What are the best CAD for beginners?

asked by Gregory Perkins
76 contributors
10 solutions
  1. 17

    #1ZBrush

    ZBrush

    ZBrush is a digital sculpting and painting program with powerful features and intuitive workflows. It allows you to create 3D models, 2D images, and 2.5D Pixols with the tools you need to quickly sketch out your ideas.

    Software

    Windows, Mac

    $895

    Patrick Gray
    Written on August 23, 2018
    "If you are a beginner graphic designer or animator ZBrush should definitely be one of the first 2D/3D software that you use because the learning curve and time to become proficient with it is minimal due to its simple interface compared to more advanced CAD tools. Not just that u can develop 3D models with ease and speed any beginner would have. This is all coming from me who is learned the basic of CAD tools with ZBrush"
  2. 13

    #2Blender

    Blender
    Blender is a free and open source video editing and 3D creation suite software. It features tools for photorealistic rendering, fast modeling, realistic materials, animation toolset, fast UV unwrapping, full compositor, simulations, game creation, camera and object tracking and more.
    Software

    Mac, Windows

    Free

    Nicholas Obrien
    Written on October 6, 2017
    "I have now used Blender for some time and have watched it improve and evolve. I love the community and how creative and helpful the users are. Blender is a great open source software and it is continuing to improve, all for free."
  3. 10

    #3ArcSite

    ArcSite

    ArcSite is a mobile CAD app for architecture, engineering, and construction professionals. It's intuitive and easy to use, plus, as it's designed for a mobile device you'll be able to have all your projects at hand on the field without having to print out your plans.

    Apps

    iOS

    Free- with in-app purchases

    Karen Tucker
    Written on November 6, 2017
    "Affordable pricing makes ArcSite a great app for creating and sharing blueprints and plans, including in a collaborative manner. This app is great for both quick ideas and sketches and more detailed, participatory, and specific floor plans. I really appreciate the export options and variety of sketch backgrounds available, allowing one to move from brainstorming to implementation, from vague idea to professional presentation."

What’s the Meaning?

CAD, which stands for Computer-Aided Design, is the use of computer technology to help in the creation, modification and optimization of a design that produces either two-dimensional or three-dimensional diagrams. It is also known as computer-aided design and drafting (CADD).

Did you know?

Did you know an informal poll of roughly 25 engineers conducted by Mechanical Engineering magazine associate editor Jean Thilmany found out that they have mixed sentiments about CAD? Some agreed CAD’s purpose is both its best quality and greatest drawback. According to DaTuM 3D principal Gordon Lewis, less experienced engineers could create designs perfectly manufactured on screen but cannot be made in reality. He also pointed out CAD tools are getting simple to use, even kids in high school are using them now and because of that, some people do not understand they are creating something that cannot be built. That is why most engineering companies still rely on brainstorming sessions while some engineers still sculpt their design in clay before developing their ideas in CAD later. Aside from its drawback, Lewis still believes that CAD is having its exciting time right now. Although there are limitations, he claimed it is easier to conceptualize anything he wants to build with just using his laptop unlike before. 

  1. 9

    #4Cinema 4D

    Cinema 4D
    Cinema 4D is considered one of the fastest growing and widely used solutions for content creation. This software is a fully integrated 3D modeling, animation, and rendering package. 
    Software

    Windows, Mac

    $3510.25- Free trial available

    Anthony Flores
    Written on September 27, 2017
    "I work for a fabrication company who has trouble finding good CAD operators. We recently decided the best option was to take beginner CAD drafters and train them up to our standards. In order to achieve the best results we wanted to find the best CAD programs for beginners. Based on vendor recommendations we decided to use Cinema 4D to help our employees train and get familiar with 3D modeling and rendering. Well, thus far I would say that we are seeing mixed results. We have had a couple of employees turn out to be pretty good while others were not a good fit. "
  2. 9

    #5SketchUp

    SketchUp

    SketchUp, formerly Google Sketchup, is free 3D modeling design software which was developed by Trimble Inc. It is also available as a web-based application named SketchUp Free and paid version SketchUp Pro. 

