Put simply, IronCAD takes a modern, more flexible and far more productive approach to 3D Design.


    Traditional 3D CAD IRONCAD
1 Ease of Use Rating (based on customer feedback) Ease of Use Rating: 4/10 Ease of Use Rating: 8/10
2 Design Methodology Slow, Mainly 2D Modeling Techniques IRONCAD’s Renowned Dynamic 3D Modeling Tools
3 Constraints History Dependency, Minimal Versatility Chose When and Where to Apply Constraints
4 Assemblies Multiple Separate Part and Assembly Files Everything in One File, Simple and Productive
5 Catalogs Basic Component Catalogs IRONCAD’s Industry Famous Customizable Catalog System
6 3D Manipulation Slow, Cumbersome Tools IRONCAD’s Patented TriBall 3D Productivity Tool
7 Modelling Kernel One Modeling Kernel Two Modeling Kernels, PARASOLID and ACIS


Want MORE Reasons?

Scroll down for the in-depth table and see how IRONCAD products can improve the productivity of your organization.

IRONCAD’s suite of products can replace and/or compliment your current CAD solution.



Introduction To IronCAD


SolidWorks Vs IronCAD





“We have replaced both AutoCAD and Solidworks with IronCAD…and have had a 75% productivity increase over Solidworks.”

Patrik Karrvall, Hexagon Metrology, Sweden.


“I have used pretty much all of the popular and expensive CAD systems, such as ProE, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Catia, Delcam products, etc, but none were as easy, or as fast as IronCAD is. More things just get done in less time, period!”

Mike Walls, Microplanet, USA.


The Facts

  Traditional 3D CAD IRONCAD
Ease of Use Ease Of Use Rating: 4/10 Ease Of Use Rating: 8/10
Design Methodology You model the “traditional” 3D CAD way, which once seemed quite fast, however is now a much slower approach. This involves creating planes and making almost all changes in a 2D Sketch. In IRONCAD, you start with a catalog of 3D shapes and can drag ‘n’ drop them into your model and then push and pull to parametrically adjust the shapes size.


You can then use IRONCAD’s patented TriBall productivity tool to position and pattern anything in 3D.

This is faster, more intuitive and most importantly more productive.

Constraints In Traditional 3D CAD, you model with History Dependency. This means everything you do is automatically constrained by actions performed before it. This can be beneficial if you know exactly what your design will look like before you start, but in almost every case, design changes will have to be made along the way. Because of these constraints being applied without choice, making design changes later can be extremely difficult and usually leads to model crashes which can take hours to fix. All in all, this approach will usually slow you down and decrease your productivity, especially when editing previously made models. In IRONCAD, you model with a feature based history tree, but it’s not history dependent. This means no constraints are applied by default so you get to choose when and where to apply constraints. This gives you a much more versatile modelling environment and also means you can make design changes without even thinking about model crashes and the effect of earlier modelling choices.


Please note: you can also model with the same type of history dependency if in some cases it helps. However, in almost every case the IRONCAD way is a much faster, more versatile and ultimately more productive approach.

Assemblies In Traditional 3D CAD, Part and assembly files are different. You model all your parts in separate files, then combine them in an assembly at the end. This means you have to deal with many separate files that can easily be lost or misplaced on a computer. Additionally, as you are not designing within the context of the assembly, often parts will be the wrong size and have to be adjusted after assembled leading to a time wasting ‘back and forth’ process. In IRONCAD, part and assembly files are the same. You can build a single part or a 5000 part assembly in the same file.


In almost every case this one file approach is a much more effective and productive approach. IronCAD has the option to save parts as individual files if needed, but in most cases this will only slow you down and make it harder to manage your files. Furthermore, IRONCAD parts and assemblies can be stored in IRONCAD’s famous catalogues and drag ‘n’ dropped out into any assembly meaning faster access to all the parts you need.

Catalogs In Traditional 3D CAD, only some parts are available in catalogs and these are ‘standard’ parts and not your own parts. All the parts you create will have to be opened individually to edit or bring into an assembly. This is a slow and tedious approach. In IRONCAD, you get to use IRONCAD’s famous catalog system. This means any part, shape or assembly you create can be stored in a catalogue and used time and time again.


You can even utilize IRONCAD’s patented Smart Assembly technology to create drag ‘n’ drop snap together assemblies that can be used not only in IRONCAD but also on the free IRONCAD COMPOSE iPad app and free IRONCAD COMPOSE for Windows.

Positioning and Moving (3D Manipulation) In Traditional 3D CAD, to move, position and pattern features you will usually have to go into a 2D environment and define what is going to happen. This is time consuming and not intuitive. Additionally, when positioning parts in the context of an assembly, you will have to mate parts or use other slow tools to position the parts. Furthermore, to pattern features, parts or assemblies you will have to go into 2D to define the pattern and then see the result in 3D. In IRONCAD, you get to use the Patented TriBall productivity tool.


The TriBall allows you to parametrically position, move and pattern. Not only can you do this with features but even with Parts, Assemblies, Sketches, Lights and more.

The TriBall has become famous for its huge benefit to CAD productivity over the years and continues to be arguably the most productive and useful tool in any CAD system throughout the world.

Modelling Kernel Almost every Traditional 3D CAD system in the world runs on one kernel. For example, many run on the PARASOLID Kernel. As experienced CAD users will know, the modeling kernel can affect how complex model geometry is resolved. Some complex shapes will be possible in one kernel but not another. Having a system with only one kernel can cause problems. If the kernel is incapable of producing a shape, you have nowhere else to go and will have to change the shape. IRONCAD is the only CAD solution in the world that provides dual kernels.


IRONCAD includes both the PARASOLID and the ACIS modelling kernels.

You can switch between kernels while modelling and even have an assembly with parts using both kernels.

This unique ability gives IRONCAD a major advantage in modelling and also gives greater import/export versatility.