Solidworks or AutoCAD Preference?

Hey guys, I currently have both Solidworks Personal Edition and the AutoCAD equivalent right here on my desk. My friend’s dad works for a company that sells drafting software. :smiley:

Does anyone have a preference for either program in specific? Are there any weaknesses or strengths that one has that the other does not? I plan to use one of these softwares to draft most of the custom fabricated parts on our robot. :stuck_out_tongue:

I currently already have experience using the reliable, but outdated PTC Desktop, and the newer PTC Wildfire.

Thanks for your input in advance guys!

I’m not a pro, but my team uses Solidworks because it is more widely used among professional engineers. I think it’s easy to learn too, there are some nice built in tutorials.

I always side with AutoCAD. It can’t make a 3d image too well. However, it’s geometry skills are off the chart. I generally would use it to come up with the dimensions and then transfer it to Inventor or Solidworks if you prefer for the final product.

To me, working with AutoCAD to do anything beyond basic shapes is like trying to change the tire on a cement truck with a shovel. That being said, it can be very quick to work in due to the command line interface. Personally, I would take the time to learn the basics of AutoCAD (AutoCAD and AutoCAD drawing are still relatively common), but invest more of my time in Solidworks or some other parametric 3D CAD program.

For your robot, as long as the parts are not complex 3D shapes, AutoCAD will probably be faster to model in initially; however, if you ever need to change dimensions or something later, Solidworks will be a better choice.


I want to see someone model try to model this or this in AutoCAD with weight estimates, collision detection, etc. in less time than it took me in SolidWorks. :wink:


For your long-term future choose to work with SolidWorks. I am a professional who uses it almost every day and we have had Pro E (good program), inventor, SolidWorks and Solid designer here over the last 6 years.

SolidWorks is the only one we still use and more and more of my customers and venders are switching to SolidWorks. ProE is great, but expensive in the real world.


Hi Stephen

Please go to
and fill out the Sponsorship application.

You dont want to use the Personal Edition because you will be limited in your files to share with your teammates.

If you plan to do stress, motion or flow analysis, let us know.


PTC Pro/ENGINEER is the best I’ve seen so far. Our team got Inventor for free, but for me, coming from NX UGS to that, it just felt too dumbed down and restrictive. I found out about Pro/E being available for free, so I signed the team up for that and haven’t looked back. After you get used to it, it’s way faster and more flexible. The automatic creation of weak dimensions and how well it automatically adds constraints really speed things up. I’m amazed that PTC is just giving out this software for free, it’s really good stuff.

Honestly, I don’t see why so many teams use inventor.

We only use SolidWors and Inventor in my school. We also have AutoCAD, but SolidWorks is more simple and easy to use and you can choose the part material…