Ultimate Guide to CAD Software and the 10 Best in the Market

Aurimas Pocius

Aurimas Pocius

CEO of ArchVisualizations 3D Studio working in 3D property rendering market from 2011.

Best CAD Software 

Table of Contents

Are you interested to do a 3D Rendering of your real estate project? Please contact us and we will do our best to help you.

leFor every invention – a clear and understandable design is the start and the end of any successful project and this is where CAD Software can be extremely helpful to kick-start the process.

Usually, you need a paper and a tool to theorize the design for your new invention or the launch of a new model. What if we told you there is software that reduces the need for paper and pencil? And it reduces costs and helps automate designs.  

CAD software will help make the designing process easier and hassle-free, no matter what product you aim to design. 

If you are an engineer, an automotive designer, a fashion designer, an interior designer, an architect or a furniture designer, you should make your life easier with CAD software. Stick with us throughout the blog and get a chance to explore this software. 

We use CAD software to create precise drawings and CGI imagery for interior visualizations, exterior visualizations, and many other 3D models.

What is CAD? 

CAD, which is short for Computer-Aided Design, is a tool that helps to automate designs using complex tools and features. There are multiple CAD software options, each of which is suitable for a particular niche. For instance, there will be a different CAD software for car development and a different one for furniture design. You can also produce 2-D and 3-D designs.

This software makes it easier for designers to share, edit, review, and stimulate the design using 3D CAD. With these tools, you can redeem your ideas without having to draw them all over again. 

You can also delete the flaws and edit them without having to restart the process. You can also copy the basic designs and craft new ones. As a result, you can enact or imprint your creativity and launch your designs immediately. These tools help you to save crucial time and boost your productivity. 

The development of CAD is credited to the launch of the first commercial numerical control programming system, PRONTO, by Dr. Patrick J. Hanratty in 1957. Then, SKETCHPAD, which was developed by IVAN Sutherland in 1960, proved the viability of computer-aided designs and technical sketching. 

Due to the advancement of microprocessors and minicomputers, CADs can now depict the object’s dimensions and attributes.

Who Uses CAD? 

Computer-aided designs have a widespread influence in many industries. You can use these tools to design projects specific to multiple industries. As an architect, you can design blueprints, architectural plans, and site layouts. 

On the other hand, if you are a mechanical engineer, you can design mechanical designs, machinery, or even complete systems. Electrical engineers can utilize these tools for designing electrical components, circuit boards, and electrical systems. 

Similarly, aerospace engineers use computer-aided designs to curate spacecraft components, and manufacturers can use these tools for prototyping, product designing, planning, and production. Moreover, automotive engineers use computer-aided designs to launch their new models and introduce unique features. In addition to the vehicles, ships and marine equipment are also CAD-dependent. 

Graphic designers, animation illustrators, and city planners also deploy CAD software for their jobs. Their work is made easier with the use of these tools. All these professions are strongly dependent on computer-aided designs for their work. 

Here is a list of the professions that are CAD-dependent;

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • City planners,
  • Graphic designers
  • Animation illustrators
  • Drafters
  • Fashion designers,
  • Interior designers
  • Exterior designers,
  • Game designers,
  • Product designers
  • Industrial designers
  • Manufacturers

How Does CAD Work? 

You need to install a CAD software package along with a graphics card on your computer as a first step to initiate the working of CAD. After you have installed the package you will deal with the graphics kernel which is the functional unit or brain of CAD. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) is the display of the software where you see CAD geometry and other user inputs.

You can use the CAD geometry to design a 3D model of an object. It is possible to modify this model by changing the parameters according to their preferences. You use the mouse and keyboard to input the design and the GUI transfers the input from these devices to the graphics kernel. The graphic kernel then creates the virtual model of your design and sends it to the graphics card. As a result, you see the design on GUI.

You can create these designs, print them, or save them for later revisions. You can use the CAD functions for traditional drafting deploying visuals that are either vector-based or in some cases raster graphics. These visuals then show the appearance of your designed model.

How to Choose CAD Software? 

In order to design a product that meets the customer’s expectations and offers functionality, you must choose an apt designing tool for its manufacturing. Selecting the right CAD software is crucial for a successful project.

For you to select the right CAD software to ensure project success, it is imperative that you have clarity of your needs and requirements. When you are clear about your needs, you can select between the types of CAD software which include 2D, 2.5D, and 3D CAD software. Once you have selected the right type, you can then evaluate the features and performances of the multiple CAD software of your preferred type. 

