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Most Popular CAD Software

Written on:July 29, 2011
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When trying to decide what the most popular CAD software is, it is important to determine what exactly you are looking for.  There doesn’t seem to be a particular piece of software that has become the industry standard, however there are some software that tends to be discussed much more often than others.  Some of the factors that you may want to consider include: the industry, the overall use, and the frequency of updates.  Here is a closer look at all three variables and what they tell us.

The most important thing that you need to consider when searching for the most popular CAD software is what industry you are focused on.  For example, contractors will want the CAD designer to have the ability to utilize building information modeling technologies.  This means that within this industry, the most popular CAD software would have this ability.  On the other hand, a manufacturing engineer wouldn’t necessarily need it.  There is even CAD software that has been created specifically for jewelry creation.  In the end, the industry itself will play a large role in what software is used most.

In terms of overall use, finding specific numbers are incredibly difficult.  At the same time, there have been several reports which provide a little bit of insight.  One of the more interesting reports was released by GrabCAD, which is an engineering community that promotes the sharing of models that have been created.  The most popular software in their library is SolidWorks, which locked in more than 50% of the total vote.  Other popular software in this survey included Solid Edge, Inventor, and AutoCAD.  Again, remember that this is primarily related to the engineering industry, not design-related industries.

Another factor that can be used to determine what the most popular CAD software is the age of the software that is being used.  Most of the popular options are updated on a yearly basis, if not more often.  By looking at how many people are using the current version of any particular software can help create a clear picture about what people are using now, rather than including the people who haven’t updated their software in a few years.  To this end, SolidWorks and Inventor both seem to remain popular in the engineering community.  Revit seems to be one of the most well known options for D&B contractors, however any software with BIM seems to be fairly well respected within those circles.

In the end, it can be difficult to tell exactly what the CAD software is used most.  Fortunately, by setting some parameters this task becomes a little easier.  By focusing on a specific industry, overall level of use, and how often users update can give you a better idea of what is most popular right now.  SolidWorks, Inventor, AutoCAD, and Revit all seem to have gained ground in terms of brand recognition and overall use.  Some other options that also seem to be well-known include: TurboCAD, CorelCAD, ArchiCAD, CoCreate, and VectorWorks.

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