Comparison of CAD editors for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC)

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Advanced 3D CAD software allows users to create complex 3D forms

This page compares computer aided design (CAD) software that engineers and architects use to create drawings for the fields of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). This compares CAD software described elsewhere on Wikipedia, in terms of those aspects which can be directly compared. It does not judge power, ease of use, or other user-experience aspects.

CAD refers to a specific type of drawing and modeling software application that:

  • Is designed for creating technical drawings for distribution electronically and on paper
  • Uses the accuracy inherent in a floating point, as opposed to fixed-point drawing database

This comparison does not include the many types of related software like CATIA, Pro/Engineer and Unigraphics NX which bring CAD features together with other software groups in the AEC industries of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) and Computer Aided Machining (CAM), for example CAD for designing printed circuit boards. For those types of software please see Comparison of CAD editors for CAM and Comparison of CAD editors for CAE. For all-purpose 3D programs, see Comparison of 3D computer graphics software.

Comparison of CAD Editors for Architecture, Engineering and Construction

Application and developer Latest release date and version 2D/3D or Specialty fields Runs on POSIX style systems? Runs on Windows? Other platforms? License User Interface Language(s) Support for Building Information Modelling? Support for Industry Foundation Classes? Support for Drawing Exchange Format? Imports Exports Price
Alibre Design Expert by Alibre, Inc. 2009-09
Version 12
2D/3D + Rendering No Yes No Proprietary EN, GER Template:Unk Template:Unk Yes IGES, SAT, STEP, Solidworks, DXF, DWG, Image formats ?, Inventor, ProE, Catia, Parasolid, SolidEdge IGES, STEP, SAT, STL, Solidworks, Parasolid, PDF, 3D PDF, DXF, DWG, Image formats ? USD 1,999
ArchiCAD by Graphisoft 2009-09
Release 13
2D/3D AEC Mac OS X[1] Yes Template:Unk Proprietary EN, GER, SPA, FRA, ITA, POR, RUS, JPN, POL, CZE, HUN, NED, FIN, SWE, NOR, DEN, TUR, GRE, CHI, KOR and TAI[2] Yes Yes Yes 3D Studio, ACIS SAT, BMP, DGN, DWF, DWG, DXF, EMF, EPS, GIF, HPGL/PLT, IFC/IFCXML, JP2, JPG, PDF, PICT, PNG, PSD, QTIF, SketchUp, TGA/Targa, TIF/TIFF, WMF 3D Studio, Artlantis/ATL, AVI, BMP, DGN, DWF, DWG, DXF, EMF, EPS, EPX - Piranesi,FACT - ElectricImage, GIF, HPGL/PLT, IFC/IFCXML, JP2, JPG, MOV, LP - Lightscape, OBJ, PDF, PICT, PNG, PSD, QTIF, SGI, SketchUp, TGA/Targa, TIF/TIFF, U3D, WRL, WMF USD 4,250
ARCHline.XP by CadLine 2009-07
Release 2009 R2
2D/3D AEC + Rendering No Yes Template:Unk Proprietary eng, cze, ger, hun, ita, jpn, kor, pol, spa Yes No Yes DWG, DXF, SketchUp, 3DS DWG, DXF, DWF, Artlantis, PDF, 3DS  ?
AutoCAD 2010 by Autodesk 2009-03-24[3]
Release 2010
2D/3D AEC Template:Nom[4] Yes Template:Unk Proprietary[5] pt-BR, eng, cze, fra, ger, hun, ita, jpn, kor, pol, rus, chs, spa, cht[citation needed] Yes v2.x3 import and export, certified Yes DXF, DWG (TrueDWG), DWS, DWT, WMF, SAT, 3DS, DGN[citation needed] 3DS (requires 3dsout), DXF, DWG (TrueDWG), DWF, DXX, BMP[citation needed] USD 4,000
Bricscad by Bricsys 2008-09-17[6]
Release 9.x
Template:Unk DEB and RPM available. Requires Wine Yes Template:Unk Proprietary eng Yes Template:Unk Yes DWG, DXF DWG, DXF  ?
BRL-CAD by United States Army Research Laboratory 2009-05-13[7]
Release 7.14.8
