The IronCAD Advantage

Compare IronCAD to the approach taken by traditional CAD systems

like Creo, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Inventor and more…

Compare Ease Of Use

Regular MCAD

Can take months to learn

Takes months to learn. People often do a lengthy training course just to get confident using traditional 3D CAD software.


Can be learnt in a week.

You can be confident using IronCAD in just days, sometimes even in hours. This is due to IronCAD's intuitive tools that approach design in a more natural way, giving you predictable results when you want to get something done.


Compare Overall Speed

Regular MCAD

Often takes double the time

Overall speed of traditional 3D CAD is often limited by its design methodology, reliance on sketches and difficulty making major design changes to models late in the design process. In most tests, other 3D CAD software can take twice the amount of time as IronCAD to do the same job.


Often does the same job in half the time.

The overall speed of IronCAD often enables the same job to be done in half the time of a traditional system. This is due to IronCAD's unique workflow and design methodology, which skip the tedious steps that are required in traditional software. Imagine the time and money saved when you or your staff double the amount of work that can be done in the same period of time. Yep, it's a lot.


Compare Methodology

Regular MCAD

Slow, conventional approach to 3D design

Regular 3D MCAD once seemed quite fast, especially when compared with old CAD systems like AutoCAD, however today even this is a much slower approach to design than what’s possible. This traditional approach involves creating planes, starting with 2D sketches, unnecessarily constraining many sketch lines, designing parts in multiple individual files, history-dependent design rules, mating all the individual parts of an assembly and more.

This traditional methodology slows down the design process and gives users far less control.


Fundamentally more innovative approach.
In IronCAD, you start with a catalog of 3D shapes that you can drag and drop into your model. Then simply push and pull to make precise changes in seconds. When (and if) needed, you can go into a 2D sketch that drives the shape, all without ever creating a plane or doing an extrude command. You can then use IronCAD's patented TriBall to position and pattern anything in 3D, all without needing to create or use reference planes like traditional systems. IronCAD is built to let you design the way you think, with easy to understand tools and features to provide a natural extension of your imagination.


Compare Feature History

Regular MCAD


Dependent history, hard to make changes

In traditional 3D CAD, you model with ‘Dependent History’. This means things you do are automatically constrained to other things you did before them. This may not be a problem if you know exactly what your design will look like before you start (and all the steps to make it), but in almost every case in the real world, you'll want to make changes along the way. Because of these constraints being applied without choice, making design changes later can be extremely difficult and often leads to model tree crashes which can take hours to fix. Traditional CAD users (like SolidWorks, should be very familiar with these history tree crashes). All in all, this approach will usually slow you down a lot, especially when editing previously made models.



Independent history, easy to make changes

In IronCAD, you model with a feature based history tree, but features are independent. This means you can choose when and where to apply constraints, giving you the control to make changes when and where needed without the problems common in traditional CAD systems. This gives you a much more versatile modeling environment and lets you make design changes without worrying about the effect of earlier modeling choices. IronCAD even allows you to switch on and off the same type of history-dependency as traditional CAD systems. However, in almost every case, the IronCAD way will be much faster, give you more control, and ultimately be more productive.


Compare Assemblies

Regular MCAD


Separate part and assembly files

In traditional 3D CAD, part and assembly files are different. You model all your parts in separate files, then combine them into an assembly at the end with a combination of many different tedious mates and constraints. This means you have to deal with many separate files that can easily be lost or misplaced on a computer and are hard to share. You also have to go through the tedious process of mating and aligning all these parts to assemble your assembly, fitting them into their correct positions in a separate process to when you made them. If they don't fit you then make changes and mate and align them again. Even if these parts aren't moving parts, you'll likely still need to mate them to lock them down. Designing this way means in most cases you're not designing within the context of the assembly, so it's harder to see how your changes affect the overall design, leading to a less effective design process. Parts made in a separate file can often not fit correctly the first time, so you have to spend unnecessary time going back and forth changing these parts just to get them to work the way they should have worked from the start.



