What is the difference between AutoCAD and SolidWorks?


The majority of engineering universities currently include AutoCAD in their programmes. As a result, AutoCAD knowledge is required of you, even if you are a newbie. Someone asked you if you were familiar with SolidWorks as you were leaving for your first job. What inquiries do you have regarding SolidWorks? As a result, we shall explain how Autocad and Solidworks differ in this article. Solidworks vs. AutoCAD


It's uncommon to find an engineer who isn't familiar with AutoCAD. AutoCAD was, in fact, the first CAD programme to run on a personal computer. The first piece of software helped the CAD industry change. As AutoCAD gained popularity, people were hesitant to cease utilising manual, traditional drawing techniques.


SolidWorks was created as people began to abandon traditional 2D over time. SolidWorks, one of the most well-liked 3D CAD programmes available today, is a gold mine for mechanical engineers. Today, it's reasonable to assume that SolidWorks has been used by every single mechanical engineer.

 The Origins Of AutoCAD:

Many of us might not be aware that Interact CAD, a business, came up with the original idea for AutoCAD. The first version of AutoCAD was released in 1982 after Autodesk acquired Interact CAD in 1980.


The first CAD programme that users could install on their personal computers as opposed to microcomputers was AutoCAD. After just a few months of use, AutoCAD quickly becomes well-known and is adopted by the majority of sectors. Due to AutoCAD's faster drawing cycle, designers are no longer required to use hand-drawn sketches.


Solidworks vs. AutoCAD


Although AutoCAD has received numerous modifications and feature improvements throughout the years, it is still regarded as 2D CAD software. Autodesk is aware of this and makes ongoing improvements to its products.

Features of AutoCAD:

  • Despite the fact that AutoDesk has gradually incorporated 3D CAD capabilities, AutoCAD is still essentially a 2D CAD programme. I can confirm that AutoCAD never had a monopoly on the 3D CAD market.

  • This is due to the fact that AutoCAD never took 3D CAD seriously. People prefer to use AutoCAD as 2D CAD software since making a 3D model in it is considerably more difficult than making one in any other 3D CAD tool.

  • Even if there was a decline in the market for 2D CAD software, businesses could not stop utilising AutoCad.

  • Only AutoCAD can create a.dxf files, which are accepted by the majority of CNC machines. Even though many programmes currently are capable of creating.dxf files, only AutoCAD makes editing them fairly simple.

AutoCAD's capabilities:

  • Due to AutoDesk, AutoCAD, which is primarily a 2D CAD application, now has 3D CAD capabilities. I can attest to the fact that the 3D CAD market has never been successfully monopolised by AutoCAD.

  • This is the cause: 3D CAD was never taken seriously by AutoCAD. AutoCAD is more usually used as a 2D CAD programme since creating a 3D model in it is significantly more difficult than in any other 3D CAD programme.

  • Many organisations still use AutoCad even though 2D CAD software is no longer in demand. Only AutoCAD can create.dxf files, although the majority of CNC machines can read them as input. Although several modern products can still create.dxf files, only AutoCAD does so.

  • AutoCAD is utilised in the electrical and electronic industries.

SolidWorks :

Did you know that, despite the fact that SolidWorks is produced by Dassault Systemes, the original version of SolidWorks was not created by Dassault? SolidWorks was established in 1993 by MIT alumnus Jon Hirschtick and a few friends. In 1995, SolidWorks was initially made available.


SolidWorks immediately became well-known. It merely changed the way 3D modelling was done. Software for 3D CAD was not user-friendly in 1995. The first piece of feature-rich and intuitive software was SolidWorks. When it initially debuted, SolidWorks was simply adored by the public.


Dassault Systems acquired SolidWorks in 1997 despite already having Catia in their line of goods. But at the time, Catia was catering to a different market. The merger with Dassault was successful.


Solidworks vs. AutoCAD

SolidWorks is the source

SolidWorks had numerous upgrades all year long that enhanced the features of the software. One of the most frequently used programmes in the United States, across all industries, is SolidWorks.

Strengths of SolidWorks

SolidWorks has so many features that listing them all would require several pages. I'll only touch on a couple of SolidWorks' most important features here that businesses use frequently.

Modelling in 3D CAD:

Simply told, SolidWorks is the best 3D CAD modelling application. Various modelling options exist, such as fundamental 3D modelling, surface modelling, free form modelling, etc. Additionally, it has the capacity to build wire harnesses and sheet metal models.

Drafting in 2D CAD:

SolidWorks' 2D CAD drafting is usually used for components and assemblies, unlike AutoCAD, which can be used for everything. All 2D drafting in SolidWorks is parametric, so any changes you make to the corresponding 3D model update the drawing as well.


It is simple to design a mechanism, an animation, and a simulation using SolidWorks. These attributes enable companies to test designs before going into production.

Analysis Using Finite Elements:

A 2D and 3D CAD tool is SolidWorks. It is helpful to know how a physical component will likely behave under different loading scenarios. Thermal analysis is useful and advantageous, which is positive.

CAM ( Computer Aided Manufacturing):

The ability to integrate with machines that use computer-aided machining is integrated into SolidWorks. One of the best CAM programmes is SolidWorks.

Electrical Engineering:

This programme is one of the best for designing electrical systems or wire harnesses. It has the capacity to develop 3D harnesses and schematic designs.

PDM ( Product Data Management):

A solution for keeping track of the product life cycle is crucial for commercial operations. In scenarios with many users, it aids in coordination.

Benefits of SolidWorks, the top 3D CAD programme:

  • A user interface that is simple

  • Easy to follow directions

  • An easy learning curve

  • The simplest CAD programme to use for CAD parametric modelling

  • Real-time 2D drafting

  • Model built from sheets of metal

  • Advanced assembly module Analysis Analysis Using Finite Elements

  • Ability to use and model mechanisms

  • Tools exist for managing product data.

SolidWorks' drawbacks:

There are no limitations other than the fact that 2D CAD drawing is inferior to AutoCAD.

Which Sectors Utilise SolidWorks?

Sincerely, SolidWorks is used in almost every industry. SolidWorks is a piece of software that is quite helpful. Practically every mechanical business uses SolidWorks. However, the heavy industrial, automotive, aerospace, home appliance, and medical device sectors utilise SolidWorks the most.


  • It should be obvious at this point how much AutoCAD and Solidworks differ from one another. Since they both cater to the same market, comparing them would not give a clear picture. the leading companies in both software sectors. Which field you fit into now is up to you.

  • Although SolidWorks is required for mechanical engineering, AutoCAD is the programme to master if you're interested in civil or architectural engineering.