3D design and simulation for military vehicles All POSIX (BSD/Linux/Unix like OS), Packages for FreeBSD, IRIX, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris[7][8] Yes Template:Unk BSD licence, LGPL[7] eng[7] Template:Unk No Yes DXF, Elysium Neutral Facetted, EUCLID, FASTGEN, IGES, Jack, NASTRAN, Pro/E[9], STL, TANKILL, Unigraphics, Viewpoint[10] DXF, EUCLID, IGES, Jack, STL, TANKILL, VRML, Obj, X3D[10] free
Caddie Professional by Advanced Computer Solutions 2009-09-01
Release 15
2D/3D AEC Rendering No XP Vista & Windows 7 Template:Unk Non-freeProprietary eng Template:Unk Template:Unk Yes DWG, DXF, DRW, JPG, BMP, TIF, PNG, GIF, ECW, JPEG2000, ASCII, XLS DWG, DXF, DRW, DWF, WMF, PDF, JPG, BMP, TIF, PNG, GIF
CATIA by Dassault Systèmes 2008-10-31
Release 5 R 19sp1
2D/3D IBM AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris Yes V4 runs on mainframe Proprietary eng, fra, ger,fra (at release date) Yes Template:Unk Template:Unk some formats require extra license some formats require extra license  ?
CYCAS by Verlag Frese 2008-02-22
Release 3.90.3
2D/3D AEC Rendering Linux Yes No Proprietary eng, fra, ger, ita No No Yes some formats require extra license some formats require extra license  ?
DataCAD by DATACAD LLC 2007-06
Release 12
2D/3D AEC No Yes No Proprietary EN and others No No Yes DWG, DXF, SketchUp and others DWG, DXF, SketchUp and others  ?
DDS-CAD Architect & Construction by DDS Building Innovation 6.5 2D/3D AEC No Yes No Proprietary eng, nor, swe Yes Yes Yes IFC, DWG, DXF, 3DS, CFI, VEC and others IFC, DWG, DXF, CFI, VEC and others  ?
Digital Project by Gehry Technologies V1R4 SP5 08/25/2009 2D/3D/4D AEC Template:Unk 32bit and 64bit No Proprietary eng Yes Yes(2X3)[11] Yes(2D + 3D) SDNF, DWG, DXF, IFC, IGES, HSF, 3DXML[11] SDNF, DWG, DXF, IFC, IGES, HSF, 3DXML[11]  ?
FreeCAD by Juergen Riegel 2009-07-10
Release 0.8 R2237
3D All POSIX (BSD/Linux/Unix like OS), Packages for FreeBSD, IRIX, Linux, Solaris Yes Template:Unk GNU GPL eng, ger (at release date) Template:Unk Template:Unk Template:Unk IGES, STEP, BRep IGES, STEP, BRep[12] Free
freeCAD (Aik-Siong Koh) by Aik-Siong Koh 2007-11-01
Release 9
3D All POSIX (BSD/Linux/Unix like OS) XP, Vista 32bit) Template:Unk GNU GPL eng Template:Unk Template:Unk Template:Unk Template:Unk Template:Unk  ?
form•Z by AutoDesSys, Inc. 2008-06-23
Release 6.6
2D/3D AEC Rendering Mac OS X XP, Vista
32bit and 64bit
Template:Unk Proprietary eng, fra, ger, gre, ita, jap, kor, spa Yes Template:Unk Yes ACIS SAT, Art·Lantis, BMP, DAE, DEM Data, DWG, DXF, EPS, FACT, GIF, HPGL, IGES, Illustrator, JPG, KMZ, Lightwave, Lightscape, OBJ, PDF,PICT,Piranesi, PNG, QTVR, RIB, SGI, SketchUp, STEP, STL, TGA, Targa, TIFF, ZPR ACIS SAT, Artlantis, BMP, DAE, DEM Data, DWG, DXF, EPS, FACT, GIF, HPGL, IGES, Illustrator, JPG, KMZ, Lightwave, Lightscape, OBJ, PDF, PICT, Piranesi, PNG, QTVR, RIB, SGI, STEP, STL, TGA, Targa, TIFF, ZPR  ?
Autodesk Inventor by Autodesk 2009-03-??
Release Inventor 2010
3D No Yes No Proprietary eng, cze, fra, ger, ita, jpn, kor, pol, rus, spa Template:Unk No Yes ACIS SAT, DXF, DWG (TrueDWG), IGES, Pro/Engineer, STEP, .dwf, .wire, .catpart, .catproduct, .jt, .x b, .x t, .prt, .asm, .g, .neu, Solidworks, UGS NX ACIS SAT, DXF, DWG (TrueDWG), IGES, STEP, .dwf, .catpart, .catproduct, .bmp, .gif, .jpeg, .png, .tiff, .iges, .jt, .pdf, .x b, .x t, .g, .neu, .stl, STEP, .xgl, .zgl  ?
KOMPAS-3D by ASCON 2009-05-18
Release V11
2D/3D
MCAD
AEC
Possibly run it via Wine Yes Template:Unk Proprietary eng, cze, fra, ger, pol, rus, cht, tur Template:Unk Template:Unk Yes DXF, DWG, IGES, ACIS SAT, X_T, STEP DXF, DWG, IGES, е-Drawings, SAT, X_T, STEP, VRML, STL, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, BMP, PNG, TGA, WMF, EMF  ?
MicroStation by Bentley Systems 2008-11-06
Release 8i
2D/3D AEC Dropped
(last was V 5.7 of 1997/1998)
Yes Dropped
(last was V 5.7 of 1997/1998)
Proprietary eng, fra, ita, ger, spa, jpn, zho, fin, cze

