CAD and CAE software for computer aided design and engineering

Respond to the survey of the link at the end of the news; in a few days we will have the results

May 25, 2020

The software used in design and engineering before the BIM / IA era (soon we will dedicate an article to these new concepts that are revolutionizing the processes of analysis, design and construction of projects) can be divided into 2 large groups:

  • CAD (computer-aided design) computer-aided design/drawing
  • Computer-aided engineering/calculation CAE (computer-aided engineering)
    In the first group, Autodesk programs stand out: AutoCAD for the graphic representation of 2D drawings and 3D models, and the light version AutoCAD LT 2D.

Other software developers use the name CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) which generally follows the concept of uniting drawing tools with engineering methods for project design development. We currently see 2 trends of competitive strategies in the drawing and design software market.

  • On the one hand, the big players (such as Autodesk or Bentley) pursue all-in-one integration, through suits, which are collections of computer applications with related functionalities that share a user interface, and easy exchange of information between them.
  • On the other hand, smaller competitors focused on niches in specialized engineering sectors, opt for the development of plug-in applications (also known as add-ons or extensions) that add specific new functions to an existing ‘host’ software extending their capabilities. capabilities. For example, there are already many plug-ins for AutoCAD on the market. In this case, the software developer does not have to start from scratch developing a drawing platform; It takes advantage of AutoCAD’s own and adds specific tools to it for the type of design in which it has specialized. This greatly shortens your development costs and time.

It will be very interesting to closely follow the evolution in the coming years of a market that is more dynamic than ever for engineering software. According to a recent study, global spending on enterprise software in 2019 was $391 billion. Computer science currently represents the third most important item for an engineering unit, behind payroll and leases.

Many software manufacturers only sell perpetual licenses for their applications, but many are already offering annual subscriptions, making it possible to change applications and providers periodically, depending on the needs and better options available. A good software acquisition, sharing and use policy is currently key for an engineering firm.

And in the second group, CAE, we have four main subdivisions:

  • Fluid dynamics according to the Navier-Stokes CFD equations (computational fluid dynamics)
  • Analysis with finite element method FEA (finite element analysis)
  • Dynamic simulation of systems of connected elements MBDS (multibody dynamic simulations) by means of mechanical equations.
  • Analysis using numerical methods for solving differential equations Optimization&Simulation
    Next week we want to introduce you to an im3 Latam team that is working daily with powerful Optimization & Simulation software and the projects they are working on.

But first, we would like to thank you for your collaboration in responding to the following general knowledge survey regarding suppliers and design software, and computer-aided calculation. Please respond anonymously until Friday, May 29, without the help of the internet (we are interested in the real state of general knowledge) through the following link: In a few more days we will disclose the results.