeling
  • Simulator 
  • Cross-discipline modeling

Author: Kalpana Arya

28 Best CAD Software in 2022

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By Autodesk

4.5 (2 reviews)

Starting Price


Inclusive of all taxes

Autodesk AutoCAD LT is one of the industry-leading Computer-aided design software for engineers. This CAD software come... Read More About AutoCAD LT

Autodesk Fusion 360

By Autodesk

4.5 (3 reviews)

Price On Request

Autodesk Fusion 360 is a 3D designing software that offers sketching tools for helping engineers with designing sketche... Read More About Autodesk Fusion 360

Inventor LT

By Autodesk

4.6 (3 reviews)

Starting Price


Inclusive of all taxes

Autodesk Inventor LT is modelling software that helps users by introducing 3D mechanical CAD in their 2D workflows. The... Read More About Inventor LT


By Autodesk

Starting Price


Inclusive of all taxes

AutoCAD® 2020 software includes industry-specific toolsets; improved workflows across desktop, web and mobile; and n... Read More About AutoCAD

FAQs About CAD Software

The best CAD software for mechanical engineers for performing designing tasks with ease and efficiency are: TinkerCAD TinkerCAD is one of the most used CAD software. It is also one of the best CAD software for mechanical engineers and product engineers. This free 3D CAD software is popular for not just 3d designing but also object and shape modification.  Features of TinkerCAD: 3D/2D import Object rotation and transformation Smart duplication & alignment File editing with exportation option SOLIDWORKS SOLIDWORKS is a robust 3D CAD modeling software relied upon for drawing 3d designs as well as doing photorealistic renderings. This mechanical design software also supports 2d designing functionality along with design analysis and product configuration capabilities.  Features of SOLIDWORKS: Production-ready 2d drawings Editing 3d parts Designing welded structures Advanced surfacing Design automation AutoCAD AutoCAD engineering CAD software offers 3D visualisation and modelling tools for creating stunning 3D designs. Create neat and precise 3d or 2d drawings and annotate them using AutoCAD 3d CAD software.  Features of AutoCAD: External file references PDF import enhancements Object selection Text to Mtext enhancements FreeCAD FreeCAD mechanical design software is a parametric 3d CAD modelling tool used mostly for drawing real-life like objects. This scriptable application is best for changing the parameters of all designs. Features of FreeCAD: Modeling history Multiple platform& file support Finite element analysis Integrate spreadsheet Robot simulation  

You need to follow the follow techniques if you want your product designs to be successful. Here is a summary of the five best 3D CAD modelling practices: Keeping ideas organized is important as there are regular iterations during an initial product designing process. Organizing them well would help with an easier implementation as you can pick the best iteration from here later on. Practising top-down design lets you control product designs and distribute the information accordingly to the engineering and design teams. These teams can work accordingly as per their area of expertise and experience. This approach is important because there are multiple concepts to be looked at like sensors, cable harnesses, electromechanical components and internet connections. Exploring new technologies like internet of things, augmented reality, topology optimization, additive manufacturing and generative designs keeps you on top of the league for designing/3D modelling.  Take regular performance feedbacks in real-time using 3d CAD software's live simulation capabilities.  Following product lifecycle management to be aware of what comprises your products and track all improvements that are required. 

Some of the best Autodesk alternatives that would help with appending up your architectural and designing work are: Onshape- Onshape is best known for combining advanced modeling modules with data management in a cloud environment. The software is also trusted for eliminating design gridlocks. DraftSight- DraftSight free 3D CAD software is a feature rich 3D/2D CAD solution used by professionals across different industries. You can use DraftSight for editing, viewing and marking up all types of DWG files.  CDS ModelServer- This 3D CAD software online is user friendly and offers solutions for managing design and UX problems. The one feature that makes this engineering CAD software unique is it provides multiple CAD formats for handing 3d CAD models.  SpinFire Ultimate- Use this mechanical design software for multi CAD support, 2d/3d viewing and measuring mark-ups. The software offers product visualization tools along with enhanced capabilities for handling large CAD files.