[13]

Yes Yes(2x3) Yes DGN, DXF, DWG, SketchUp, Rhino, PDF, Revit, IFC, gbXML, IGES, STEP DGN, DXF, DWG, U3D, PDF, gbXML, IGES, STEP

[14]

 ?
NX by Siemens PLM Software 2008-06-30
Release 6
2D/3D Mac OS X [15], and Novell SUSE Linux.[16] Yes Template:Unk Proprietary eng, fra, ita, ger, spa, jpn, zho, fin, cze Template:Unk Template:Unk Yes JT, Parasolid, STEP, DWG, DXF, ProE, SolidWorks, I-deas, CATIA (V4/V5), STL, IGES JT, Parasolid, STEP, DWG, DXF, ProE, SolidWorks, I-deas, CATIA (V4/V5), STL, IGES  ?
Pro/ENGINEER by Parametric Technology Corporation 2008-01-16
Release 4.0[17]
3D Some[18] Yes Template:Unk Proprietary eng, fra, ger, spa, ita, jpn, kor, cht, chs (at release date) [19] Template:Unk Template:Unk Yes STEP, IGES, DXF, more Template:Unk  ?
Progecad (based on IntelliCAD) by progeSOFT 2009-08-06
Release 9.0.26
2D/3D Rendering Linux Requires Wine; MAC OS Requires Parallels Desktop for Mac XP, Vista
32bit and 64bit
Template:Unk Proprietary eng, ger, rus, ita, cze, chs, cht, fra, pol No No Yes DXF, DWG, DWT, SAT DWG, DXF, DWT, SAT, BMP, EMF, WMF, JPG, KMZ, PDF, SVG  ?
QCad Community Edition by RibbonSoft 2008-09-09[20]
Release 2.0.5.0
2D FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, Unix[21][22] Yes Template:Unk GNU GPL[21] dan, ger, nld, est, ell, cze, eng, fra, hun, ita, nor, pol, pan, rus, slk, spa, tur

[23]

No Template:Unk versions R12 and 200x DXF (DXF R12 and DXF 200x)[23][24] DXF (DXF R12 and DXF 200x)[23][24]  ?
QCad Professional by RibbonSoft 2008-09-09[20]
Release 2.2.2.0
Template:Unk FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, Unix[21] Yes[21] Template:Unk Proprietary dan, ger, nld, est, ell, cze, eng, fra, hun, ita, nor, pol, pan, rus, slk, spa, tur [23] No No versions R12 and 200x DXF (DXF R12 and DXF 200x)[23] DXF (DXF R12 and DXF 200x), SVG, PDF[23]  ?
Revit Architecture by Autodesk 2009-03
Release 2010
2D/3D BIM No Yes Template:Unk Proprietary eng Yes Yes[25] Yes DXF, DWG, PDF, DWF, DGN JPG, PNG, AVI USD 5,495
Revit Structure by Autodesk 2009-03
Release 2010
2D/3D BIM No Yes Template:Unk Proprietary eng Yes Yes Yes DXF, DWG, PDF, DWF, DGN, Bentley Systems RAM Structural System JPG, PNG, AVI USD 5,495
Revit MEP by Autodesk  ?
Release ?
Template:Unk No Yes Template:Unk Proprietary eng Yes Yes Yes  ?  ?  ?
Solid Edge by Siemens PLM Software 2008-08-12
Release 1.0
3D/2D No Yes No Proprietary eng, spa, rus, fra, kr (at release date) Template:Unk No Yes IGES, STEP, DXF, JT, ACIS (SAT), ProE, SolidWorks, NX, SDRC, Microstation, Inventor, CATIA (V4/V5), Parasolid, Autocad, STL, XML, MDS IGES, STEP, STL, PDF, EMS, JT, XGL, XML, DXF, Parasolid, CATIA (V4/V5), ACIS (SAT), Microstation, Autocad  ?
Solidworks by SolidWorks Corp. 2009-10-15
Release 2010 sp0.0
3D No Yes No Proprietary eng, spa, ger (at release date) Template:Unk Template:Unk Yes DXF, DWG, Parasolid, IGES, STEP, ACIS, STL, ProE, Solid Edge, IGES, STEP, ACIS, STL, ProE, Solid Edge, u3d, VRML, 3dxml, Catia, PDF US$5000 +$1300/yr for support
TurboCAD by IMSI/Design, LLC 2009
v16 (Windows), v4 (Mac)
2D/3D Mac OS X Yes No Proprietary eng, others? Template:Unk Template:Unk Yes 'see PDF of compatible file formats' 'see PDF of compatible file formats'  ?
VariCAD by VariCAD 2009-10-28
VariCAD 2010 1.02
2D 3D Linux Yes Template:Unk Proprietary eng, cze[26] Template:Unk Template:Unk 2d only STEP (3D), DWG (2D), DXF (2D) and IGES (2D) [27] STEP (3D), STL (3D), IGES (3D/2D), DWG (2D), DXF (2D) [27]  ?
VectorWorks by Nemetschek 2009-09-15[28]
Release 2010
2D/3D Mac OS X Yes Dropped
was previously MiniCAD for Mac OS (1985–2001)
Proprietary eng, pt-BR, fra, spa, nld, ger, ita, jpn Yes Yes Yes DWG, DXF, PDF, EPSF, 3DS, IGES, SAT, Parasolid X_T, Sketchup, IFC, SHP, JPG, BMP, PNG, PSD, SGI, TIFF, TGA DWG, DXF, PDF, EPSF, 3DS, IGES, SAT, Parasolid X_T, STL, IFC, KML, SHP, JPG, BMP, PNG, PSD, SGI, TIFF, TGA  ?
ViaCAD by punch!CAD Software 2009
Release 6
2D/3D Mac OS X Yes No Proprietary eng, ger, others? Template:Unk Template:Unk Yes ACIS SAT, IGES, STEP, STL, OBJ, VRML, DXF, DWG, CATIA v4, Pro/E, Rhino 3D, SketchUp, Adobe Illustrator, PDF, JPG and others ACIS SAT, IGES, STEP, STL, VRML, DXF, DWG, Adobe Illustrator, RAW, EPS, BMP and others  ?

