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MCAD Industry Overview



I've had my nose buried in Pro/E for so long now. I want to get a grasp on the whole MCAD picture, and I need your help. I'm trying to get an overview of the MCAD industry as a whole, how the different MCAD products are related, and their usage in the industry. Here are some questions to get started:

1) Who are the major MCAD players? Pro/E, Catia, SolidWorks, Inventor, Unigraphics?

2) Who are the minor MCAD players? Solid Edge, Think3, I-deas?

3) EDS has 3 MCAD sytems as far as I can tell: Unigraphics NX, I-DEAS NX, and Solid Edge. What are the major differences between these packages?

4) What are the current market percentages for these systems (i.e. how many users does each system have, or what is the percentage of use compared to others?)

Any information would be helpful. For instance, I'm not interested in how much better one is than the other, but the strengths and weaknesses that each one has. I know that this is a lot of information to ask for, but your input would be most appreciated. Thanks!


New member
I have Pro, UG nx, Ideas and other misc packages and I only surface, no solids.

UG seems the most similar to pro in capabilty but I havent had the time or need to really get into surfacing with it yet.

Ideas strength is supposed to be its data management not its modelling and especially not its drawing capability.*surfacing is done with Imageware when possible.

I deal with Catia data alot but I convert it with Mastercam. I hear a lot of bitching about assemblies in Catia but the surface quality is better than I get out of UG or Ideas.

Every car company claims they require native data yet when I open their files the first feature is invariably an import (orphan in the case of Ideas). This leads to the question of where does the data come from? Mostly ICEM, Alias and Imageware I would guess.

Not sure if that helps,



New member
I attended a Rand Seminar which was titled PLM Industry Update.

Rand seems to have done a detailed job.

Very detailed about the state of PTC, Catia, EDS etc.

They have a series of seminars throughout North America

If you can go to one i would suggest it.

They will come to your site and present it also.


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