How to Select a New CAD System

With so many different computer aided design software options out there, how do you pick the one that will have the greatest positive impact on your business? Tech-Clarity, an independent research firm that specializes in CAD and related technology, recently surveyed companies that have switched CAD systems in order to find out what drove the decision process of companies that achieved the most favorable results.

The survey found that more top performing companies named ease of use as one of their top decision factors in selecting their new CAD system than any other criteria. Makes sense when you think about it -- these companies recognize that their engineers’ and designers’ time is too valuable an asset to be spent learning a clunky CAD system. For example, Hrishikesh Borude, Owner and Principal Designer of Induce Design, a design services company, commented: “I chose our design software as our primary tool because it’s easier and more efficient for both modeling and engineering new product designs.” The chart below calls out all five of industry leaders’ most important attributes in selecting new CAD software.

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Top performing companies are also very selective about the company or companies -- the CAD vendor and the value added reseller or channel partner -- that stand behind their CAD software. The number one attribute by which they evaluate CAD vendors is the quality and availability of technical support. In fact, top performers are 10% more likely than average companies to choose technical support as an important factor in CAD vendor selection. The chart below calls out the other most important criteria.

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Seating manufacturer USSC said its channel partner’s support was crucial in its successful deployment of a new CAD system. “Our VAR did an excellent job of supporting the process,” said Jeff Krueger, Director of Product Development “They held weekly conference calls with us [and] supported us at every step.”

Manufacturers today rely more than ever before on relationships with customers, partner, and suppliers. The ability to seamlessly interact with these and other collaborators is another important aspect of the selection process for top performing companies. Purchasing a CAD system with a higher market share can save large amounts of time by reducing the need for recreating design geometry. Working with a widely-used CAD system also makes it easier to recruit talented engineers and designers who are ready to hit the ground running.

Selection of a new CAD system is an important decision that can help determine how well your company performs for years to come. There’s a lot to be gained by examining the criteria that top performing companies use in selecting CAD software and CAD vendors. These selection criteria enable the companies that use them to minimize training time and quickly resume full productivity after switching CAD systems. You can access the complete survey in the Tech-Clarity white paper “Are You Changing CAD Tools?” to learn how top-performing companies choose a new CAD system.

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About the Author

Jerry Fireman is a technology writer who specializes in writing about computer aided design (CAD), 3D printing, computer-aided engineering (CAE), the Internet of Things (IoT), electronic engineering, pharmaceutical research and manufacturing, test and measurement and a variety of other topics.