Industry MCAD Preferences

  • NX
  • SolidWorks
  • Creo (or Pro/E)
  • Inventor
  • Rhinoceros
  • Solid Edge

0 voters

Okay, I’m curious. There have been many comments on CD about what software is “popular in industry”, “market share”, or similar, and a few polls about what software FRC teams use. I want to see what the professional numbers say. If you use mechanical CAD software in your (post-collegiate) job, select the packages that are widely used in your organization (not necessarily that you personally use).

If there’s software that not listed above, tell me in the comments and I’ll add it. (If I can… this is my first Discourse poll.) EDIT: apparently I can’t add options anymore, but please tell me about other MCAD software in comments anyway.

To get the ball rolling, I work at JPL, and we use NX for all official spacecraft CAD, but we also have SolidWorks licenses available for GSE and stuff like that.


Add: IronCAD.

For my small company, it’s Inventor (option for Fusion but we don’t use it). Most of us can run Solidworks if we need to (and one of us prefers it).

A previous workplace used NX… I think. (I didn’t have a lot of CAD usage at that one.)

I’d be interested to see if and where respondents use Rhino… I don’t see many industrial designers around these parts. I have opinions about that, but they aren’t for this thread.

Apparently I can’t edit a poll after the first 5 minutes, but personally, I will note your vote for IronCAD.

I don’t think I can vote in this (after all, I am still a senior), but all of our mentors from the IDF use Solid Edge in their service - that’s the reason we use it in the team too.

I’m curious about Rhino as well. from what I can tell, it seems to be more of a hobbyist or graphic design type of cad work (furniture, jewelry, architecture, etc.)

I work as a manufacturing engineer at a sheet metal and CNC milling R&D facility. We use SolidWorks in house but have access to a bunch of different packages.

We typically ask for the native CAD file, a .step file, native drawing, and .pdf of the drawing for each part or assembly from the customer. We get new jobs from customers in a wide variety of industries everyday. I probably see SolidWorks parts files about 65-70% of the time, then Inventor next, and a mixture of the other software’s behind that.

Going to give a different perspective on this. I’m not voting in the poll as I don’t work in mechanical engineering or design but I do work in IT and I’ve worked with clients to standup servers and support systems (Virtual Desktops, collaboration packages, additional tools) and to integrate those into the systems I work with. I’ve seen smaller clients use only 1 of these but more commonly, I have seen larger companies with 3 or more of them all in use by different departments and some even within the same department.

I think you’ll find that every industry is different and that the software that gets the work done is the one that gets used.


We use Onshape at my company. It’s a direct sale from my experience using it in FRC.


At the company I interned at, it was a combination of Solidworks and Onshape. R&D (the people I was working with) mostly used Onshape, and the production and manufacturing guys used Solidworks.

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Yeah, before I went to the software side of things, I interned at a small company that used Pro/E and IronCAD, then another place that had a Creo license for the sole stateside mech-e, and now I work at a place so large I can’t actually firmly say that I know all the different software we use. On the team, we have a few mentors from another large company that mention using 3+ CAD packages across the day depending on what teams they’re working with. Large corporate is wild.

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My previous employer used ProE on the older product lines and Solidworks on the newer ones, most likely because someone decided to make a change. Both product lines are currently being manufactured so there ProE users sitting next to Solidworks users, depending on what product they are assigned to work on.

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