Industry viewpoint: On choosing the ‘right’ CAD software

GUANGZHOU, China : October 20, 2014—With the numerous options available in the CAD program department, it is hard to say which is best, especially when deciding for yourself or your company. Finding the right CAD program can sometimes be a task in itself as it is a rather large commitment. It is important to find the right fit for you and your needs and because of this Daniel Huang, Product Manager of ZWCAD, would like to suggest a few points to consider when choosing your CAD software. 

Points to Consider


Compatibility should be based upon 2 aspects.

  1. File Compatibility
  2. Computer Compatibility

File compatibility is a factor that should be considered. Who are you working with? What kind of files do they use? Whether you're working with a team or by yourself, you'll need to be able to present and utilize your designs. File compatibility is one aspect of CAD drawing software you don't want to overlook. DWG, DXF, DWF are the most mainstream formats, and format like DWG updates every 3 years so purchasing a CAD program that can support latest one of these formats might be very necessary.

Before you purchase your CAD program, you should first consider what computer specifications you will be working with. Are you looking to start fresh with a brand new system, or are you limited to your current computer which may have limited RAM? Pick a program that works within your computer’s specifications. There are great options that are less demanding on your hardware. Simultaneously opening several programs occurs frequently while you are using CAD to design. The running speed slows down as various software programs are running. Purchase a CAD that takes up little computer capacity can positively affects response time. Programs like ZWCAD+ only require 1GB of RAM to run effectively.

Ease of Use

What is your level of competency when it comes to CAD? User interface is a large determinant of ease-of-use. Picking an interface that is intuitive or similar to a previous program you have used will save you time. Choosing a program with similar commands as the mainstream CAD programs  and you don't need to invest money and time into relearning. Fortunately, ZWCAD+ has these advantages so that you can use the program freely once you buy it.

Design Efficiency

On the whole, CAD programs perform similar functions, and so a large differentiating factor is the efficiency rather than the capability. Functions like File Compare in ZWCAD+ save users time by indicating the differences when comparing two versions of a drawing. ZWCAD+ also contains Smart Series, a combination of tools designed to help you realize your design faster.

API compatibility

Exporting CAD design from one program to another can be a frequent occurrence and this requires strong API compatibility. Programs feature code-level compatible APIs that transplant add-on application easier and faster. Program like ZWCAD+ has the following APIs: LISP, VBA, ZRX, .NET, SDS. They are highly compatible with AutoCAD’s LISP, VBA, ARX, .NET, ADS.


How much are you willing to invest? Do keep in mind that to some degree price does equate quality, but depending on what you need on your CAD software, you may not need the best of the best. According to research that only 80% features are frequently used by designers, so choose a program that satisfies your realistic design needs. Some CAD programs are great but too unaffordable, paying for only what you need is the way out for saving your budget. For an idea of what to purchase, check out this  price calculator– CAD business value tool.

Help & Support

Designing on CAD is simple when you understand the basics. Of course for the times you don’t or perhaps when you have more advanced questions, you should consider the product’s support network, especially local support network. Consider CAD programs that have good support of post-purchase communication and a powerful reseller network that can provide great technical support in your  region.

For more information about how to choose a CAD program that best suits you, please visit the  Developer Interview page to get more advices.

About ZWCAD Design

ZWCAD Design Co., Ltd. is an international CAD software provider through its network of over 300 partners in 80+ countries and regions. Its product ZWCAD+ is used by CAD designers across the AEC and MCAD industries.


Barry Shen
ZWCAD Design

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