The software you choose should be able to meet the complexity of the product. For example, your product may require advanced features like curvature blends, soft goods, surface flattenings, or graded transitions. The CAD software you use should be capable enough to meet all these requirements.

Next, you should consider the complexities post-design. For instance, you should confirm whether the software is needed only to convert the manual drawings into more automated and technical ones or also for creative exploration. You should affirm if the tool be able to create multiple designs of the same product or will the product design need revisions. You can then align your choice according to the answers to these questions.

If these features align with your requirements, you can then purchase the software and start working on the project. That’s all you need to do to select the right CAD software for your project.

Advantages of CAD over Manual Designing 

Computer-aided design (CAD) has many advantages over classical manual drawing. It has become an essential tool in architecture and design, changing rapidly. In addition to streamlining the design process, converting pencil and paperwork into digital design has created new and exciting opportunities.

  • Precision and Accuracy: 

One of the most significant benefits of CAD is its unparalleled precision. You can execute exact measurements and fine-tuned adjustments very accurately, which is not possible by manual drafting. This precision is important in fields where even the tiniest miscalculation can lead to significant issues, such as engineering and architecture.

Incomparable precision is the most notable advantage of CAD. Designers can execute precise measurements and detailed modifications using CAD software, which is hardly ever possible with manual drafting. CAD can be very helpful in engineering and architecture, where even the tiniest miscalculation can have significant consequences.

  • Speed and Efficiency

The time factor is crucial in design; the design process is accelerated by many folds when using CAD. With the help of libraries and a toolkit of CAD, designers can produce complex designs faster than they could with traditional drafting. You can save a lot of time and money by using digital design.

  • Ease of Modification

Design revisions cannot be avoided at any cost, but the process of revision is very simple in CAD. Basically, CAD allows designers to modify their models and designs conveniently without starting over. 

  • 3D Presentation and Modeling 

With the help of this software; you can see your designs more realistically and evaluate their functionality, dimensions, and aesthetics more skillfully. 

  •  Environmental Impact

Furthermore, CAD is a green choice. It does not cause any environmental pollution. It considerably decreases the demand for paper and physical goods and, thus, is in line with current ecological practices.

Best CAD Software 

Best CAD Software 

CAD software has taken over many industries requiring designing products or planning manufacturing processes. A wide variety of CAD software comes with their specialties and proficiencies. You can use these tools to design different projects. 

Here is the list of the best CAD software you will find online.

1. Auto CAD

AutoCAD has arguably been the most used CAD software of all time. Its first desktop application was first made available to the netizens in 1982. With its versatile features that are workable for several industries, AutoCAD took over the designing industry with its launch and continues to be the most used CAD software.

You can use the Auto CAD software for 2D and 3D drafting and modeling. This versatility has made it a famous choice for architects, designers, and engineers. One can create designs, equipment layouts, model documentation, and section planes using the tool.

If you are an expert at algorithmic programming, the Auto-Computerized-aided Design software is your playground. You can use your skills to master designing at AutoCAD and pave your path to success.

2. Sharpr 3D

If you are a beginner and taking your baby steps in the designing industry, Sharpr 3D is a wise choice to go with. It is known for its user-friendly algorithm, which makes 3D modeling as easy as using any application on your cellphone. It comes with a user-friendly and intuitive interface, which makes it an easy choice for both laymen and professionals.

You can use this tool on your mobile phones to create designs and for rapid prototyping.  Also, you can share your designs with your friends and family using this software. Speaking of its application, the Sharpr 3D is specifically used by product designers, sketching enthusiasts, and industrial engineers. You can use it for concept sketching, prototyping product designs, and 3D modeling.


For the past 30 years, Allplan has been a helping hand in the architectural industry, creating private houses, outstanding landmarks, and splendid architectural designs. With Allplan, you can theorize your designs and create virtual simulations by efficiently managing changes and creating accurate documentation.

The Allplan is a software that focuses on Building Information modeling and is used by architects, engineers, and construction professionals. This software has long served as a solution to most architectural, construction, and engineering-associated problems. 

4. Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a 3D modeling platform that brings together Computer-aided Design, Computer-aided Manufacturing, and Computer-aided Engineering in a single place. It plays a crucial role in the 3D printing industry, architectural industry, and fashion industry, making use of its diverse features. 

It offers parametric modeling, 3D modeling, assembly modeling, and visualization. One can produce and manage assemblies for realistic motion and interactive simulations through assembly modeling. 

5. SolidWorks

With their expertise in 3D designing, designers prefer Solidworks, which is the product of Dassault Systèmes. SolidWorks is a famous choice in mechanical engineering and design due to its parametric models. Parametric modeling involves modeling an object and being able to change the model’s shape as the dimensions of the model change.

