3D CAD software
In 1980’s these types of softwares first developed by IBM-Dessults partnership. The developments of 3D softwares have helped product design real fast and thus give birth of product lifecycle management (PLM) and product data management (PDM).
Other than 3D visualization these 3D CAD softwares are having lots of advanced features. Some of those are: parent child relation ship, Parametric, Top down modeling approach and geometry can directly be exported to FEA softwares.
Some popular 3D cad softwares are:
1. Catia (Computer Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application): This is icon based high end cad software, developed and marketed by desault-IBM. Though it is having all the modules like part, assembly, surface etc. but it is known for its very advanced surface modeling capabilities. Cost wise it is higher then pro/e, solid edge etc.Apart from CAD it is having modules in CAM (computer aided manufacturing) and CAE (computer aided engineering).The latest version of it can be customized using VB, C++ and CAA.
2. Pro-Engineer (pro/e): It is developed by PTC. This is menu based software. It is having many modules which include solid modeling, surface Modeling, sheet metal, Pro mechanica (FEA), machining, cabling etc. Pro/e is known for its strong parametric and logical relations. Pro/e is good in sheet metal also. It is mainly used by medium scale industries.
3. Solid Edge: It is developed by UGS. This is also icon based software.
Though it is very user friendly, it is having some drawbacks like: user cannot see how the edit will interact with its subsequent features, since while editing it roll backs .Solid edge can be customized using VB.