Top Free Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) Software

Check out our list of free Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) Software. Products featured on this list are the ones that offer a free trial version. As with most free versions, there are limitations, typically time or features.

If you'd like to see more products and to evaluate additional feature options, compare all Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) Software to ensure you get the right product.

(311)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$332

Fusion 360 is for product designers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and machinists. It unifies design, engineering, PCB design, and manufacturing into a single platform. It allows you to connect your disconnected product development process to deliver high-quality products to market faster and positively impact your bottom line. Fusion 360 is a fully integrated CAD, CAM, PCB, and CAE software that includes generative design, 2.5, 3, 4, & 5 axis machining, and advanced simulatio

I use this product for generating new electrical subpart designs which are mostly PCB based. I work in a sub branch of Metro in association with... Read review
Varun S.
Since I am working in Infrastructure company I always need a Autocad for drawing, design the layout. With the help of Fusion 360 software we can... Read review
(67)4.8 out of 5

SimScale is a leading cloud-based CAE platform that provides access to CFD, FEA, and thermodynamics simulation capabilities 100% via a standard web browser. No hardware, installation or licenses required. Try the free Community plan or request a free trial for the Professional account at

The best feature is the fact that you can run your simulations on online cores simultaneously, so your laptop specifications do not really matter.... Read review
Ahmed Osama M.
I love the fact that you don't need a computer with high-performance specifications to perform your simulations, you just need to open your... Read review
(39)4.1 out of 5

AnyLogic is the standard in multimethod modeling technology, delivering increased efficiency and less risk when tackling complex business challenges. The unmatched flexibility found in AnyLogic allows users to capture the complexity of virtually any system, at any level of detail, and gain a deeper insight into the interdependent processes inside and around an organization.

Gonçalo H.
The easiness to use and build different types of simulation models including System Dynamics! The sofware is user-friendly and there are several... Read review
Possibility to solve a wide range of tasks and optimize variety of processes. Read review
(381)4.4 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:$2085 1 year

Autodesk® Inventor® 2021 software provides engineers and designers professional grade design and engineering solution for 3D mechanical design, simulation, visualization, and documentation. With Inventor software, engineers can integrate 2D and 3D data into a single design environment, creating a virtual representation of the final product that enables them to validate the form, fit, and function of the product before it is ever built. Autodesk Inventor includes powerful parametric, direct edi

Josh W.
the detail you get in the designs with inventor is incredible. With accurate weights in parts and components the program is able to calculate... Read review
Easy way of design by its simplest tools. Autocad users can easily design a model using inventor. Read review
(120)4.1 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$75 / seat / month

Solid Edge is a portfolio of affordable, easy to deploy, maintain, and use software tools that advance all aspects of the product development process – mechanical and electrical design, simulation, manufacturing, technical documentation, data management, and cloud-based collaboration. Developed on Siemens industry leading technologies, Solid Edge provides the most innovative and comprehensive approach to product development for the mainstream market.

It is best software compare to other options available in market. It is very easy to use. It keeps on updating itself latest version for 2019 has... Read review
Best software in industry to design machines and 3D concepts Read review
(18)4.4 out of 5

ETAP® is a full spectrum analytical engineering software company specializing in the analysis, simulation, monitoring, control, optimization, and automation of electrical power systems. ETAP electrical engineering software offers the best and most comprehensive suite of integrated power system enterprise solution.

Very useful for designing your conductor sizing. It is observed that many companies / designers use oversized cables. ETap calculates accurate... Read review
(9)4.5 out of 5

Ansys Sherlock is the only reliability physics-based electronics design tool that provides fast and accurate life predictions of electronic hardware at the component, board and system levels in early stage design. Using reliability physics, Sherlock reduces expensive build-and-test iterations by virtually running thermal cycling, power-temperature cycling, vibration, shock, bending, thermal derating, accelerated life, natural frequency, CAF and more so you can adjust designs in near real-time a

- Use of Physics of Failure models that quickly provide accurate and actionable PCBA reliability prediction results. - Customization options to... Read review
(6)4.2 out of 5

Adaptive Simulations offers a cloud-based service: Ingrid Cloud, a fully automated flow simulation experience. Ingrid Cloud increases accuracy, flexibility and cost efficiency when simulating flow. The accessibility and ease of use of the solution enables designers and architects without any prior knowledge of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) or simulations to accelerate and improve their design. Our unique automated solution makes the complex easy. Read more about Ingrid Cloud, and TRY FOR

