Is your firm using the best software available? Is your software out of date and is your staff recommending a switch? Could you be accomplishing more with less effort by making a change? In this article, we’ll look at the best engineering applications available and answer the following questions.

  • What are the software’s best features?
  • What don’t users like about the software?
  • What does the software cost?

Are You Currently Using the Top Engineering Applications?

The firm bought the best software out there five years ago. But that was five years ago, and now the firm’s staff are seeing advertisements for newer, better software through Google ads. They’ve clicked on a couple of the ads, and they like what they see.

Maybe it’s time for a change…

Is your firm in the same boat?

Let us show you what engineering firms are using today – and why.

We’ll begin with desktop software and then move on to mobile applications for engineering.

What Are the Top Desktop Software Engineering Applications?

AutoCAD

AutoCAD has been an industry leader from the beginning. It is a powerful application with years of positive track record.

What are the software’s best features?

  • 2.5 axis milling
  • 3 axis milling
  • 4-axis milling
  • Database connectivity
  • Hole making
  • Spiral output
  • Toolpath simulation
  • User-defined cycles
  • Uses AutoCAD DWG files

What don’t users like about the software?

  • High cost
  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Requires powerful computer – Minimum 2GB Ram, 2Ghz Processor, 100 GB Hard Drive
  • No 3D Max rendering or V-ray
  • Slight differences between PC and Mac versions
  • Quick commands vary according to user’s language

What does the software cost?

There are two ways to purchase AutoCAD

  1. A license will cost you $4,195.00 and does not include tech support or updates. In order to get them, you have to pay a yearly $1,250.00 fee for a maintenance
  2. AutoCAD offers a monthly subscription of $210.00 per month per user or alternatively a yearly subscription of $1,680.00 per user per year. The monthly and annual subscriptions include the updates and some tech support.

Revit

Revit is considered by many to be superior to its competitors as a result of its BIM capabilities.

What are the software’s best features?

  • Unified Model Creation (vs a drafting workflow) With Built-in Information
  • Superior Clash Detection
  • Utilizes Autocad DWG Files
  • Physical and analytical model
  • Reinforcement detailing
  • Structural steel modeling
  • Structural documentation
  • Bidirectional linking with analysis
  • Linking with structural fabrication
  • Dynamo for structural engineering
  • HVAC design and documentation
  • Electrical design and documentation
  • Plumbing design and documentation
  • MEP fabrication detailing
  • Insight integration
  • Fabrication service conversion
  • Fabrication documentation

What don’t users like about the software?

  • Only available for Windows
  • Some adjustment needed on commands by AutoCAD users
  • No import function for PDFs
  • Line drawing has some limitations
  • Tools are not as intuitive as some would like

What does the software cost?

Revit can be purchased in one of the following three formats for a single user license.

  1. $280.00 per month
  2. $2,250.00 per year
  3. $6,075.00 for three years

progeCAD 2010 Professional

ProgeCAD 2010 Professional is one of the top-rated CAD applications out there. Unlike many of its competitors, it is capable of 4-axis milling.

What are the software’s best features?

  • A Cheaper AutoCAD Alternative
  • 5 Axis Milling
  • 3 Axis Milling
  • 4-Axis Milling
  • Database Connectivity
  • Hole Making
  • Spiral Output
  • Toolpath Simulation
  • User Defined Cycles
  • Uses AutoCAD DWG Files

What don’t users like about the software?

  • Needs more parametric features.
  • Uses a lot of computing power to run program
  • Some commands are different than AutoCAD
  • Some users experience printing issues.

What does the software cost?

$499 per user, per installation

CorelCAD

CorelCAD is a somewhat smaller program than the ones we have mentioned thus far but earns its place among 3D modeling software solutions.

What are the software’s best features?

  • 5-Axis Milling
  • 3-Axis Milling
  • 3D Solid Editing and Modeling Tools
  • Object Snaps and EntityGrips
  • Transition from 2D to 3D
  • Print 3D Designs
  • Helix Tool
  • Move Entities Incrementally
  • Pattern Along Paths
  • Drawing Constraints
  • Layer Tools
  • Trimming Options
  • Dynamic Blocks
  • Industry-Standard CAD Features

What don’t users like about the software?

  • Some AutoCAD users find CorelCAD lacking features of the bigger program.
  • Steep learning curve
  • Some users find AutoCAD file use and sharing a bit tricky
  • Some users complain of less than ideal user support

What does the software cost?

$699.00 per user – one-time purchase license

What  Are the Top Mobile Applications for Engineers?

New applications for tablets and smartphones seem to come out every day. Most aren’t worth the time and effort it takes to install them on your phone. However, there are mobile applications that have proved their worth in the office and the field. Here are a few we suggest.

  • Graphing Calculator – (Apple) – Find your equation, set needed values, and see the graphical
  • iEngineer – (Apple) – Use this app to find the bolt or screw size you need – metric or standard.
  • LuxCalc Fluid Calculator – (Apple & Windows) – Use this app to make calculations regarding thermodynamics and fluid properties.
  • AutoCAD 360 – (Apple & Android)Check out and edit your DWG files on the go.
  • Engineering Professional – (Apple) – Find the equations and formulas you need quickly.
  • TurboViewer X – (Apple & Android) – View 2D or 3D drawings while away from the office.

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