Multiple features are available with SolidWorks that are a perfect fit for the engineers. These include features that enable reverse engineering and design validation.


This Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application is a modified and advanced CAD widely used for surface modeling and complex engineering design. Mainly, CATIA is used by aerospace and automotive industries to design intricate mechanical parts and assemblies. CATIA is also used to design products that need intense precision, like consumer electronics.

7. Revit

Revit is widely used as a standard Building Information Modeling tool in the construction industry. It helps architects, engineers, and construction professionals model structures, shapes, and even systems in 3D. 

The software is programmed to produce 3D models with parametric accuracy. Parametric modeling refers to designing an object with specific parameters. For example, if you design a chair with particular parameters like height, length, and width and change the chair’s height, the rest of the design will be automatically altered to align with the new height.

With Revit, you can smoothly manage your projects using its advanced features to revise the plans, elevations, schedules, sections, and sheets. Its 3D modeling feature enables you to design the 3D models of buildings. After you have designed the 3D model, you can continue with the rest of the designing process, including complex functions.

8. Rhino 

Rhino is a CAD software deployed in the industrial design, architectural, and 3D modeling industries. It enables free-form surface modeling and offers versatile features for designers to help them design their drafts efficiently and quickly. It is used by industries to design their products and by artists for sculpture design.

9. Creo

Creo, initially known as Pro/ENGINEER, plays a role in designing and engineering industrial products. It also deploys parametric modeling and helps in creating simulations of the products. With this amazing software, you can also design products’ life cycle management tools.

10. TinkerCAD

Tinker CAD is one of the CAD software that is available online for free. You can use it online and design your products using its versatile features. It is famous for its ability to create models for the 3D printing industry since it became accessible to the masses in 2011. 

The users can use its constructive solid geometry and create complex models by combining the direct items. Furthermore, electrical engineers can use Tinker CAD to produce electronic circuits. In addition, one can also use programmed features to design and model the texts or writings.

Types of CAD Software 

Computerized-aided design software is typically divided into two categories, which include 2D and 3D. However, these types are further categorized into their subclasses like 2.5D, CAD using neutral file formats, and CAD using native file format. Below is a breakdown of the types of CAD software types.

2D Computerized-aided Design Software

2D CAD was launched as the first CAD software in the early 1970s. At that time, the technological companies associated with aerospace, automotive, and other complex engineering businesses had their own personalized system to automate the repetitive drafts. After 2D CAD was introduced, these industries started using CAD for more efficient working and enhanced productivity.

To create two-dimensional or flat drawings, 2D CAD software offers you basic geometric shapes, including lines, rectangles, circles, and many more. 2D computerized aided design software is the earliest version of CAD that people are familiar with.

2D CAD also enables you to add text, dimensions, leaders, and tables as annotations to the drawings. This software is usually deployed to execute actions like designing, planning, sectioning, elevating views, and detailed structuring in the already-built environment.

With 2D CAD, you can access geometric images, design Bezier curves, polylines, and splines, and specify the patterns that are hatching. Furthermore, you can also produce a bill of materials. If you need 2D CAD software for your project, AutoCAD, CADkey, CATIA v4, and Medusa are some of the best 2D CAD software known nowadays.

2.5 D Computerized-aided Design Software

The 2.5D CAD software is a step ahead of 2D software and a step behind 3D CAD. This CAD software can produce more complex designs like prismatic models and add depth to the object.

This software also offers fundamental geometric shapes like the 2D software, and the designs are on solitary planes. Still, Z levels also exist, and the object’s height is illustrated using the contour map.

3D Computerized-aided Design Software

One can find a broader range of options for 3D computerized-aided design software. Each of the 3D CAD software comes with its trademark features and level of detail. It has made its place in the market with its computer processing efficiency and unmatched graphic display features.

You can use each version of 3D CAD for a specific function and in a specific industry. However, overall, 3D CAD is deployed for a more realistic and practical representation of the design. Using 3D software, designers can address the issues in the early stages of the designing process, which cuts off unnecessary liabilities.

There is a lot of 3D CAD software available online, like the Inventor by Autodesk, the VX CAD, and CATIA V5.  The 3D CAD software is further divided into surface modeling, wireframe modeling, and solid modeling. The surface modeling software helps in producing designs by joining 3D surfaces. Surface modeling is different from solid modeling because the latter allows the users to revisit and modify their actions during their modeling process.

