Best commercial 3D CAD/ CAM/ CAE/ PDM software


NX is the commercial CAD/CAM/CAE PLM software suite developed by Siemens PLM Software. NX is widely used in the engineering industry, especially in the automotive and aerospace sectors.

NX was originally called Unigraphics.  In 2001, Unigraphics was combined with SDRC's I-DEAS CAD product. The gradual addition of I-DEAS functionality into the Unigraphics code base was the basis for the current NX product line.

NX is commonly referred to as a 3D PLM software application. The product supports all stages of product development from conceptualization (CAID), to design (CAD), to analysis (CAE), to manufacturing (CAM). NX integrates these product lifecycle stages into an end-to-end process using concurrent engineering workflow, design-in-context and product data management tools that apply across all functional areas.



CATIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application) is a multi-platform CAD/CAM/CAE commercial software suite developed by the French company Dassault Systemes and marketed worldwide by IBM. Written in the C++ programming language.

Commonly referred to as a 3D Product Lifecycle Management software suite, CATIA supports multiple stages of product development (CAx), from conceptualization, design (CAD), manufacturing (CAM), and analysis (CAE).

CATIA is widely used throughout the engineering industry, especially in the automotive and aerospace sectors.



Solid Edge is a 3D CAD parametric feature solid modeling software. It runs on Microsoft Windows and provides solid modeling, assembly modelling and drafting functionality for mechanical engineers. Through third party applications it has links to many other Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technologies.

Traditional modeling
The Traditional modeling process begins with a base feature controlled by a 2D sketch, which is either a linear, revolved, lofted, or swept extrusion. Each subsequent feature is built on the previous feature. When editing, the model is "rolled back" to the point where the feature was created so that the user cannot try to apply constraints to geometry that does not yet exist. The drawback is that the user does not see how the edit will interact with the subsequent features. This is typically called "history" or "regeneration based" modeling.

Sinchronous modeling
The Synchronous Technology process, officially known as Synchronous Technology, combines the speed and flexibility of direct modeling with precise control of dimension driven design (features and synchronously solving parametrics). Parametric relationships can be applied directly to the solid features without having to depend on 2D sketch geometry, and common parametric relationships are applied automatically.

Unlike other direct modeling systems, it is not driven by the typical history-based modeling system, instead providing parametric dimension-driven modeling by synchronizing geometry, parameters and rules using a decision-making engine, allowing users to apply unpredicted changes.



SolidWorks is a parasolid-based solid modeler, and utilizes a parametric feature-based approach to create models and assemblies.

Parameters refer to constraints whose values determine the shape or geometry of the model or assembly. Parameters can be either numeric parameters, such as line lengths or circle diameters, or geometric parameters, such as tangent, parallel, concentric, horizontal or vertical, etc. Numeric parameters can be associated with each other through the use of relations, which allows them to capture design intent.

The SolidWorks core product includes tools for 3D modeling, assembly, drawing, sheetmetal, weldments, and freeform surfacing. It can import numerous file types from other 2D and 3D CAD programs. It also has an API for custom programming in Visual Basic and C. Also included is an entry level finite element analysis program called SolidWorks SimulationXpress (formerly known as CosmosXpress).



Rhinoceros (Rhino) is a stand-alone, commercial NURBS-based 3-D modeling software, developed by Robert McNeel & Associates. The software is commonly used for industrial design, architecture, marine design, jewelry design, automotive design, CAD / CAM, rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, product design as well as the multimedia and graphic design industries.

Rhino specializes in free-form non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS) modeling. Plug-ins developed by McNeel include Flamingo (raytrace rendering), Penguin (non-photorealistic rendering), Bongo, and Brazil (advanced rendering). Over 100 third-party plugins are also available. There are also rendering plug-ins for Maxwell Render, V-ray, Thea and many other engines. Additional plugins for CAM and CNC milling are available as well, allowing for toolpath generation directly in Rhino.

Like many modeling applications, Rhino also features a scripting language, based on the Visual Basic language, and an SDK that allows reading and writing Rhino files directly. Rhinoceros 3d gained its popularity in architectural design in part because of the Grasshopper plug-in for computational design. Many new avant-garde architects are using parametric modeling tools, like Grasshopper.

