Catia vs Solidworks – Which is better?

Looking for a solution to design something or print a 3D model? You need to compare CATIA and SOLIDWORKS.

3D designing has its own set of challenges and struggles. The creative and calculated process should not be hindered by the application you are using.

The app not being able to give you the features you need should be the last issue you, as a designer, face. That is why choosing the right design software is crucial. Finding good modelling software is essential to execute sophisticated 3D modelling.

CATIA and Solidwork are two names that are popular in 3D modelling and printing. They share many characteristics and attributes, but one is more advanced and complete, and the other is simpler and has fewer features. This post will walk you through their main distinctions and help you decide which one is best for you.

What is CATIA?

CATIA stands for Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application. It’s much more than a CAD software package. It’s a full software suite that incorporates Computer-Aided Design, Engineering, and Manufacture.

CATIA is now at version level 6, also known as CATIA V6. Dassault Systems, which currently maintains and develops the program, released CATIA for the first time in 1977.

It was originally designed to be used in the design of the Dassault Mirage fighter plane. CATIA V5 is now the most extensively used version, however, CATIA V4 is still utilized in several industries.

What is Solidworks?

Dassault Systems purchased SOLIDWORKS in 1997 after it was developed by MIT graduate Jon Hirschtick. The software now includes several tools that may be used for both 2D and 3D design.

The software is used for planning, visual ideation, modelling, feasibility assessment, prototyping, and project management in the beginning. After that, the program is used to design and manufacture mechanical, electrical, and software aspects.

Finally, the software can be used for administration, such as device management, analytics, data automation, and cloud services.


The following are the major distinctions between Solidworks and Catia:

●      Solidworks is simpler to learn and more suited to beginners, whereas CATIA is better suited to experienced users.

●      Solidworks is optimized for 3D solid object modelling, whereas CATIA is an all-arounder.

●      Solidworks is only compatible with Windows, but CATIA is compatible with both Windows and Unix.

●      Solidworks is a mid-tier product, whereas CATIA is a high-end product.

●      Solidworks does not allow for role separation, but CATIA provides straightforward role-based capabilities.

Let’s look at detailed differences between the two programs.

Drawing and Modelling

Computer-aided design software is mostly utilized for precise technical drawings and designs. So, whether you’re just designing something exciting for your home display or creating a critical component for cutting-edge technology, this is the element you should focus on the most.

Both compared applications support sketching, 2D and 3D drawing. And, of course, both can generate printable models for your 3D printer. But which one is more effective?

Solidworks is primarily intended for 3D modelling, therefore this is where the program shines. Solidworks is a parametric modelling software, which means it works using the dimension values that the user provides.

When you change the proportions of your model, the application reshapes it. As a result, the program is ideal for product design and other machinery-related applications. Solidworks, on the other hand, absolutely lacks certain of the tools and expertise required for architecture tasks.

CATIA’s drawing, modelling, and sketching capabilities are more advanced and adaptable. Though its use necessitates more knowledge and experience, you will be rewarded for your efforts with startlingly accurate and imaginative results.

This is especially true for CATIA’s extra-smooth 3D rendering and the Photo-to-Shape software, which generates immersive 3D models from 2D images. Although SolidWorks can produce lifelike images, the results are less stunning.


Teams of several designers employ sophisticated CAD systems. The ability of software to facilitate such collaboration is thus one of the critical factors that designers must address.

Solidworks provides a cloud environment that allows numerous team members to collaborate. It is simple to use and straightforward, allowing you to swiftly capture, share, and keep all your new ideas.

However, this program’s collaboration functions are limited, focusing primarily on evaluating and sharing. Solidworks is likewise devoid of any kind of role-based separation.

CATIA includes almost everything that Solidworks does, but it adds one extremely essential feature: role-based differentiation of functionality. With CATIA, you have access to over 50 roles, allowing you to manage your projects more effectively.

ENOVIA is CATIA’s collaborative designer center, and it provides excellent management solutions even for large organizations.

Modules and libraries

Solidworks is a lightweight 3D modelling software, which is fantastic if you want to keep things simple, but it also limits your overall possibilities and options. Solidworks, for example, is compatible with Modelica libraries, but they are not integrated into the application, limiting its usability.

The application includes dozens of connected partner programs for CAD design or Product Data Management, which greatly expands your possibilities; nonetheless, in comparison to its competitors, Solidworks remains the least flexible.

CATIA is a powerful software that comes with excellent support – since 2006, a new updated edition of this software has been released every year. The software has over 129 separate items that provide users with nearly limitless alternatives. Modelica libraries are also directly integrated into CATIA software, allowing full exploitation.

CATIA is regarded as one of the most general and adaptable CAD systems on the market because of its adaptability. While Solidworks is ideal for focusing on a single component or task, CATIA is the tool of choice for executing an entire project, whether it is in the aviation, automotive, architectural, or educational sectors.

Solidworks vs Catia Price: Which is good value for money?

Because of its demo and trial versions, Solidworks can be tried for free. You can try out the application for free without having to download or install anything. CATIA only comes with a limited demo version, which can be obtained upon request.

Solidworks licenses come in three alternative versions – commercial, academic, and research. There are also 3 available packages to choose from Basic, Professional, and Premium. If you’re a student, you can get a Solidworks license for one year for $150 but note that this will not be the program’s full version.

A basic license for Solidworks software is the cheapest plan. You will also have to pay an additional maintenance fee. The Professional Solidworks will cost more than the Basic plan, and you will get features like Photorealistic Rendering, Cost Estimation, Circuit Works etc. that is not in the basic plan. And similarly, the premium license is going to cost more and have more features.

CATIA is aimed at larger businesses, and it’s pricing correctly reflects the software’s bold functionality. However, it also offers more reasonable basic plans for small businesses and a budget-friendly alternative for students, who may enjoy some of the program’s unique features for just $99 per year.

The final price quote for your CATIA license will be influenced by a variety of circumstances, therefore the only way to find out how much it will cost you is to get a quote from the official website or your authorized reseller.

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