Unified design environment, one file

In IronCAD, part and assembly files are the same. You can build one part or one million parts in the same file. This lets you completely design in  context of your overall assembly and design. Sizing parts to fit to other components in your design, and making them fit perfectly first time. This is also a much more natural way of thinking about your design, you can think of the design as a whole working system. You can also still isolate individual parts to work on them, all whilst in the same file. This also means you don't have to go through the tedious process of mating all your parts together to make the assembly, everything is already in the right place and fits perfectly first time. The only potential positive of the traditional way is that when you have one part in multiple assemblies, you can link it to update in every assembly when a change is made. IronCAD allows you to do this external linking without having to do it for every single part, simply choose the ones you want to save externally and you're done. So you get the good without the bad.

IronCAD provides a far better system from the ground up and still gives you the option to use the only beneficial feature of the traditional part system. Furthermore, you can create separate or combined technical drawings for every individual part and assembly, all from the one 3D file. IronCAD also has a bulk drawing tool, so you can quickly generate drawing sheet sets with predefined views for every part in your model, dramatically speeding up drawing time.


Compare Catalogs

Regular MCAD


Basic catalogs, minimal features

In traditional CAD software, only some parts are available in catalogs and these are often 'standard' parts and not your own custom parts. All parts you create are opened individually to edit, or brought into an assembly as they are.

This is an unnecessarily slow and tedious approach to work with multiple parts and assemblies, especially when compared to IronCAD's palette-catalog approach which provides infinitely customisable catalogs of any part you make.



Industry famous catalog system

Any part, any shape, or any assembly you create can be drag and dropped into a custom catalog in seconds. It's like a painter's palette for CAD data, just drag on and off what you need. You can even use IronCAD's patented SmartAssembly technology to create intelligent auto-positioning parts and assemblies, so when you drop a part out, it automatically positions itself, and resizes if needed.

SmartAssembly can even be used on an iPad in the field by sales teams to create customised modular assemblies in seconds. You can even add prices to components and get a complete summary or automated quotation of the project in seconds and close sales faster.

This system makes IronCAD absolutely excel at modular based design, with almost limitless capabilities for what can be built into an IronCAD catalog.


Compare Positioning and Constraints

Regular MCAD


Slow constraints and patterning tool

In traditional 3D CAD software, to move, position and pattern things you will often have to go into a 2D environment and define the pattern or go through multiple dialogue boxes and features. This is time-consuming and unintuitive. Additionally, when positioning parts in an assembly, you will have to mate parts or use other slow methods to get the parts into their correct locations. This is unnecessary time that could be spent designing the product.



Patented and award winning ‘TriBall’

In IronCAD, you can use the patented TriBall productivity tool. The TriBall allows you to parametrically position, move, and pattern anything from sketches to shapes to parts and assemblies. The TriBall has become famous for its huge benefit to CAD productivity over the years and continues to be one of the most productive and useful single tools in any 3D CAD system. The difference the TriBall makes to CAD design processes around the world is simply amazing.


Compare Kernels

Regular MCAD


Single Kernel

There are two solids modeling ‘kernels’ available and each is used by practically all 3D modeling software around the world, these are ACIS and Parasolid. Each one of these engines has math problem solver advantages over the other, especially when computing complex geometry such as blends and lofts and multiple intersecting features. Traditional CAD uses only one of these kernels, limiting that software to the capabilities of only that kernel which can cause crashes or unpredictable and undesired results.



Dual Kernel

IronCAD incorporates both Parasolid and ACIS kernels in the one program, so you get to choose which solids modeling kernel you wish to use and when you wish to use it. the is no limitation on the outcome based on the math solver inherent in the kernel/engine. If your chosen kernel isn’t giving you the results you expect, switch to the alternative. This level of freedom is unparalleled in any other 3D modeling software.


Compare Sales/Configuration Tools

Regular MCAD



CAD is the domain only of the designer. There is a disconnect between the sales department and the design and manufacturing departments. There is no direct link between what the sales team configures for the client and quotes to the client.. and what the design and manufacturing team have to model and manufacture.



Integrated design and sales configuration 

Sales teams can use exactly what the design team have created (and management has allowed them access to) in order to generate instant design configurations for clients to see when in the sales phase.

Catalog items that snap intelligently together can be created on an iPAD using drag and drop. Quantities and quotes can be generated from these configurations instantly.

The final design can be sent directly to the manufacturing team as an actual assembled model to produce. No ambiguity, just clear communication between sales and production departments.


Trusted by hundreds of thousands of professionals around the world

From multi-billion-dollar corporations to one-person-garages.

