Yesterday I had a very interesting interview with a student who is writing a seminar paper on the topic of comparing the purchase price of the most common CAD tools and return on investment.
He was interested in how much a basic license for the CATIA software solution costs. He was a bit surprised by the price, which was a good starting point to discuss the different needs of different users, different products and their complexity, the number of components in assemblies or products, and the number of companies developing and manufacturing such products. The conversation was also about the surfaces and possibilities of their design, as well as composites and their characteristics. The least use is made of the possibilities of recording and reusing the design knowledge provided by the CATIA software solution.
I myself am of the opinion that there is an appropriate tool for every task. The same goes for CAD tools, so before you buy, you need to define your needs well and delve into the design process. Also, it is necessary to consider what we will do in 3 or 5 years and provide the possibility of upgrading the selected software solution with additional functionalities (eg FEM analysis, CAM, technological procedures, production planning and simulation), as well as the possibility of connecting with other systems we use in the company PLM, ERP, CRM, etc.).
If you work with large assemblies and complex surfaces and want to gather design knowledge and provide upgrade options, CATIA is a logical choice that will quickly justify the cost of purchase and bring the expected growth.
Written by: Davorka Vilus Vičič, CADCAM Lab