SolidWorks is what we call a solid "parametric" modifier used for 3D design. Parametric means that the dimensions can be interrelated and can be changed at any time during the design process to automatically modify the solid part and any related documentation (plan). AutoCAD, however, is primarily a 2-D design tool with some 3-D but limited features. It is very simple compared to any solid parametric modeler (although 3D is improved in AutoCAD 2007). Autodesk (the manufacturer of AutoCAD) is a product almost identical to that of SolidWorks, called Inventor, parametric program for the design of solid parts and assemblies.
SolidWorks is a 3D 3D mechanical (computer-aided design) that runs on Microsoft Windows. SolidWorks files use the structured Microsoft storage file format. This means that there are different embedded files in each SLDDRW (drawing files), SLDPRT (partial files), SLDASM (assembled files), with preview bitmaps and subfiles of metadata. Various third-party tools can be used to extract these subfiles, although in many cases subfiles use proprietary binary file formats. SolidWorks is a solid umbrella-based modifier and uses a feature-based parametric approach to create models and assemblies. Parameters refer to restrictions whose values determine the shape or geometry of the model. Parameters can be numeric, such as line lengths or circular, or geometric, diameters such as tangent, parallel, concentric, horizontal, or vertical. Numerical parameters can be associated with each other through the use of relationships, which allows them to capture the design intent.
AutoCAD is just like SolidWorks, a computer-aided design software application for 2-D and 3-D design and editing. AutoCAD was one of the first CAD programs to run on personal or home computers, including the IBM personal computer. At that time, most other CAD programs were running on central computers or mini-computers that were connected to a graphical computer terminal for each user. Early versions of AutoCAD used basic features such as lines, poly-lines, circles, arcs and text to eventually build more complex objects. AutoCAD has since started to support custom objects through its C ++ application programming interface (API).
Modern AutoCAD includes a complete set of solid basic modeling and 3-D tools. With the release of AutoCAD 2007, enhanced 3D modeling has seen light, which means better navigation by working in three dimensions. It has also become easier to edit 3-D models. The mental ray engine was included in rendering and it was now possible to make quality renderings. AutoCAD 2010 introduced parametric functionality and network modeling. At this time, AutoCAD only works under Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. AutoCAD can run on an emulator or compatibility layer such as VM-ware Workstation or Wine, although different performance problems may occur if you are working with 3D objects or large drawings.
Choosing a system that works for you depends only on the type of work you want to do. Many experts say that SolidWorks is more effective when it works on three-dimensional designs and that AutoCAD is the way to go for two-dimensional design.