3d CAD software is popularly used for enhancing workflows and generating creative concepts along with: Creating onscreen dynamic models Repositioning components Generating N-Gon polygon meshes Drawing precise models and sketches Developing prototypes us g 3d printing workflows Making photorealistic renderings Performing simulations and creating assemblies

Autodesk AutoCAD 2021


4.4 (1 reviews)

Starting Price


Inclusive of all taxes

Autodesk AutoCAD 2021is a complete Designing Solutions designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies. This Designi... Read More About Autodesk AutoCAD 2021

nanoCAD Plus


Price On Request

nanoCAD Plus is a complete 3D CAD Software designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies. This 3D CAD Software for... Read More About nanoCAD Plus



Price On Request

ETABS v17 is a complete 3D CAD Software designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies. This 3D CAD Software for We... Read More About ETABS v17

SketchUp Pro

By Trimble

4.5 (2 reviews)

Price On Request

SketchUp Pro is a computer modeling program designed by Trimble. This architect design software can be used to develop... Read More About SketchUp Pro

Hope ZWCAD 2020

By Hope

4.7 (2 reviews)

Price On Request

ZWCAD 2020 is .dwg-compatible CAD software that is designed to help out engineers and designers associated with various... Read More About Hope ZWCAD 2020

Textronic CAD system

By Textronics

4.3 (2 reviews)

Price On Request

Textronics CAD Systems is a computer-aided design software essentially designed for textile industries. This CAD softw... Read More About Textronic CAD system

EdiLus Steel


4.1 (1 reviews)

Price On Request

EdiLus Steel is one of the best design software that makes use of BIM technology for the calculations related to the str... Read More About EdiLus Steel

ARES Commander

By Graebert

4.3 (2 reviews)

Price On Request

ARES Commander is a switch made easy – providing a familiar look & feel that is intuitive for any experienced CAD... Read More About ARES Commander


By Graebert

4.6 (2 reviews)

Price On Request

Create & Modify your DWG files directly in your internet browser.This is the cloud-based CAD software for your DWG... Read More About ARES Kudo


By Tukatech

Price On Request

TUKAcad is a complete 3D CAD Software designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies. This 3D CAD Software for Web-... Read More About TUKAcad



Price On Request

OnShape is a SaaS-based development platform that provides comprehensive product generation solutions to CAD designing... Read More About OnShape

Dwg Fastview Plus

By Gstarsoft

Price On Request

Dwg Fastview Plus is a complete 3D CAD Software designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies. This 3D CAD Softwar... Read More About Dwg Fastview Plus


By Autodesk

Price On Request

Tinkercad is an all-in-one 3D Design Software designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies. This Web-Based 3D Des... Read More About Tinkercad


By Jytra Technology

Price On Request

Actcad is a complete 3D CAD Software designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies. This 3D CAD Software for Web-B... Read More About Actcad

Tekla Structures

By Trimble

Price On Request

Tekla Bimsight is a complete Designing Solutions designed to serve Startups, SMBs, SMEs and Agencies. This Designing Sol... Read More About Tekla Structures

Ansys Computer Aided Engineering


Price On Request

ANSYS Computer Aided Engineering is the best CAD CAM CAE Software, For virtually any engineering simulation your design... Read More About Ansys Computer Aided Engineering

Last Updated on : 11 Aug, 2022

Best Online CAD Drawing Software

3D CAD software is a three-dimensional computer-aided design technology that is used by engineers and architects to manage technical along with design documentation. CAD design software uses multiple points in 3D to help professionals visualize an object. 

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CAD Software Reviews


Mohebullah Ahangar

review for AutoCAD LT


"Excellent service. Very trustworthy software at lowest cost. Highly recommended."

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narendra bisen

review for Inventor LT


"Had a great experience. Our service agent was very knowledgeable and wanted to now how to help our organization. It was wonderful and would use again if we have a need!"

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review for SketchUp Pro


"The extremely intuitive layout makes SketchUp Pro one of the easiest CAD programs to use."

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prathiba harish

review for Hope ZWCAD 2020


"First time buyer from Techjockey. Will be looking for a couple of other downloads soon. Techjockey will be the first one i use. 100% good."

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review for Textronic CAD system


"What a fantastic service 10/10 I've since signed up with them."

See All Textronic CAD system Reviews

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