Which is the best mid range cad package

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I’m a metal stamping Tooling Engineer. I have worked in the last 10 years with catia, nx and solidworks.
Now I’m looking for a new cad package for my daily job. CATIA and NX are out of equation due to their price.

So I need a robust cad package, which includes nice surfacing, nice modeling features, nice user interface.

What I am thinking
-solidedge (I’ve already made some trials)
-solidworks (I’ve worked with it in past, but don’t have use it in surfacing)
-autodesk inventor (don’t know much)

Somebody have told me that there is an interesting cad package. Zw3d cad. For what I’ve see, it looks impressive, I haven’t made yet a trial. But it’s surfacing and general modeling capabilities, looks good. It’s price it’s amazing less than half of price of the others in equation. But if the price is so low compared to the others which handicaps has he?

Thanks you


My background is SolidWorksm but I just interviewed the CEO of Swissomation and he would slap me if I didn’t recommend Fusion 360 for anyone in machining. I would look at that or Onshape. For the CAM capabilities you’ll likely need, Fusion 360 has them integrated. What he like in particular is the CAM and the collaboration capabilities.


Hello, Thanks by your reply.

I’m not looking a software for CAM. I’m just looking for CAD. It has to be some interesting functionalities in surfacing (I use that a lot in my daily job). For what i’ve seen, Onshape doesn’t have grate capabilities in surfacing, Am I wrong?


And what about ZW 3D, anyone have already use it?

I have made some searchs and i am quite impressed.


Never seen ZW3D. What impresses you?

Onshape has zero surfacing at the moment. Hoping they add some soon.


I imagine it is probably next on their list since they have added sheetmetal already.


Ahh, I see. Yeah, Onshape doesn’t have surfacing yet. ZW3D always impresses me - it has a wide, wide feature set and nice import capabilities, but you’ll also want to check out solidThinking and Keycreator as well.



thank you all by your responses. I’ve never see what’s is solidThinking, but as far as my short search have found, looks that it’s only for simulation (the several types of it). Key creator looks interesting, but it works with history free, non parametric software. That in my opinion is a major handicap.

ZW3D looks awsome. It has nice capabilities on surfacing, nice modeling features. It has great capabilities on generating standard parts. Looks by far (according to what we see in the internet) that it’s a more capable software than solidworks. But my question is, why if it’s more capable than SW, why has only a few user across the world? why is so unknow? Why costs less than a half than solidworks? Is it really so capabale as SW? What’s their major handicaps?

Anyone that have already worked with it?


ZW3D has a large user-base in Asia Pacific (they’re based in China), but growing worldwide. Keycreator and solidThinking Evolve are both 3d modeling applications with direct and history-based editing. Just thought of another too, IronCAD. They all have free trials as I recall.


How do you rate ZW3D, compared to SolidWorks or solidedge.

In last few years solidedge have grown quite a bit.


I have not heard about IronCAD in quite a while. I thought it might have folded. Nice to know that it still exists.


I’m intrigued by this ZW3D though since I have never seen nor heard a single thing about it.


Make a search and see it’s potentialities