Birk U.
Very simple and intuitive UI, with lots aesthetic layout and logical structuring of functionality placement. Gives a lot of relevant information... Read review
The GUI is very easy, also the workflow and the information a non specialist for CFD get. The import with STL works great, the PrePost and setup is... Read review
(5)5.0 out of 5

Azore is a cutting edge CFD software tool for flow, heat transfer, and species mixing applications. It is a control volume solver that can use polyhedral, hex, or tetrahedral mesh topologies. Azore includes a pre/post processing GUI for model set up and results analysis.

The software was pretty easy to learn. I read in a mesh created in Trelis and it only took about 30 minutes to put in all my boundary conditions... Read review
(4)3.9 out of 5

SimPy is an open-source discrete-event simulation package based on Python.

Python based simulation is extremely helpful and helps explore a world of possibilities. Read review
La simulación totalmente basada en Python es extraordinariamente útil y facilita la exploración de posibilidades internacionales. La simulación... Read review

Design and make your products with our best Inventor, including in-canvas workflows for design, advanced simulation, 5-axis CAM, nesting, and factory layout. You also get access to the full breadth of specialized toolsets available with AutoCAD, along with new cloud-based technologies like Fusion 360. Why a collection? Professional-grade design and manufacturing Design and make your products with the full collection of tools that work inside Inventor, including Inventor Nastran, Inventor CAM,

Inclusion of AutoCAD and supporting apps along with Inventor Read review
Planning never been so easy in this industry. That program is so easy to use (like other products of Autodesk) and easy to learn.Once you get used... Read review
(2)5.0 out of 5

Electra E8: The Easiest to use Electrical CAD Software. Create circuits 300-500% faster, generate terminals and bills of materials in a blink!

Daniel G.
Easy to use as the learning curve is simple, easy to connect devices, great result as it is very intuitive. Read review
Baraka W.
It is very cheap ,reliable and easy to use,it helps come up with the best circuit. Read review
(2)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price: $ 9,990 – $ 13,875 USD

As infrastructure assets are crucially linked to subsurface environments, they are vulnerable to geotechnical risk. Perform three-dimensional finite element analysis of deformation and stability in geotechnical engineering and rock mechanics with PLAXIS 3D. A comprehensive solution for design and analysis of soils, rocks, and associated structures, PLAXIS 3D allows you to make safe, cost-efficient decisions that offer fast, and reliable comprehensive analysis methods. The PLAXIS interface gu

Hamzah M. B. A.
Most of our problems, especially, in Geotechnical Engineering, are 3D in nature. Therefore, Plaxis 3D is the suitable tool for engineers to... Read review
0 ratings
Entry Level Price:100 USD/month

Finite elements in the cloud A really-easy web-based platform for performing thermo-mechanical analysis right from your browser

0 ratings

SimFlow is a CFD software for Windows and Linux. Powerful and intuitive Computational Fluid Dynamics Software for your everyday engineering needs.

Top 10 Free Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) Software in 2021

  • Fusion 360
  • SimScale
  • AnyLogic
  • Inventor
  • Solid Edge

Learn More About Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) Software

What is Computer-Aided Engineering Software?

Computer-aided engineering leverages a wide range of tools to test how a product will perform in the real world. With tools such as stress analysis, thermal and fluid flow analysis, and mechanical event simulation, engineers are able to simulate a product’s durability and performance. Generally, computer-aided engineering software will aid an engineer in the three phases of computer-aided engineering. The first phase is preprocessing, which allows users to simulate the environment that a product will be placed into. This can be something like creating a construction site or a shipping dock (any virtual environment the product will be placed in). The second phase is called analysis, in which engineers can analyze how the product is affected by its environment. This can show how the product becomes deformed or stressed by pressure and outside forces. The last step is called visualization, in which actual data is produced that communicates to the engineers which outside forces caused the most stress on the product. After testing and analysis, the engineers can make the necessary changes in order to improve the overall design of the product. The result of conducting this thorough testing is what allows engineers to manufacture products that are both durable and safe.

