Software is the second most important part of any kind of design, whether it be Mechanical or Civil Engineering, behind the Technical Knowledge of the user.
Below is a list of key software that is currently Industry Standard (in the UK and Worldwide), as well as software that I have used in the past. Note that this list is not a definitive list of software that is available on the market, this is Software that I have a working knowledge of.
The companies that are linked also have other products that may be of interest to you as a company or user. They are also able to advise on costs of the products, feel free to contact them to find out more.
There are several different software options available for 2D and 3D CAD.
Autodesk offers a complete PRODUCT DESIGN & MANUFACTURING COLLECTION as well as a MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT COLLECTION that help save money over the course of a subscription.
BricsCAD® offers all the familiar .dwg 2D CAD features,yet it adds time saving tools and 3D Direct Modeling. There are 3 Editions of BricsCAD®:
Sheet Metal for BricsCAD® - Import, create, unfold, rework and export sheet metal parts using the most intuitive 3D direct modeling techniques. Requires Platinum.
Communicator for BricsCAD® – High-quality 3D data exchange between major MCAD formats.
BricsCAD® has more than 400 Applications that can be added to BricsCAD listed in the online catalog. There are several categories, that some will find interesting as there are many industries supported.
SOLIDWORKS® 3D CAD – Software delivers powerful design functionality with the intuitive SOLIDWORKS® user interface to speed your design process and make you instantly productive.
This software comes in three different packages scalable to meet the needs of your business with inbuilt functionality. All bundles use the award winning intuitive and easy to use Microsoft Windows native interface to accelerate your design process and increase productivity.
SOLIDWORKS® also offers Visualization software which allows products to be created for anyone who needs to create professional photo-quality images, animations, and other 3D content in the fastest and easiest way possible.
SOLIDWORKS® Simulation Packages
Efficiently evaluate performance, improve quality, and boost product innovation with the powerful and extensive suite of SOLIDWORKS Simulation packages.
TurboCAD offers advanced architectural and mechanical toolsets for greater control and flexibility.
TurboCAD is also optimized for 3D printing.
Paul (https://paulthecad.com/) supports TurboCAD for the UK market. He sells the product, runs training courses and is the UK support for TurboCAD.
Paul also sells other similarly priced design software such as 'Moment of Inspiration' and 'SketchUp' and is happy to advise on how these can work together, as well as best practice.
Autodesk offers a complete ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION COLLECTION package which comes with all of the above products and more in one bundle.
Innovize® and XP Solutions have recently merged. Read more here.
As per CAD software there are several different options within the BIM Software (At this current moment I have only looked into two BIM software options):
A link can be found here that explains what the Bricsys solution to BIM is.
Within CAD software it is possible to run other programmes called LISP's. These are written in Programming Code which can save time, increase efficiency but also add functionality.
I can recommend looking at the following website, it is created by Lee Mac. I use several of these LISP files on a daily basis as part of my CAD package:
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Autodesk, the Autodesk logo, AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD® Map 3D, BIM 360 Glue, Fusion 360, InfraWorks, Inventor, Inventor LT, Revit MEP, Revit LT, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.
This website is independent of Bricsys, SOLIDWORKS, Bentley Computing, Avanquest Software, Keysoft Solutions, Buchanan Computing, Innovize/XP Solutions and is not authorized by, endorsed by, sponsored by, affiliated with, or otherwise approved by Bricsys, SOLIDWORKS, Bentley Computing, Avanquest Software, Keysoft Solutions, Buchanan Computing, Innovize/XP Solutions.
This section of the website is designed to offer advice (and where available) viable alternatives to software that you may currently use, or may use in the future.