Difference between CATIA and SolidWorks

CATIA is an acronym for Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application. This is a multi-platform software suite used for Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), PLM, and 3D. SolidWorks, on the other hand, is a solid modeling computer-aided design, and computer-aided engineering software program sharing a similar concept of industrial designing. They are not technical competitors but aim at different segments in the industry.

Here are some differences that make these software packages apart:


CATIA SolidWorks
CATIA is intended to be used for Architectural, Design, Electrical, and Mechanical streams. SolidWorks is also intended to be used for Design, Electrical, and Mechanical streams except for Architectural designs.
Used only in the Aircraft Industry. Used across industries such as Aerospace, Consumer Products, Education, Energy, Government, Medical, and Technology.
Collaboration features include 2D to 3D CAD Conversion, 3D Printing, and 3D Viewing Tools. Collaboration features include only Multiple User Reviews and 3D Viewing Tools.
CATIA does not have Advanced Surfacing features. SolidWorks is rich in Advanced Surfacing features that can create mid surfaces, and planar surfaces, extend the freeform-radiated surface, Min Radius Analysis, Surface Fill, Swept, Symmetry Check Analysis, Trim, Undercut Analysis, and much more.
CATIA lacks Sheet Metal Design Features such as Forming Tools, Bend Lines, Toggle Flat displays, and Hole Tables. All the Sheet Metal Design Features are present.
ASCII, DXF, and IGES writable files are supported in CATIA. Solidworks supports multiple writable files such as ACIS, ACIS SAT, DWG, HOOPS META FILE, HPGL/PLT, PDF, JPEG, PROE, SAT, STEP, and much more.
Readable files supported are ASCII, DXF, and IGES only. Readable files supported ACIS, ASM, BMP, DRW, DWG, and much more except ASCII.
Licensing starts from $25,000. Licensing starts from $6000.

Besides the distinctions mentioned above, the software suites are developed by a French company Dassault Systèmes. Both the software kits work on Windows Operating System and support the English language. Also, CATIA and SolidWorks offer an On-Premise Deployment Model. In addition, the powerful tools have embarked on their presence in Parametric Modeling and Photorealistic Rendering domains across the design industry. To enhance your skill further, learning CATIA commands would be helpful.

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