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What to Consider Before Choosing a Product Design Software For Your Next Project

 |  SelfCAD University

What to Consider Before Choosing a Product Design Software For Your Next Project

Product design is the process of imagining and creating products that solve user's problems. A product designer is a person who uses the different tools of design to create and execute a solution that solves a user's problems.

Product designers need software to create product designs. Software is an essential part of product designing because without software you can't create and iterate any design. A product designer may be responsible for some or all of the roles; that's why he/she needs special software that can handle all the responsibilities.

Product design often encompasses a variety of roles, such as:

  • User Experience (UX) Designer
  • User Interface (UI) Designer
  • Information Architect (IA)
  • Experience Designer (XD)
  • Interaction Designer (ID)
  • Experience Architect (XA)

If you're a product designer, then having specialized software is very essential. Product design software has so many features, and it saves time and effort. There are thousands of product design software available on the internet, but you can't just choose any random software.

If you choose any software that you have seen on ads or Google, then you may face some difficulty with that software because you haven't tried it out, and you haven't followed the process of choosing a product design software.

There are some factors that you should consider before choosing a product design software because when you consider them, you end up choosing the right software for yourself and your company.

Here are the top 5 factors that you should consider before choosing a product design software:

5 Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Product Design Software

  1. Capable, Efficient 3D Design
  2. Software That Can Withstand Your Business Need
  3. Help to Manage Data
  4. Supported File Format
  5. Short Learning Curve

1. Capable, Efficient 3D Design

product design software

3D design of a product. Image source: Javelin Technologies

3D models help in designing products for your company. With the help of 3D models, you can easily analyze and check the performance of any product. A 3D master model can be used for all aspects of manufacturing, product design and simulation, drafting, tool design, numerically controlled tool programming, and inspection.

You should choose software that will allow designers to design in 3D with much ease and in less time as compared to traditional product design software.

You're using product design software because you want to design products that your company makes, so while choosing product design software, find out how effective the software is at creating the types of products that your company makes. For example, if your company makes flat metal parts, pay attention to the special features for designing them and for auto-generating flat patterns.

Software and tools are essential parts of any company, business, or organization because they make the work simple and save the time of designers. There are some special software available that can make your company's design with even 20 percent fewer steps, saving you a lot of time.

SelfCAD is one of that specialized software that takes fewer steps to design a product. You can design any product with much ease and in less time as compared to traditional software.

SelfCAD is best for product designers because its interface is straightforward. SelfCAD has been designed in such a way that it has a simplified interface that makes it easier for beginners to navigate. It is software in which you create objects, scenes, and 3D designs in much less time as compared to other product design software.

2. Software That Can Withstand Your Business Need

product design software

Men using a laptop. Image source: Business needs inc.

Every business has its different needs, and by knowing your business needs, you should be able to choose a product design software. Choose a software that can withstand your business needs and that is capable of designing products that your business needs.

If your company is creating machinery products then you should choose software that is capable of designing machine parts, tools, the outer surface, and the final design of the machine.

But, how can you examine any software without using it or without purchasing it?

If you purchase every software to check if it can meet your business need or not, then you will have to spend a lot of money.

But, don't worry.

The majority of product design software provides free trials for some days. During that free trial, you can examine the software properly by yourself, or you can tell your 3D designer to check out the performance and features of the software.

SelfCAD is an example of such a program. It provides a 10-day free trial where you have full access to all the tools and features. After a 10-day free trial, you can either continue with the free version with limited access to features or subscribe to any of the premium packages.

Try it for 10-days, check out all the features and its interface to know whether SelfCAD is a good software for your company or not. After a 10-day free trial, you can either continue with the free version with limited access to features or subscribe to any of the following packages.

Free: Forever (with limited features).

SelfCAD Pro Monthly: $14.99.

SelfCAD Pro Yearly: $139.99.

SelfCAD Perpetual License: $599.00 (Lifetime access)

3. Help to Manage Data

product design software

Men using datasheet. Image Source: Secure infrastructure & services

Companies and organizations with a large team of designers can benefit from product data management (PDM) systems integrated into their CAD tools because it helps in managing the data of a company or organization.

While working in a team, managing data is really important because when you don't manage or save data, team members can unknowingly overwrite each other's data. They can as well send the wrong revision level to each other or the manufacturers.

These minor errors can waste a lot of time and thousands of dollars in defective parts as well. If the designer sends a wrong design to the engineer's team, and they work with that wrong design, you will lose a lot of money and time in the process. You should try to avoid this product designing mistake.

To guide against this problem, having a product data management (PDM) system within the product design tool is very important. It can save the data of team members every time they work on a project, which will solve the revision problem.

4. Software Should Have Supported File Format

product design software

File Formats. Image Source: urdesign

Different regions have different file formats. In some places, the STEP format is popular, while the VDA format is popular in some other places. The popularity of file formats changes as the region changes.

While working in a team that has members from all over the world, it has become very important to have product design software that supports different file formats so that every team member can open and use it on their computer.

If the software doesn't support a particular file format, then each member has to convert the file to a format that is supported all over the world, and that will take a lot of time. But, having software that supports all file formats can save the time of team members, and in that time they can create more designs.

The supported file format is an essential part for companies that provide services like 3D printing, product designing, and web designing. They have to work and deal with clients from all over the world, and it becomes really important that each client can view and read the file.

If the client can't open the file shared by you, then he/she will not be able to get the work details, and will not know how the work/project is coming around. This is one of the most unpleasant things that can happen while working with an international client, exporting the design in a format that can’t be read by your client.

So, always choose a software that supports different file formats and that is popular all over the world. Choose product design software that supports the common file formats such as STEP, IGES, VDA, and IDF. When you choose software that supports common formats, it helps you manage your clients better and easily.

Your team members will also not face difficulty while sharing work details with each other because now they can share their work in the supported file format, and won’t have to change the file format every time.

5. Short Learning Curve

product design software

Image with elements and text. Image source: eLearning industry

Even if you're familiar with the basics of product designing, choose a designing software that is easy to learn so that you and your employees can use it easily and without interrupting your work process. There's always more to learn, and adopting 3D methods requires training and experience, so look for a system that has a consistent user interface and a procedure that flows logically from start to finish.

Product designing is not an easy process, you need training and experience to adopt designing methods. If you have good experience with product designing, they also endeavor to choose software that has a user-friendly interface because it will make your workflow easy and simple.

If you or any team member is a beginner in 3D modeling, then you have to learn the process of 3D modeling from start to finish. If you choose software that has a short learning curve, then you can learn the whole process in less time and very effectively.

Many product design software have complicated interfaces and the users find it difficult to design a product. But, SelfCAD has a user-friendly interface, the interface of SelfCAD was designed with beginners in mind.

Even a beginner can create awesome designs with the help of SelfCAD software. If you still experience difficulty in designing, then you can use a great feature of SelfCAD called interactive tutorials. Interactive Tutorials are the easiest way to learn how to create quality 3D models and product designs for freelance designers, businesses, and students using SelfCAD.

Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.

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Need to learn 3D Modeling? Get started with interactive tutorials.

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