Aero-safe Technologie

'After an exhaustive search, one CAD system stood high above the rest: IronCAD. It was quite astounding how IronCAD fit in so perfectly with all the needs that we had identified.”

Rick Dorrington

Lerocon Weld & Robotics

'We switched from one of the most common parametric mainstream 3D CAD programs to IronCAD. We have not regretted this for a second. The change has saved both time and money – clearly IronCAD has increased our profitability.'

Daniel Erlandsson


'What I really appreciate about IronCAD is that it works so freely and easily, it's a really big difference in approach, more logically laid out. The ability to have as many parts in a single file makes working and designing much easier, especially given the complexity of the machines we design. If I later choose to have a part saved out to a separate file, I have that option, but it's my choice.”

Richard Liljedahl

Read more


'We use IronCAD's dynamic modeling in machine design and then use IronCAD's parametric technology for our dimension variant packaging. We have not seen any other program that lets us work this way.'

Urban Olars

Hexagon Metrology

'We have replaced both AutoCAD and SolidWorks with IronCAD. When it comes to 3D-design, we do see a big advantage by using IronCAD. …Our experience has been that we design faster and easier compared to our earlier solution…'

Patrik Kärrvall

Ankarsrum Motors

'IronCAD has made the design process much more efficient and effective allowing our designers more flexibility and freedom in their work than ever before. We could never be this efficient in Pro/E or other constraint based systems.'

Read more

Forsell Teknik

'From the time we started using IronCAD as our 3D CAD system, we have saved time and money. We believe IronCAD is clearly the most user-friendly program because you do not need to think about the program; instead you can concentrate on the design. The user interface, together with TriBall and handles technology, places IronCAD in its own class of 3D modelers.”


'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

Metwest Engineering

'There are many features of IronCAD that have made our company much more productive in design, drawing, and production processes. These include and are not limited to the Triball, modelling with preset shapes and configurations, virtually no sketching required, ease of producing 3D workshop drawings from the Scene in multiples, exporting faces to DXF etc.'

Sean Brunt

Baltic Yatchs

Baltic's design team had been using 2D CAD since 1988, but their designs were just too complex to visualize and test in 2D. They required a new system for modeling complex parts and assemblies. In the beginning of 2000, they started their search for 3D software. Based on a referral from a colleague who first saw IronCAD at an exhibition, they tested IronCAD and they found it hands-down outperformed all other competitors.

Read more

Currawong Engineering

“The difficulty I see with explaining the benefits of IronCAD over SolidWorks for experienced users is that they don’t become apparent until you have used it for a while. When you are designing and not just drawing you do things differently, most of the comparisons are showing how you would draw a known item rather than designing it. IronCAD can certainly draw known items very quickly, usually more quickly than SolidWorks, but I don’t really see this as its strength. It comes into its own when changing what you have drawn and not having the model fall apart and being easily able to test ideas out. This comes from the convenience of the Triball, the simple nature of the Intellishapes and the lack of need to use constraints.”

Read more

Docksta Varvet

“We appreciate that it is easy to make changes with IronCAD. It’s also easy to see how parts fit into different projects. The dynamic program structure is a big advantage.”

Read more



'Now at Schnaithmann we can create custom designs for our customers faster and with much higher quality within our flexible profile system, in the area of plant engineering the creation time for layout planning has been significantly reduced by IronCAD.'

Andreas Schnitzer , Senior Designer.

Van Keulen

“That’s one of our focus points of our company, we never say no, and if we want to deliver the next day we deliver the next day, and IronCAD is very useful for us to design products that can be delivered the next day. It’s very easy to learn, we have a default training program for each new employee, and within one week we can people for production purposes within IronCAD. We are very pleased with IronCAD.”

Eddy Huis in ‘t Veld, Software Engineering Manager.

Read more

What are you waiting for?

IronCAD presents the opportunity to increase efficiency and profitability of your company, all for just a few days training. The sooner you start the sooner you'll see the benefits. Many of our customers have detailed experience in a range of CAD systems and with them and our team we are happy to help you compare IronCAD to any CAD system in the world.

“Not a single client who has purchased IronCAD from us has ever gone back to their former software – Now that speaks volumes”.
Nigel Varley, CEO, CAD International


Try IronCAD for Free

Submit the form for a free 30-day trial for Windows

    I am OK to be contacted by the CAD Team.
    I am an interested potential customer.I am somewhat interested.I am just exploring.