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Top 10 Mechanical Engineering Software

For any industry that creates new things, like machines or buildings, 3D design software has become almost intrinsic. The mechanical industry is no exception – and indeed, they need it the most! If you’re a mechanical engineer, you must feel the need to use a 3D modeling software. So, here is the top 10 mechanical engineering software for your mechanical projects.

For both prototyping and production, 3D design and rendering is an amazing solution. Append the simulation capabilities that most mechanical engineering software offer and you have a great weapon of choice for additive manufacture or iterative prototype development.

1. Fusion 360

Autodesk’s Fusion 360 is arguably the best mechanical engineering software among others. This cloud-oriented application is built around the idea of heavy teamwork and will boost productivity many folds in large projects where a lot of designers and engineers are working together. Autodesk Fusion 360 is capable of parametric modeling, solid modeling, and mesh modeling.

2. AutoCAD Mechanical

If you’re working alone on a project and need the well-familiar interface and methods of AutoCAD for your engineering needs, then AutoCAD Mechanical is probably your best bet. AutoCAD has existed, it seems, since the beginning of time, and have evolved to support new horizons in 3D modeling. A product of that train of development is AutoCAD Mechanical – all the bells and whistles of standard AutoCAD but customized perfectly for impatient mechanical engineers.

3. SolidWorks

A big hit among automobile manufacturers, SolidWorks is nearly as ancient as the above, and just as much efficient, if not more. The great east of building 3D components and snapping them together to create complex models has made it churn out thousands, if not millions, of motorcycles and semis on the screen.

4. Mathematica

For those who need hard core computational support to their 3D models, enter Mathematica. It is not only a solid mathematical software, but it can also create 3D components based on those computations, which will be good for 3D printing. This is very convenient not only for mechanicals engineers, but also in most scientific, mathematical or other engineering projects.

5. FreeCAD

The lone free 3D modeling software in our list is FreeCAD, an open source development resembling SolidWorks.

While FreeCAD is not particularly customized for mechanical engineers, it offers a dizzying array of tools and commands great for almost all your machine making needs. Being a parametric modeling software, FreeCAD offers useful features for all users from beginners to professionals.

6. Alibre

Another great offbeat program on our top mechanical engineering software list is Alibre, a great parametric modeling program dedicated specifically to mechanical designs. Though looking deceptively simple, the models designed in this software can get incredibly complex. Alibre also packs a great rendering tool in-built, which is great to see your creation in photorealistic render.

7. Inventor

Closely fighting with Fusion 360 for the best mechanical engineering software is the brilliant Inventor. It is one of the best in the 3D modeling field when it comes to modeling machine parts used in big engines and other gizmos. Indeed, large manufacturers use Inventor to make heavy vehicles and electrical infrastructure. Inventor’s best offer is its great simulation toolset.

8. Siemens NX

NX for Siemens is best for those mechanical engineers who have to work with sheet metal every day. Based on the idea of maintaining a smooth workflow from concept through design to manufacture or assembly, NX is great in converting solid objects to sheet metal components. Be it conceptual freeform design or quick template based design, NX will help you out immensely.


Dassault’s CATIA is focused mainly on aerospace engineering and is held in reverence by mechanical engineers working in that field.

Particularly good in designing very complex and highly detailed machine parts, it is good for any mechanical project outside the specialization too, especially if they are complex. Consider CATIA if you want to combine brilliance with style, power with shine, efficiency with luxury.

10. TurboCAD Deluxe

Last but not the least by any means in our top 10 mechanical engineering software list, TurboCAD is great for beginners with its gentle learning curve. Easy, yet quite powerful, this program is capable of designing most kinds of complex mechanical designs.

TurboCAD Deluxe will mostly benefit small product manufacturers due to the in-built lighting and surface tools that produce great renders of their designs. Also, TurboCAD outputs great 3D printable models.

In conclusion

All modern mechanical engineers need digital tools to assist their concept and creation. Here, we have tried to make a comprehensive list of the top 10 mechanical engineering software.

The list includes all kinds of mechanical engineering application from heavy-duty programs designed for handing giant team-based projects to small parts prototyping and product render makers. From beginners and small businesses to aerospace professionals, we have included all types of machine design programs. Hope it helped!

Top 10 Mechanical Engineering Software