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Different CAD Software Used in Design

Posted on 08 Jan, 2020

Anybody looking for a career in interior, furniture or product design will be aware of the importance of computer-aided design to the industry. Whilst the fundamentals remain mostly the same, there are dozens of distinct CAD software packages on the market, with some better suited to certain design tasks than others.

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular programs.


One of the most commonly used packages is AutoCAD which is used in furniture design and manufacture (although not as much as previously), interior design and architecture, building design and construction, and many other parts of the design industry.


VectorWorks offers a great range of tools for interior and retail designers and also for exhibition and lighting designers as part of its 3D modelling application. 


SolidWorks appeals to product and mechanical designers and to engineers, being one of the most highly-praised 3D CAD environments on the market. Also used extensively in manufacturing, particularly in CNC processes.


Rhino (or Rhinoceros, as it’s formally branded) is a popular CAD package with an unusual market spread. Used primarily in the world of architecture and industrial design, is has proven extremely popular with jewellery designers too.


While many CAD packages allow 2D or 3D on any given project, Inventor from Autodesk (same software house as AutoCAD) integrates both Inventor and AutoCAD into a single design, allowing the designer to see the changes from blueprint to model immediately.


Autodesk’s Revit software is a Building Information Modelling (BIM) package designed with architects, structural engineers, and MEP designers in mind. It is also being adopted by commercial office manufacturers and dealers for their space planning projects.


SketchUp is a 3D modelling program. With a vast database of pre-rendered models created by the SketchUp community, it is used a lot in the interior design industry as it makes manipulating fixtures and fittings such a simple process.

Adobe CC

The Adobe Creative Cloud (formerly the Adobe Creative Suite, or CS) is a collection of Adobe’s proprietary graphic design, web development, and video editing software. Not as intuitive as many of the other packages in this list however it is possibly the most comprehensive. Many companies, particularly  within the product design sector, are starting to look favourably at designers who have this software knowledge.

Winner / 20:20 Fusion / Compusoft

These are some of the packages used generally within the KBB sector (kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms) as they are relatively inexpensive compared to the others and easier and quicker to learn. This is partly because it has its limitations with what you can create and the 3D visuals are simpler. 

Whichever program you favour, if you’re looking for design jobs using CAD or any positions in 3D design, make sure you register your CV with Careers in Design so that we can help you find the job that’s perfect for you. You can also check out our latest CAD technician vacancies here.

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