Key Benefits of Computer-Aided Engineering Software

  • Save money and time by speeding up the physical prototyping process
  • Help manage risk by performing mechanical event simulations
  • Improve collaboration by having each team pitch in on the design of a product within the software

Why Use Computer-Aided Engineering Software?

Computer-aided engineering software speeds up the time it takes engineers to prototype and test how objects will perform in the real world. This allows product engineers to improve design performance well before a product is manufactured. A major example of this is how airplane engineers manufacture an airplane that can withhold the stress of landing on a runway. Within this process there are so many variables to take into account, including the material, size, and speed of the airplane. Given the perspective of how many factors go into the safety and performance design of an airplane, one would think it would take countless days of manipulating the design to create a reliable product. However, computer-aided engineering allows engineers to speed up this process by running simulations of plane landings and detailing exact ways in which the engineer can improve the design. By making these changes in a virtual environment, companies save plenty of money by not having to manufacture countless designs before getting the final product correct.

Who Uses Computer-Aided Engineering Software?

CAE software is used across a variety of industries in the manufacturing and engineering world. Its main functions include simulation, validation, and optimization of products, which can be broadly applied to any business trying to test and improve a manufactured product. With this in mind, here are a couple of industries that use CAE software.

Automotive industry — Historically, automakers spent plenty of time producing physical vehicle models and then testing them for safety by actually crashing them into physical barriers. With advancements in CAE software, however, design and safety testing is all done using computer simulations. Within the virtual simulation, a car can be tested to improve safety, comfort, and vehicle durability. This has saved the automotive industry both time and money by eliminating the need to produce countless physical prototypes.

Manufacturers — CAE software can produce simulations of manufacturing assembly lines. This helps manufacturers identify any inefficiencies or issues before they begin construction on expensive production assemblies. By identifying these issues, they can save money and increase the efficiency of their manufacturing systems.

Kinds of Computer-Aided Engineering Software

On-premises CAE software — On-premises CAE software refers to software that is installed on a local computer. While on-premises software tend to run at a higher price, they generally offer more functionality then cloud-based CAE software.

Cloud-based CAE software — Cloud-based CAE software refers to software that can be accessed via the internet and is usually paid on a subscription-based model. While cloud-based CAE software is generally cheaper, it usually offers less functionality, and requires the user have access to the internet.

Computer-Aided Engineering Software Features

Computational fluid dynamics — One of the main forms of engineering analysis that CAE software performs is computational fluid dynamics (CFD). CFD is a way to model the behavior of both fluids and gases. This includes modeling the way they interact with one another as well as surfaces that they come in contact with. This feature can solve problems such as identifying incompressible and compressible fluids, laminar and turbulent flows, as well as multiphase flow problems.

Finite element analysis — Finite element analysis is a numerical method used to solve engineering problems. This process is used to break down one large problem into a handful of smaller ones, called finite elements. Using this method, engineers can break down complex engineering problems into manageable pieces. One of the main ways engineers use finite element analysis is to make model representations in which they can test how objects interact with another, which provides an understanding of how an actual object would be affected by other physical forces. Examples are bridge modeling, car crash testing, and testing the structural integrity of any given object.

Manufacturing process simulation — Manufacturing simulation is the computer-based modeling of an actual production system. This can be a simulation of something such as an assembly line or an inventory management system. Simulating how a manufacturing system will perform can help identify problems with production lines or deficiencies within the system. Manufacturing simulation will also give statistical reporting analysis in order to relate how efficient a particular production model is.

Mechanical event simulation — Mechanical event simulation enables engineers to simulate how objects will react to certain events in real life. A good example of this is a simulation of how a mobile phone will interact with a cement floor in the event that it is accidentally dropped. Within the simulation, the software can indicate if the phone screen will crack or if any other permanent issues will be caused. The software can then suggest changes to be made to the phone to make it more durable and protected in the event of a dropped phone; when considering these changes, users can test the simulation until the product is adjusted to their liking.

Potential Issues with Computer-Aided Engineering Software

Learning curve — Computer-aided engineering software comes with a steep learning curve. While there are more products and resources that can help beginners, it will still take a significant amount of time to master all the nuances of the software.

High price — Another major concern for small businesses is the high price of computer-aided engineering software. Some commercial CAE software can range anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 per person, which is a hefty price tag for a single user in a company.