3d CAD tool, wich is the best suited?

i'm about to start my project soon and want to be a step ahead and get started with the design of the frame and suspensionparts asap.
This means i'm looking into what programs are the easiest to draw tubular frames in and also engine parts and suspension parts.

Best i found so far that didn't look to hard to use was:

What programs have you used and what worked for you?
Pro's and con's please.


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I found the following two pages helpful;

this decision graph is interesting at helping you choose. First decision is if you need precise dimensions (you do), second is what you want to spend and third is how much "sweat" you're willing to put in.

this summary list is a useful summary.

No matter what, you're going to want to get something that is parametric. Let me know if you don't understand why that's useful/important.

You'll also need to figure out what big features you want. For example, sheet metal (I use this a fair amount), FEA, etc. I went with SolidWorks because IMO it's the best for what you've described, but it's expensive if you're doing it as a hobby. Cry once, buy once. That said, I understand that there are some very good free packages.
There are several folks on this forum modeling GT40s. I think most if not all are using SolidWorks. I would be good to use the same as them in case you want to share files. However all the popular modeling software can exchange files.
Tried Designspark Mechenical yesterday, it was somewhat easy to understand and use, but i didn't feel like it was strong enough.
I will do a trial period with solidworks i believe, and probably end up using that system instead. (Want to run spaceclaim, but it is sooooo expensive!)
Fusion360 is free for hobbyists and sub 100K turnover companies. looks fully featured and has lots of training videos on YouTube

Dave Bilyk

Dave Bilyk
I have been 'playing' with Onshape, which is a browser / cloud based program and was impressed with the fact that it can be effectively used on tablet / phone, free too. I use Solidworks regularly, but haven't tried Fusion 360 yet.

There is a comparison of the three here;
Comparison Solidworks Onshape Fusion 360

Started testing DS mechanical and Fusion 360 yesterday, i must say that fusion does make the most sence so far, but i need to learn 3D CADing better before i judge them :)
Being a licensed SolidWorks holder, it will do the job no problem, Daniel. I also work in the car industry and the car manufacturers and suppliers used Siemens NX and Dassault Catia which of course are developed for vehicle design but are prohibitively expensive for most individuals. I would give you this advice though.

Onshape and Fusion360 can do the job for a small investment. They are set up where you can pay monthly or annually and at a price where your wallet doesn't get damaged too badly. My maintenance fee for SW is more than what it costs to run one of the other two annually.

One area where Onshape needs work though is in the surfacing dept. 360 is better set up for that. Both are cloud based but Onshape can be used on any computer even a $200 Chromebook. Just a basic login to get on. Recall that for more expensive CAD softwares you have to have the correct Graphics Card, RAM etc etc so costs start to accumulate.
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