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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 the similar concept of industrial designing. They are not technical competitors but aims at different segments in the industry.

Here are some differences that make these software packages apart:



  • 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 do not have Advanced Surfacing features.





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


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



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


  • Licensing stars from $25,000.
  • SolidWorks is also intended to be used for Design, Electrical, and Mechanical streams except for the 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, planar surfaces, extend, 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 supports the English language. Also, CATIA and SolidWorks offers an On-Premise Deployment Model. In addition, the powerful tools have embarked their presence in Parametric Modeling and Photorealistic Rendering domains across the design industry.