Best CAD Software for Mechanical Engineers

Which is the best CAD software for mechanical engineers? When it comes to modern-day mechanical engineers, the ability to design a product or automate a process is everyone's top priority. In order for this dream to become a reality, computer-aided design (CAD) software is needed.

There is no doubt that CAD software(s) can give you a lot of freedom while working as a design engineer. This freedom ultimately leads to a better design and hence it is something that every mechanical engineer should consider investing in.

But there are tons of CAD programs that have been developed since the dawn of time. Which one should you choose? To help you with this task and make things easier, we've decided to create this article on the best CAD software for mechanical engineers. Before we go any further, let’s answer the basic question first.

What is a CAD Software?

CAD stands for computer-aided design. It involves the use of a computer and can be used to generate both 2-D and 3-D drawings, sketches, and models. It is a computer-aided drafting tool that allows engineers to create models by adding or subtracting various angles, dimensions, and shapes.

Below you will find a list of best CAD softwares for mechanical engineers that are currently being used in schools and industry.


AutoCAD is an integrated 2D and 3D design software that can be used for many functions such as drawing, drafting, rendering, and editing. AutoCAD has been in the market since 1982 and it’s still one of the best AutoCAD software that you can use to design your buildings, even if you are a beginner.

Engineers have used AutoCAD for ages to make all kinds of drawings like maps, architectural drawings, floor plans, and more. It is still the preferred tool to create basic engineering drawings even after the inception of numerous CAD designs introduced in the market.

Describing AutoCAD simply in terms of its benefits and features is like describing a luxury car for its basic function. True, it does all the things you would want from a computer but its primary purpose is to reduce complexity. That is why AutoCAD allows us to perform complex tasks such as drawing 3D models and designing architectural plans and renderings.

With that being said, if you’re starting out now, AutoCAD could be a stepping stone for you to learn the basics of drawing and designing. But, if you’re looking to get into the industry and earn some bucks, you will probably have to look towards more advanced tools that are being used.

This brings us to Solidworks.


Solidworks is yet another 3D CAD software used to create various kinds of products. As a mechanical engineer, there is no real doubt about the fact that if you are willing to invest time in learning SolidWorks, it will immensely benefit your career as a Mechanical Engineer.

There is also no dilemma about it because SolidWorks has not only proved to be an extremely useful, time-saving, and money-making tool for many companies across all industries but has also been judged to be one of the best industrial design software tools in the world. 

The more you know about the talent you possess and how beneficial it has become for you over the last few years since you adopted Solidworks in your day-to-day work, the better you would be at utilizing this opportunity to explore your profession and job options in even newer frontiers. 

As a mechanical engineer, it ultimately boils down to the fact that you have full control over whether or not this gigantic opportunity is actually going to do good for your career, or go someplace along with tons of other unused opportunities.

Now let’s talk a little about the well know Creo software.

Creo (Pro/Engineer)

When it comes to best CAD software for mechanical engineers, they use Creo (Pro/Engineer), an off-the-shelf CAD software package. In addition to the standard features of Creo, mechanical engineers can use its native file format to exchange information with other CAD programs and directly with other applications like AutoCAD or 3D Studio Max.

Creo can be used to design, simulate and analyze their mechanical systems. It offers a wide range of tools that can be used for mechanical engineering projects from prototype testing and development to full-scale production runs.

A significant feature of Creo is that its software has a powerful tool called ‘Simulink’ which is used for building digital models, simulating the behavior of machines, and analyzing the performance of products. 

The simulation can also be used for studying real-world situations with the help of virtual machines or virtual test beds. In addition to its ability to model complicated mechanical systems, Creo (Pro/Engineer) can also be used as an efficient tool for creating visualizations such as animations or 2D/3D models. 

This software offers powerful support for creating reports and presentations as well as sharing your work with others in various ways through this software.

Now, let’s discuss the infamous Fusion 360.

Fusion 360

Fusion360 is probably one of the most popular software packages for mechanical engineers. What’s special about Fusion 360 is that it is designed specifically for designing mechanical components and assemblies and it allows users to create models from scratch or import existing drawings into it from other programs such as AutoCAD and SolidWorks etc.

Fusion360 has many advantages over other software packages that are available today such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and Google SketchUp, etc. It allows users to create 3D models using different materials such as plastic, and rubber and to import CAD files so that they can see how their designs will work before actually building them.  It also allows users to create parametric design files which means that they can alter these designs at any time without having to start all over again. Finally, it also allows users to share their designs with others so that they can learn from each other's experiences.

This brings us to our last CAD software i.e Inventor.


Inventor CAD software is a powerful, versatile, and affordable design tool that is used in all stages of mechanical engineering design. It is a program for mechanical engineers that allows them to create 3D models and simulate the effects of mechanical systems using virtual prototypes.

Inventor is based on the concept of parametric design, which allows users to create their own models by specifying parameters such as size, shape, position, and orientation. The software also allows users to create tool paths for manufacturing parts and assemblies in a number of different ways.

Inventor is considered one of the best-designed programs for mechanical engineers because of its speed and efficiency. Its powerful real-time feedback allows you to get immediate feedback on your designs after making changes in the design file. This helps you avoid making costly mistakes while designing an object or machine.

Final Words

There is a complete list of best CAD software for mechanical engineers like AutoCAD, Solidworks, Creo, Inventor, and Fusion 360 can help mechanical engineers to be more creative, efficient, and accurate.

This article explains the technicalities and benefits of each CAD software and can be used as a pocketbook guide to decide which CAD software is appropriate for them to use in a particular use case. 

It is quite appropriate for mechanical engineers to understand CAD software and use them religiously in their engineering endeavors as it can take their career a long way in their design engineering career and give them a clear edge in the mechanical engineering jobs they apply for.

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