    Software

    Windows, Mac

    Free

    Marie Mills
    Written on October 10, 2017
    "I wanted the best CAD program for beginners when i entered architecture school and a senior archi student told me about Google's SketchUp which is good for beginners. So I checked out SketchUp which is the first CAD tool i learned to use with its simple interface and easy to oprate. "
  3. 4

    #6Sculptris

    Sculptris
    Sculptris is a free and easy-to-use 3D modeling application where anyone can pick it up and play without any technical knowledge or digital experience. The skills acquired using this software can also be easily applied to ZBrush.
    Software

    Windows, Mac

    Free

    Charlotte Ding
    Written on August 23, 2018
    "A simple software to user and learn about 3d computer sculpting so you if you want to learn about that then try this out. Not just that it is free. "
  4. 2

    #7AutoCAD

    AutoCAD
    AutoCAD is a computer-aided design software that allows you to design every detail with 2D and 3D and share drawings across desktop, cloud, and mobile.
    Software

    Windows, Mac, iOS

    Varies by plan

    Joshua Black
    Written on August 23, 2018
    "As a noob I started working on Autocad first to learn more about CAD. Although this support 3D drawings it was mainly meant to do 2D drawings. But if you are looking for a simple work this will definitely do but if you are into hardcore 3d works then look for other software then. LOL"
  5. 1

    #8ActCAD 2019 Professional

    ActCAD 2019 Professional

    ActCAD 2019 Professional is a software developed for 2D drafting and 3D modeling. It supports different file formats such as DWG, DXF, DGN, DWF, PDF, and more. It also lets users create and edit tables easily.

    Software

    Windows

    $399

    Mullapati Hemanth
    Written on December 20, 2018
    "ActCAD is the one of the best fruit for CAD users.It is user-Friendly for beginners.It has unique feature called Life time validity and also self license transfer.It has block library along with 500 symbols for Architects, Civil engineers, Interiors and other domains.I strongly recommend this for CAD users."
  6. 0

    #9SolidWorks

    SolidWorks

    SolidWorks is a 3D solid modeling computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering tool. It allows you to take product ideas and bring them to life, helping you design and improve every aspect of the product design process.

    Software

    Windows

    $3995- Free trial available.

    Zachary Stanley
    Written on December 8, 2017
    "Learning CAD can be a struggle for beginners. Solidworks is a program that was suggested by a friend. Turns out that this is a great source for beginners to learn on and is very intuitive."
  7. -1

    #10nanoCAD

    nanoCAD

    nanoCAD is a software for 2D and 3D engineering and architectural drafting and drawing which directly supports DWG file format. This software features an Excel-type editor, an organized command set, and ActiveX Automation and LISP.

    Software

    Windows

    Varies by plan

    Jayita Chakraborty
    Written on September 7, 2018
    "Best CAD software. Available all use full features in budget. A very light but good product,It saves my hard disk space too.Easy to use, time saver, works in minimum system requirements. A great finisher in your design work"

Summary

Best What are the best CAD for beginners
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1ZBrushSoftware 17 Paid
2BlenderSoftware 13 Free
3ArcSiteApps 10 Free
4Cinema 4DSoftware 9 Paid
5SketchUpSoftware 9 Free
6SculptrisSoftware 4 Free
7AutoCADSoftware 2 Paid
8ActCAD 2019 ProfessionalSoftware 1 Paid
9SolidWorksSoftware 0 Paid
10nanoCADSoftware -1 Paid
Close

This action requires you to be logged in

Quickly sign in with your social media account:

What interests you most? (Select at least 3)

This will help us to keep things fresh and relevant!

Close

Now that you’ve found a solution...

Why not join our community of sharp minds and pro-active posters?

Be part of a rewarding interactive knowledge exchange!
Close

Join These Inquisitive Minds

Engage, learn and share with a friendly community versed in a massive range of trending topics.