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Product and Machine Design reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

Best Product and Machine Design Software

Product and machine design is a subcategory of computer-aided design (CAD) software that allows users to produce 3D models of machine parts, components, and assemblies. Product and machine design software is targeted towards designers and engineers across a number of industries, including manufacturing, product design, automotive, and aerospace. These tools allow users to generate precision 3D models of parts, components, and assemblies to aid in engineering, manufacturing, and design processes. While some of the products in this category may be used for a broader range of CAD purposes, their rankings within this grid focus exclusively on their use as a product and machine design tool. Product and machine design is often used in tandem with PLM software in order to better manage product data throughout the design phase.

To qualify for inclusion in the Product and Machine Design category, a product must:

Support polygonal, surface, solid, and parametric 3D modeling capabilities
Offer tools for 3D mechanical design, documentation, and product simulation
Have 2D technical drawing capabilities
Provide features for structural, numerical, and thermodynamic analysis

Top 10 Product and Machine Design Software

  • Fusion 360
  • Inventor
  • Onshape
  • Solid Edge
  • SolidWorks 3D CAD
  • AutoCAD Mech
  • Siemens NX
  • Rhinoceros

Compare Product and Machine Design Software

G2 takes pride in showing unbiased reviews on user satisfaction in our ratings and reports. We do not allow paid placements in any of our ratings, rankings, or reports. Learn about our scoring methodologies.
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(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

(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

(390)4.7 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:$1,500 per user, per year

Onshape is a next-generation SaaS design platform that speeds up product development. It’s an all-in-one system that combines CAD, release management, workflow, collaboration, analytics, admin tools, and an API with more than 50 engineering applications. Onshape helps extended design teams work together faster and helps executives make better business decisions with real-time analytics and unprecedented visibility into their company’s design and manufacturing processes. Thousands of companies r

(353)4.4 out of 5

SOLIDWORKS offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SOLIDWORKS products are easy to learn and use, and help you design products better.

(173)4.1 out of 5

CAD and Product Design.

(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.

(110)4.4 out of 5

SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD solutions provide easy-to-learn, yet extremely powerful functionality that shortens product development time, reduces costs, and improves quality.

(83)4.2 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$710 per quarter

AutoCAD® Mechanical design software is AutoCAD software built for manufacturing. Part of the Digital Prototyping solution, it includes all the functionality of AutoCAD, plus libraries of standards-based parts and tools to help automate common mechanical CAD tasks and accelerate the mechanical design process.

(40)4.0 out of 5

Design to Siemens NX is an integrated product design solution that streamlines and accelerates the product development process for engineers who need to deliver innovative products in a collaborative environment.

(149)4.3 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$995

3D NURBS Modeller

(107)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$3,495 Single User License

KeyCreator is 3D CAD software that supports design with solids, 2D, wireframe, and surfacing, and building of assemblies all in the same 3D workspace. Developed closely with manufacturers and engineers, KeyCreator combines the flexibility of direct modeling with a broad range of translators, making it ideal for projects where quick, unplanned design variations and productive re-use of design data from anywhere are critical. KeyCreator is powered by core technologies that can recognize, or even i

(44)4.3 out of 5

FreeCAD is a parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects of any size.

(100)4.5 out of 5

Altium Designer is the most comprehensive, modern, end-to-end solution designed for PCB designers and the number one choice among engineers and designers worldwide. Representing decades of innovation and development, Altium Designer empowers a truly unified design environment, uniting teams worldwide with every aspect of the PCB design process.

(98)3.8 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

Creo is design the way it should be. The essential 3D CAD solution which includes breakthough capabilities in Creo includes in Additive Manufacturing, IoT, Model-Based Definition (MBD) and Augmented Reality (AR). Design faster and smarter by connecting your digital design to your physical products. Unlock the latest in 3D CAD with Creo 5.0: - Enhanced user interface - Modeling enhancements for increased productivity - New capabilities in -Topology optimization

(32)4.2 out of 5

solidThinking Inspire enables design engineers, product designers, and architects to create and investigate structurally efficient concepts quickly and easily. Traditional structural simulations allow engineers to check if a design will support the required loads. Inspire enhances this process by generating a new material layout within a package space using the loads as an input. The software is easy to learn and works with existing CAD tools to help design structural parts right the first time,

(29)4.4 out of 5

SOLIDWORKS Simulation is an easy-to-use portfolio of structural analysis tools that use the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) method to predict a product's real-world physical behavior by virtually testing CAD models. The portfolio provides linear, non-linear static and dynamic analysis capabilities.

SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer augments existing SOLIDWORKS design tools for creating freeform organic shapes typical of industrial design. It delivers a truly collaborative design environment connecting your whole ecosystem management, design team, customers and suppliers to a single, cloud-based, business and product development platform that is accessible at anytime, anywhere, on any device

(13)4.2 out of 5

Dymola is a tool for modeling and simulation of integrated and complex systems for use within automotive, aerospace, robotics, process and other applications.

(56)4.0 out of 5

Alias® industrial design software powers your creative process with a range of sketching, modeling, surfacing, and visualization tools.

(16)3.9 out of 5

Inventor LT™ software introduces 3D mechanical CAD into your 2D workflows.

(11)4.2 out of 5

Innovate, collaborate, and create great designs any time, from any device with SOLIDWORKS xDesign. Capture and realize your ideas or let xDesign offer solutions for your design challenges

(22)4.0 out of 5

SolidCAM runs directly inside your existing SOLIDWORKS or Autodesk Inventor CAD system, with seamless integration and full tool path associativity - design changes initiate automatic tool path updates to the CAD model.

