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Design engineers require specialized software, tools, and apps to research and develop ideas for new products and their associated systems. You need to be able to create blueprints and schematics for structures, systems, machines, and equipment and work collaboratively with other engineers, drafters, and team members, and you need to be able to work productively and efficiently. That’s why design engineers’ software, tools, and apps need to streamline your design and development processes rather than hinder them.
We at Pannam recognize all of the challenges and demands design engineers face, so we have compiled a list of the top engineering design tools, software, and apps in the hopes of making your job a little easier. Our top engineering design picks cover mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering design needs and include CAD programs, simulation tools, modeling tools, digital prototyping software, engineering calculation and conversion tools, pocket reference, and other solutions specifically for design engineering.
Autodesk Product Design Suite

Autodesk is best known for its 3D design and engineering software and services. We like Autodesk Product Design Suite because it is a comprehensive 3D product design solution that offers everything design engineers need, from simulation, to collaboration, to visualization, to digital prototyping tools. Complete your entire engineering process with Autodesk Product Design Suite.
Key Features:
Use 2D AutoCAD drawings as a base for inventor layouts
Quickly and easily make product design changes
Integrate electrical and mechanical design
Get to market faster by reducing rework and reusing design data
Reduce manufacturing costs by creating accurate design documentation and evaluating product manufacturability

A Dassault Systèmes pioneer brand, CATIA is the world’s leading solution for product design and innovation. This engineering design tool is used by leading organizations and is applicable in multiple industries. With CATIA, design engineers have the ability to model products in the context of real-life behavior, allowing them to “design in the age of experience.”
Key Features:
Social design environment accessible through powerful 3D dashboards that drive business intelligence, real-time concurrent design, and collaboration across all stakeholders
Provides an instinctive 3D experience with world-class 3D modeling and simulation capabilities that optimize the effectiveness of each user
Delivers an inclusive product development platform that easily integrates with existing processes and tools, to enable multiple disciplines to leverage powerful and integrated specialist applications across all phases of the product design and development process

MechDesigner is an engineering design tool that was developed specifically for the design and analysis of machines and products that have moving parts, and for those parts to move the way you want them to move. With MechDesigner, you can ensure that your designs will move smoothly and with precision, even if your machine or product has complex motions, multiple interacting mechanisms, Cams, gears, or CAD designed parts.
Key Features:
CAD/CAE software for design and analysis of machines, cams, mechanisms, and motions
Design and build 3D machines with as many mechanisms as you need
Create, edit, analyze, and view your interacting mechanisms in a 3D environment, plus add solids to the model
Builds mechanisms with efficient kinematic equations that provide exact solutions
PTC Creo

PTC seeks to enable manufacturers to achieve product and service advantage in the age of the Internet of Things. Their award-winning 2D and 3D CAD software, PTC Creo, is a scalable suite of product design software that promises fast time to value. With PTC Creo, design engineering teams create, analyze, view, and leverage product designs utilizing 2D CAD, 3D CAD, parametric, and direct modeling.
Key Features:
A robust, scalable 3D product design toolset
Greater power and more flexibility to help accelerate the product design and development process
Unite Technology – work more effectively with data from multiple CAD sources and convert data when you need to, as you need to, to work from a single CAD platform
Improved dedicated concept development toolset
Solid Edge

Solid Edge, a portfolio of affordable, easy-to-use software tools, addresses all aspects of the product design and development process for design engineers, including 3D design, simulation, manufacturing, design management, and more. With its synchronous technology, Solid Edge combines the speed and simplicity os direct modeling with the flexibility and control of parametric design.
Key Features:
A growing ecosystem of apps and software tools that include Solid Edge Design, Solid Edge Simulation, Solid Edge Manufacturing, Solid Edge Design Management, and more
Exceptional tools for creating and managing 3D digital prototypes
Guide your projects toward an error-free, accurate design solution
Merges design management capabilities with the CAD tools design engineers use every day

Rhino 5 is the world’s most versatile 3D modeler, available for Windows and Mac. With thousands of modeling and editing tools, Rhino is a complete engineering design tool that enables you to create, edit, analyze, document, render, animate, and translate NURBS curves, surfaces, and solids, point clouds, and polygon meshes without any limits on complexity, degree, or size beyond those of your hardware.
Key Features:
Uninhibited free-form 3D modeling tools that enable design engineers to model any shape imaginable
Compatible with all other design, drafting, CAM, engineering, analysis, rendering, animation, and illustration software
Read and repair meshes and extremely challenging IGES files

SolidFace is a 2D/3D parametric historic constructive CAD modeler. SolidFace enables design engineers to accelerate their designs, increase productivity, and reduce cost with its 3D solid modeling that delivers true visualization and real testing prior to manufacturing.
Key Features:
Speeds design development and detailing
Improves visualization and communication
Eliminates design interference issues
Checks design functionality and performance, without the need for physical prototypes
Built-in 3D direct modeling module
Built-in 2D/3D movement simulation module
TopSolid Design

TopSolid seeks to help design engineers master the manufacturing process with CAD, CAM, ERP, and PDM software. Specifically, TopSolid Design offers “a revolution in CAD” so that you can “design complex assemblies in r