The Best CADD Software

Updated October 6, 2023

Trusting someone else’s judgement on what software can be said to be the best for CAD design is like asking a blind man to lead you across the road for choosing a design software that works best for you depends entirely on what you plan to do with it, your peculiar capabilities and your ability or willingness to learn. This is not to say that one cannot be guided when making a CADD app choice but you have to first ascertain the field (engineering, architecture, animation etc) your models or designs fall in before choosing the right software to use in accomplishing a project.

Do not be disheartened for we shall simplify the task of making a choice by providing you with the top design software out there in every field, their features and approximate cost.

Top 2D and 3D Design Apps for Architects and Engineers

AutoCAD: The popularity of AutoCAD in the CAD community is such that approximately 52 percent of CAD users worldwide use it to draft their designs. While its file format (DWF) is the most popular CAD format worldwide and its popularity definitely counts for something when ranking CADD software. AutoCAD major features are its interactive user platforms, availability of diverse tools and its uniformity (once you learn how to use any version of AutoCAD, you can use all). AutoCAD 2012 costs approximately $150 for the complete version.

Bentley’s Microstation: Microstation is a 2D/3D CADD platform designed to suit graphic designers, architects and engineers in carrying out large projects. Its interactive platform, well defined drafting tools and large drafting surface, makes it the software of choice for designers planning to undertake bulky or more technical projects. Microstation also serves as a 3D animation platform which allows cartoonist to also design models and animate them accordingly. It supports different file formats such as AutoCAD’s DWF, Adobe’s PDF and others.

3D Animation Platforms

For those searching for a story board/3D animation platform, a different set of CADD software should be used for your average 2D/3D design software are quite inadequate. Therefore we recommend you purchase software’s such as;

Maya: Comprehensive 3D modelling and animation software that provides you with the versatility to achieve the un-imaginable. Maya comes with an interactive user interface, easy to follow tutorials, new simulation options, editable motion trails, Node based render passes, customizable tool sets and the ability to incorporate file formats from diverse design applications. A complete Maya 2012 software comes at approximately $3400 while a 2011 version upgrade comes at $1500.

3D Studio Max: It also takes its place at the top with Maya as one of the most used animation CADD software. 3D Max is a system that encompasses 2D drafting, designing, 3D modelling and video rendering. Its major features are its user interface, nitrous accelerated graphics core etc. A complete version of 3D costs approximately $3000 although an upgrade of the 2011 version is possible and costs approximately $1700.

Multipurpose CADD Software

Solid Edge and Solid Works fall into this category for they can be used to carry out both small and large scale 2D/3D designs. The learning curve of the above software is quite steep although a comprehensive tutorial is provided to ease the learning process.

 Author Bio:- Purathini is a webmaster at IndiaCADworks. She also indulges in writing CAD related articles including 2D drafting, 3D modeling, CAD Conversion, 3D rendering and animations. For more info visit

1 comment

  • very true Autocad is really the best. i also prefer the same. even pro-e is also really helpful.

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