(12)4.0 out of 5

PTC Creo Direct is a stand-alone app that enables casual CAD users to create new geometry or modify any existing 3D CAD design, regardless of file format. Direct interaction with the geometry makes it easy for anyone to learn and use. That’s why it’s the ideal tool for people in concept design, analysis, and manufacturing ― or for anyone who’s new to 3D CAD or uses it infrequently. Working with Creo Direct is quick, flexible and intuitive. It is well suited for tasks such as generating proposa

Creo Elements/Direct Modeling (formerly CoCreate Modeling) provides robust, comprehensive direct modeling capabilities.

(22)4.1 out of 5

Design better, faster IronCAD is an intuitive 3D and 2D design solution that empowers engineers, increases productivity, and facilitates collaboration throughout the enterprise. IRONCAD 3D modeling software empowers designers to focus on design by giving them an intuitive platform that mirrors how we interact with the physical world. Easily reposition components with the patented TriBall™ visualization tool, resize objects by stretching them with handles, and drag and drop predefined shapes in

(8)5.0 out of 5

The nTop Platform approach removes geometry bottlenecks in design by achieving more efficient workflows, dramatically improving team collaboration with faster iteration, enabling smarter, more complex designs to meet performance demands.

(1)4.5 out of 5

ANSYS Vista TF is integrated into the ANSYS Workbench platform for powerful and quick turbomachinery design and analysis. As a 2-D throughflow solver, it fills the space between 1-D correlations and 3-D CFD, providing rapid initial analysis of rotating machinery before proceeding to more rigorous and detailed 3-D fluid flow simulations. Performing initial design iterations using the ANSYS Vista TF 2-D throughflow solver can reduce the total time devoted to product design and development, maximiz

(4)4.3 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$325 Monthly

Manufacturing tolerances have a significant impact on cost and quality. Inventor® Tolerance Analysis® software is designed to help Inventor users make more informed decisions while specifying manufacturing tolerances.

(3)4.3 out of 5

Altium CircuitMaker is a community-driven PCB design tool.

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,

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Check out the G2 Grid® for the top Product and Machine Design Software products. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of your peers.
High Performers
Siemens NX
Solid Edge
Creo Direct
Creo Elements/Direct Modeling
Creo Parametric
AutoCAD Mech
Fusion 360
Inventor LT
Altair Inspire
SolidWorks 3D CAD
SolidWorks Industrial Designer
SolidWorks Simulation
SolidWorks xDesign
Altium Designer
Market Presence

Learn More About Product and Machine Design Software

What is Product and Machine Design Software?

Product and machine design software aids the process of conceptualizing and producing 3D models of machine parts, components, and assemblies. While general-purpose CAD software applies to a wider range of tools to create 3D designs, product and machine design software focuses almost exclusively on their use case as a product and machine design tool. Some of the use cases include electrical manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, plastics, fluids, piping, architecture, and any case in which a user is altering or measuring a product.

Key Benefits of Product and Machine Design Software

  • Increase productivity and efficiency in creating 3D models
  • Alter designs easily
  • Improve accuracy, precision, and control in drafting and design
  • Communicate more effectively with standardized drawings

Why Use Product and Machine Design Software?

Product and machine design software offers users a set of tools for 3D mechanical design, documentation, and product simulation. This accelerates the entire process of creating machine assemblies and general mechanical designs that relate to product and machine design.

Cut down on production times — Product and machine design’s main use case is to speed up the process of designing a product. Product and machine design software does this by identifying design inefficiencies and providing product machine simulation to the user. This allows users to improve the product design efficiency from start to finish.

Improved collaboration — Product and machine design software simplifies collaboration by offering a single environment for all workers to edit and review each other’s work. Users can use cloud-based design reviews to collect feedback from key stakeholders and follow the entire product development lifecycle with one data model.

Save money — Product and machine design allows users to dramatically cut production costs.

Who Uses Product and Machine Design Software?

Product and machine design is a tool that aids any industry in the field of mechanical design. Users in these fields often use product and machine design for creating digital prototypes that help users streamline the process of machine design. Some of these fields include:

Mechanical engineers — Since one of the main functions of mechanical engineering is to design power producing machines, product and machine design software can help mechanical engineers streamline the entire process. This includes aiding in design intent, collaborating on product design, and visualization of complex assemblies and parts.

Designers — Designers in all fields related to engineering or machine design can use product and machine design software to help sketch design concepts. This helps with conceptualization of the design, which is the first step in the production process.

Product and Machine Design Software Features

Parametric part modeling — One of the core features of product and machine design software is parametric modeling, wherein users can change the shape of a model as soon as the dimension value is modified. This allows the dimensions of a certain part to automatically alter when a user manipulates that particular part. For example, if a user would like to change the shape of a part from a circle into an oval, the dimensions of the part would automatically reflect the new shape. This grants the user the ability to produce flexible designs with ease.

Assembly modeling — Assembly modeling allows engineers to combine two or more design components using parametric relationships. Engineers can thus create an assembly of two or more parts to form one final design.

Sketching — Before moving onto the machine modeling aspect of machine design, engineers generally need to sketch out a 2D design of the machine. Sketching out a 2D design helps with creating accurate design dimensions for manufacturing.

Collaboration — One of the biggest benefits of designing machines on a software is simple team collaboration. Within product and machine design software, users can share the product design with other coworkers who can view, edit, and make suggestions on how to improve the overall design.

Sheet metal modeling — Many mechanical engineers have to work with sheet metal to design conveyor assemblies and other machines. Product and machine design software allows users to manipulate sheet metal parameters so they fit the final design intent.

Potential Issues with Product and Machine Design Software

Learning curve — A major issue that new users have when starting to use product and machine design software is the steep learning curve. It’s important to note that mastering this software will take quite some time, even for users who are familiar with using CAD programs.

Cost — Product and machine design software is expensive, which can be a steep price to pay for a small business or individual user.