Rhino's increasing popularity is based on its diversity, multi-disciplinary functions, low learning-curve, relatively low cost, and its ability to import and export over 30 file formats, which allows Rhino to act as a 'converter' tool between programs in a design workflow.


Integrated 3D CAD/CAM/CAE Solutions for Any Size Design Challenge

Customer requirements may change and time pressures may continue to mount, but your product design needs remain the same. Regardless of your project's scope, you need a powerful, easy-to-use, affordable solution.

Creo Elements/Pro – formerly Pro/ENGINEER – is the standard in 3D product design, featuring state-of-the-art productivity tools that promote best practices in design while ensuring compliance with your industry and company standards. Integrated, parametric, 3D CAD/CAM/CAE solutions allow you to design faster than ever, while maximizing innovation and quality to ultimately create exceptional products.

By investing in Creo Elements/Pro today, you can immediately realize the proven performance of PTC’s industry-leading design solution, while having the freedom to move to Creo, the design software solution set to deliver break-through productivity gains. You’ll also have the confidence of knowing that your current Creo Elements/Pro data will be fully compatible with Creo.
Features & Benefits

   - Powerful, parametric design capabilities allow superior product differentiation and manufacturability
   - Fully integrated applications allow you to develop everything from concept to manufacturing within one application
   - Automatic propagation of design changes to all downstream deliverables allows you to design with confidence
   - Complete virtual simulation capabilities enable you to improve product performance and exceed product quality goals
   -  Automated generation of associative tooling design and manufacturing deliverables


T-FLEX Parametric CAD unites powerful parametric 3D modeling functionality with the parametric drafting and drawing production toolset. Innovative and professional T-FLEX Parametric CAD provides breakthrough parametric technology for mechanical design and drafting, combining production-proven Parasolid based solid modeling with powerful drawing capabilities.

Top Systems also offers the comprehensive set of integrated applications for T-FLEX Parametric CAD, including CAM, FEA and PDM.

T-FLEX is written for 32 bit and 64 bit Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 operating systems, and is distributed in various languages to customers around the world.



KOMPAS-3D is intended for creating three-dimensional associative models for individual parts and assembly units containing both original and standardized structural elements. The parametric technology allows quickly obtaining models for typical products basing on a once designed prototype. Numerous service functions facilitate solving auxiliary designing and production maintenance problems.

A key feature of KOMPAS-3D is the use of its own mathematical core and parametric technologies developed by ASCON specialists.

The basic task being solved by the system is the modelling of products in order to considerably reduce the period of their designing and launch them into production as fast as possible. These purposes being reached by the following features:

   -  fast creating of engineering and design documentation for production output (assembly drawings, BOM, detail drawings etc.),
   -  translating geometry into design applications
   -  translating geometry into control-program development kits for NC-controlled equipment
   -  creating additional images (for catalogue creation, for creating of illustrations of manuals etc.)

The model export/import tools (KOMPAS-3D supports IGES, SAT, XT, STEP, VRML formats) provide functioning of complexes containing various CAD/CAM/CAE systems.



Alibre Design Expert provides a comprehensive set of precise 3D modeling, sheet metal design, and associative 2D drafting tools capable of creating complex, multi thousand part projects. Alibre CAM allows you to create toolpaths directly from your model inside Alibre Design. KeyShot for Alibre delivers photorealistic rendering to jazz up your website, brochure, or sales pitch.



Autodesk Inventor, developed by U.S.-based  company Autodesk, is 3D parametric CAD CAM program for creating 3D mechanical models.

Inventor software is a history-based parametric solid modeler. With Inventor, you create digital objects that simulate physical objects. Inventor models are accurate 3D digital prototypes. Autodesk calls its approach to model design “digital prototyping.” With the parametric modeling tools in Inventor, you can apply driving dimensions and geometric relationships to an object. These dimensions and relationships are called parameters. The size and shape or geometry of an object depends upon dimensions and relationships to other parts. When one part is changed, the object automatically updates to reflect the change.