What’s your favorite MCAD software? (And what’s ours?)

We want to know which MCAD software you like best, so we invite you to take our survey. You can also see what we learned by surveying a dozen of our engineers.

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Almost all of our engineers have experience in both CATIA and AutoCAD, most of them have used SolidWorks or NX, and just under half have used Pro-E. Some of them have used Solid Edge and CADKEY.

Our engineers explained their preferences. They liked CATIA because it is widely used, flexible, user-friendly, and has a variety of workbenches. “Everything comes in the same software,” one of them explained. Half of the people who used SolidWorks selected it as their favorite, explaining that they think it’s the most user-friendly interface and it’s built for efficiency. “Plus, the pricing is very good given the amount of functionality provided.” Those who preferred NX liked how user-friendly it is and felt it handled information in a more logical way. These engineers also liked CATIA, saying CATIA would be their next favorite. Our engineer who preferred Pro-E explained that he feels the most comfortable with it.

One engineer believes everyone prefers their first MCAD software: “When first using MCAD, it is easy to learn the interface, but when you change to a new software, you have to relearn the interface. Then you decide it’s bad just because it’s difference. It’s all based on experience.” He might have a point there, although several of our engineers learned SolidWorks recently, and it’s still one of the favorites.

So what’s most important for a good MCAD software? Most of our engineers preferred whichever software they thought was most user-friendly, although opinions varied as to which software was the easiest to use. Here are other traits that our engineers mentioned:

  • Group collaboration: Is it easy to share data between group members?
  • Overall capability: Can the same software be used for design, simulation, analysis, etc.?
  • Data sharing: How well can data be shared with other MCAD software?
  • Pricing: Is the software a good value for the functionality available?

Which software did our employees dislike? Almost everyone had experience with AutoCAD, but nobody picked it as their favorite, and four of our employees called it their least favorite. One called it “primitive” while a couple others pointed out it’s great for architectural design, but not for mechanical design. Perhaps it wasn’t fair for us to compare it to the other MCAD software packages. Other than AutoCAD, one engineer disliked Pro-E and another disliked CATIA. However, most of our engineers didn’t have a least favorite. “All MCAD software is great if used correctly,” someone explained.

Let us know what your favorite MCAD software is by completing our survey!

Now that you have heard what we like and dislike about various MCAD software, we’d like to hear from you. The following survey is similar to the one we sent to our employees. Tell us your opinion!

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Published 3/13/17. Written by Grant Francis. Based on survey of Lumenance employees. Reviewed by Dawn Garcia.

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