CAD Using Neutral File Format

The file type of CAD is designed to enable the sharing of designs between various software. Using these files, the interoperability is enhanced. Furthermore, these files enable collaboration and dismantle barriers. There are plenty of CADs that use neutral file formats. In addition to this, these neutral file types include STEP, IGES, 3D, PDF JT, STL, ACIS, PARASOLID, and QIF, which can be transported to other software as well.

CAD Using Native File Format

Native CAD formats are the ones that are exclusive to specific CAD systems. The native file format describes the format which is functional only in restrictive software. You should only use the files in software that are native to that file.

Role of CAD in Different Industries 

CAD can model numerical data and play a role in simulations and designing. This widespread functionality of CAD and diverse features make it applicable to different industries like 3D printing, dental industry, mapping, fashion industry, architecture industry, building furniture, automotive sector, and interior design. 

The crucial role it plays in multiple industries is given below:

Interior Design

One can design the simulations or mockups of the room arrangements using CAD. This software makes it easier to draw the expected interior design of a room compared to drawing it by hand. It is a time-efficient process, and the design is more realistic. 

One can use these 2D or 3D mockups of the rooms to plan the apt positioning of the important furniture. You can also decide the colors of the wall paints, and with the RoomMaker feature, you can also have a virtual look into the finished room before it is practically designed.

Automotive Sector

The automotive sector also monopolizes CAD software for major and minor businesses. The computerized-aided design software is a staple tool in the industry due to its efficiency, short manufacturing time, and lower manufacturing intensity. This software makes the manufacturing process more environmentally friendly by mitigating the manufacturing intensity and cutting down the manufacturing time.

Building Furniture

The features of CAD enable designers to create intricate designs for your furniture. There is software specific to the furniture industry with advanced features and tools exclusive to the furniture industry. 

This software cuts off production costs and offers customized solutions and bespoke designs to customers. The prevailing market challenges in the furniture industry can be retaliated by meddling with automated technology and mechanical capabilities.


Designers can conceptualize their clothes using 2D and 3D CAD software. CAD plays an essential role in various areas of the fashion industry, ranging from the mass-market to the haute couture. CAD tools have become a staple in fashion design with their efficient features like design creation, virtual test fitting, pattern grading, marker creation, and many more.

Using these CAD tools, fashion designers have also reduced production times and production waste. Furthermore, they can also assess different cuts and colors on different models, saving their time for later customized revisions. All in all, CAD has made textile designing and production much easier and more eco-friendly.

Key Takeaways

An extensive range of professions, such as the fashion and graphic industry, demand software like CAD. The rich and varied field of computer-aided design (CAD) software caters to the needs of engineers and architects. In this article, we have explored the 10 CAD software options. Auto CAD, Allplan, Sharpr 3D, Revit, Fusion 360, SolidWorks, CATIA, Rhino, Creo, and TinkerCAD. All of these have specific benefits and skills.

Multiple types of CAD software are available in the market, including 2-dimensional CAD Software, 2.5-dimensional CAD Software, and 3-dimensional CAD. You can get the designs that suit your requirements and meet the criteria.  These different types of CAD software have their specialties and features that make each software different.

This software will be your right hand if you work in the field of engineering, architecture, fashion, or any other relevant industry because all these industries utilize CAD tools to design their complicated parts and assemblies.


Who are the primary users of CAD?

CAD is primarily used by architects, construction managers, and engineers for designing because it’s much more efficient and productive than manual drafting. With CAD, users can create two-dimensional and three-dimensional designs to get a clear picture of the construction designs, and it helps to optimize and speed up the design process. 

Is it hard to learn CAD?

If you’re not techy or have never used design software before, then there is a possibility that you may face some issues. However, learning CAD is not challenging – all you need is research, patience, and continuous practice. 

What is the difference between CAD and AutoCAD?

CAD assists professionals in creating designs more productively and enhancing the process of product manufacturing. Meanwhile, AutoCAD is a CAD software available online. Let’s break it down like this: cell phones are an invention that multiple brands sell; similarly, CAD is an invention, and AutoCAD is a brand. 

Can I learn CAD online?

Yes, you can learn it by enrolling in courses in CAD. YouTube tutorials are also available, along with other online learning opinions. And always keep in mind that you need to learn and apply that knowledge to understand how to design with CAD correctly. 


Ultimate Guide to CAD Software and the 10 Best in the Market

Article by
CEO of ArchVisualizations 3D Studio working in 3D property rendering market from 2011.

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Are you interested to do a 3D Rendering of your real estate project? Please contact us and we will do our best to help you.



Are you interested to do a 3D Rendering of your real estate project?

Please contact us and we will do our best to help you.

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