References

  1. http://www.graphisoft.com/support/archicad/system_requirements/
  2. http://www.archicadwiki.com/ArchiCAD%20Bittorrent%20Downloads
  3. Autodesk Delivers AutoCAD 2009 Software for Innovative Design
  4. AutoCAD on WINE's Application Database
  5. Autodesk - Licensing, Registration & Activation
  6. BricsCAD v9.x Release Notes
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 BRL-CAD 'Summary' page on SourceForge
  8. BRL-CAD 'Download' page
  9. Import is only possible by using proprietary Pro/E program
  10. 10.0 10.1 Anderson, John R.; Edwards, Eric W. (May 2004), "Converting Geometry Between BRL-CAD and Other Formats" (PDF), BRL-CAD Tutorial Series, Aberdeen Proving Ground: United States Army Research Laboratory, http://brlcad.org/w/images/6/66/Converting_Geometry.pdf, retrieved 2008-07-10 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Gehry Technologies Wiki, 'What are the formats supported by Digital Project ?'
  12. free-cad Feature List
  13. Bentley Systems. "MicroStation, a CAD platform for integration - Available Languages". http://www.bentley.com/en-US/Products/MicroStation/Available-Languages.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  14. Bentley Systems. "MicroStation from Bentley". http://www.bentley.com/en-US/Products/microstation%20product%20line/. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  15. "Siemens PLM Software Announces Availability of NX for Mac OS X". Siemens PLM Software. 2009-06-11. http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/about_us/newsroom/press/press_release.cfm?Component=82370&ComponentTemplate=822. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  16. "UGS Ships NX 4 and Delivers Industry’s First Complete Digital Product Development Solution on Linux". 2009-04-04. http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/about_us/newsroom/press/press_release.cfm?Component=25399&ComponentTemplate=822. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  17. January 2008 Worldwide Media and Analysts Launch of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0
  18. See Platform Support - Parametric Technology Corporation and PTC customer support
  19. Parametric Technology Corporation. "Pro/ENGINEER Language Support". http://www.ptc.com/products/proengineer/language-support. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Ribbonsoft. "QCad Changelog". http://www.ribbonsoft.com/qcad_doc_changelog.html. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Download list on QCad Downloads page
  22. QCad FAQ page
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 "QCad Features". Ribbonsoft. http://www.ribbonsoft.com/qcad_features.html. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 Features will be different for the Community Edition
  25. 'BIM and the U.S. GSA (1-2-3 Revit Tutorial'
  26. VariCAD. "VariCAD Czech website". http://www.varicad.cz/cz/home/. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 VariCAD - CAD system description
  28. Internally known as v15

See also

Template:Building Information Modeling

Personal tools

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