Difference between CATIA and SolidWorks

CATIA is an acronym for Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application. This is a multi-platform software suite used for Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), PLM, and 3D. SolidWorks, on the other hand, is a solid modeling computer-aided design, and computer-aided engineering software program sharing a similar concept of industrial designing. They are not technical competitors but aim at different segments in the industry.

Here are some differences that make these software packages apart:

CATIA SolidWorks
  • CATIA is intended to be used for Architectural, Design, Electrical, and Mechanical streams.


  • Used only in the Aircraft Industry.


  • Collaboration features include 2D to 3D CAD Conversion, 3D Printing, and 3D Viewing Tools.


  • CATIA does not have Advanced Surfacing features.


  • CATIA lacks Sheet Metal Design Features such as Forming Tools, Bend Lines, Toggle Flat displays, and Hole Tables.


  • ASCII, DXF, and IGES writable files are supported in CATIA.



  • Readable files supported are ASCII, DXF, and IGES only.


  • Licensing starts from $25,000.
SolidWorks is also intended to be used for Design, Electrical, and Mechanical streams except for Architectural designs.

  • Used across industries such as Aerospace, Consumer Products, Education, Energy, Government, Medical, and Technology.


  • Collaboration features include only Multiple User Reviews and 3D Viewing Tools.


  • SolidWorks is rich in Advanced Surfacing features that can create mid surfaces, and planar surfaces, extend the freeform-radiated surface, Min Radius Analysis, Surface Fill, Swept, Symmetry Check Analysis, Trim, Undercut Analysis, and much more.


  • All the Sheet Metal Design Features are present.



  • Solidworks supports multiple writable files such as ACIS, ACIS SAT, DWG, HOOPS META FILE, HPGL/PLT, PDF, JPEG, PROE, SAT, STEP, and much more.


  • Readable files supported ACIS, ASM, BMP, DRW, DWG, and much more except ASCII.


  • · Licensing starts from $6000.




Besides the distinctions mentioned above, the software suites are developed by a French company Dassault Systèmes. Both the software kits work on Windows Operating System and support the English language. Also, CATIA and SolidWorks offer an On-Premise Deployment Model. In addition, the powerful tools have embarked on their presence in Parametric Modeling and Photorealistic Rendering domains across the design industry.

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