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Pro/E, AutoCAD, Catia, need feedback


New member
Here is my problem. I am a pro/e user for 5 years now. I just started a new job and the company uses autocad 3D. I do not want to go back to autocad. the company is thinking about catia. can anyone give me feedback for pro's or con's? Or should I just try to fight for Pro/e. They are only going to buy 2 seats of a new software. Thanks


New member
let them know that if they purhcase Pro there training cost would be less since you already know the package.

I have found that it can be ery hard to convince upper managent on software if they already have an idea of what theythink thay need or want

my 2 cents


New member
Tell your boss the cheapest seat of Catia is $14,000 vs $4995 for Wildfire

(and you could definitely get it cheaper than $4995).

I don't know exactly what comes in Catia for that price but it all depends on what your company needs are.


New member
Very good points, I want to advise the company what is best for them AND ME. If learning catia makes me more valuable, then I will push for catia, but I never hear much about it. Has anyone used it?


My 2 cents:

CATIA V4 is a horrible beast of patchworks, completely non intuitive menus and modeling design. It is however the tool of choice for Aircraft designers like Boeing and Lockheed owing to the close relationship IBM and Dassault have with them in terms of programming specifically for their needs. It takes 5 to 10 times as long to learn how to be productive on CATIA V4 as it does Pro/E.

CATIA V5 is slightly better. Its windows based and a little more intuitive but the modeling techniques are the same and MANY of their add on packages such as the tubing package does not yet work well with V5 and some just don't work at all yet.

Pro/E for all it's faults has the advantage of being relatively recently designed and programmed with intuitive coding, ie. it works the way you think it should, I buy a block and start cutting as opposed to making 2 blocks and subtracting them (boolean). CATIA has an edge in surfacing capability but only slightly since ISDX came along. On all other modeling, assembly, and especially data management, Pro/E is an order of magnitude more advanced and as pointed out earlier, much cheaper and you do get most of what you need. Flex Pack 2 or flex 3c comes with just about everything including piping and cabling, isdx, bmx, and mechanism. The training is superior in terms of usefulness and retention, after the intro class you are capable of doing your job with Pro/E, after 40 hrs. of CATIA training most users are lost and need at least 80 more hrs. of training to begin to understand how CATIA works. I am curently working with Pro/E 2001, CATIA V4 and CATIA V5 between around 60 engineers at 3 large aerospace companies and the Pro models are always cleaner, trnaslate into and out of step easier and are significantly smaller in file size on average. The users, all with thousands of hrs on their respective systems, seem far more flexible and able to deliver models quickly with large changesif they are using pro/E.

You'll have to try it yourself but in 6 years of cross CAD usage and support Pro/E stands head and shoulders above the others in an all around competition. What is lacking at PTC is genuine customer support and MCAD development. however if you dig around the net and the PTC knowledge base you can usually find enough info to get things done. Try finding answers to specific catia questions?

Summary: Pro/E is cheaper, easier to learn, and far more powerful and useful in almost all respects than the others being considerd.


I would like to add that the only justification I can think of to start new with Catia is if your customer requires you to deliver models and or drawings in Catia. Chrysler for example requires it's suppliers to deliver Catia models configured to Chrysler's exact specifications. Never the less, I have fought it tooth and nail and so far we have been able to get by with outsourcing the Pro/E to Catia coversion to a service bureau. We always get demerits when Chrysler does a quality audit though. A lot of the auto industry uses Catia so a lot of suppliers end up using it too. In a head to head comparison no one in their right mind would buy Catia.


New member
Thank you very much for your input. I was pretty sure pro/e was the way to go, but just wanted to check up this. I think I have some good arguments now.



New member
I like this thread :). Being an old CV convert, it is nice to see others enjoy Pro/E. To me, it is amazing where Pro/E has come and where it has gone. I started back on rev 5 and began working full production on rev 7. Presently, I am working on 2001. Today was the first preview of Wildfire I have seen. It was a Webcast offered by PTC. I think the new interface and structure is a vast improvement over 2001. Going to take a little while to re-learn, but much more compressed, mouse clicks/keyboard input than 2001. People talk Pro/E and there is no way anyone else can compete? So many modules, so much to learn. There are no experts, just advanced users :)


New member
I have been using Proe since rev 9, my company is a design firm and we have Proe, Solidworks, Inventor, and we recently purchased Catia V5.

At the same time i had to learn Wildfire. I was very suprised when i went to Catia V5 training. It was just as easy as Solidworks, and because Catia V5 has superior surfacing, i could do more complex models.

When i went to the WIldfire class, it was obvious that the dashboard did not exist in all the modules that i use, so it was confusing to me. We tried to train our Solidworks user in Wildfire and it was a disaster, because we had to send them to a 2001 class to learn the old interface then send them to a Wildfire class. They were able to transition to Catia V5 Easily.

We did a benchmark V5 vs Wildfire, both systems were able o make the part, but the SW user trained in Catia was able to do it faster than our proe 2001 user trained in wildfire.

Lastly, Catia V5 is not V4 v4 is unix based, Catia V5 is windows more so than proe.

the price was the roughly the same as proe in fact maintenence was a little cheaper.


New member
--------*******to designworld********--------

You poor guy. You started using Pro/E with rev. 9, and Wildfire is confusing to you.

And Catia 5 is very easy to use. I think that, V5 is not outperforming Wildfire.

I did really compley surfacing with Pro/E with C2 continuity and I must say that it can be done quickly and with excelent results.

I would really confider putting your engineers to IQ testing (I am sorry but this is the first thing that comes to my mind). I saw quite some 15 years old children using Pro/E 2001 perfectly. If they can use it and make 2500+ parts machine,... I am sure that your people/friends/co-workers would not be very happy, when their friend is talking to whole world that they can be beaten by some highschool kids.

If you want to do a really good surfacing, then use IcemSurf. I am sure that it is much more complex than V5, but why do everybody use IcemSurf for interior and exterior of a car (not Catia v4 or V5). They are professionals of course, interested in really top design. Pro/E has great tools for surfacing as well.

Neither 2001 or Wildfire are so bad as you described. I think that you should start thinking about benefits.

Everybody know that V5 is windows based. If you are a machine engineer, it is very questionable if you can judge what is more windows product V5 or Pro/E. But of yourse you can use Microsoft Drawing or Paint for production drawings. They are really windows compatible.

I also read your thread about Wildfire 2. My opinion is that you did not take a close look at it.

--------*******to jvf-design*******--------

I would fight for Pro/E.


New member
Just want to say thanks to all for your input. My company has put in a PO for 2 seats of Pro/e. I will be getting wildfire training and the other engineer gets to learn Pro/e from the beginning. Its a start.