Business Advantage Announces Results of Worldwide CAD Trends Survey

2016 Report Includes Actuals for the Last 3 Years and 5 Year Future Predictions

Mar 18, 2016 -- The IT, software and telecom industry research specialist Business Advantage Group announced it has completed its 2016 worldwide CAD Trends Survey. The report can be downloaded here.

Chris Turner, CEO/Managing Director of Business Advantage said, “Mapping the future growth trends of your market area is vital for the planning of any business.  This annual CAD Trends survey of design, engineering and management professionals is designed to assist CAD, CAM, CAE, PDM and PLM users and software companies with their planning for 2016 and beyond. The report tracks key trends and opportunities in the CAD market and ranks their growth potential over the next 5 years.  In addition because this is the third year we have conducted this survey we are now able to show multi-year actuals as well as predictions 5 years into the future. As previously thepublic report is in the form of a graphical PowerPoint® is quite high level and easy to scan.  For those with a deeper interest, many insights are available within the full data set. Anyone interested in more detailed analysis of the data, for example by trend, usage, adoption, region, industry or CAD software vendor should contact us.”

The survey was completed by 610 professionals from around the world.  It covers 15 Trends - from ‘3D modeling’ and ‘2D drafting’ to ‘Building Information Modeling (BIM)’ to ‘Cloud Based CAD’, from ‘Simulation’ to ‘3D Printing’, from ‘PLM’ to Mobile Access to CAD’ to ‘Augmented/Virtual Reality’. These and more are ranked by awareness, importance, current and intended adoption to reveal their trends and growth potential, including comparison to the results of the prior year’s survey. Many fascinating 2016 insights include:

  • Strongest growth potentials are in ‘Pay As You Go’, ‘Cloud based CAD’, ‘Augmented/Virtual Reality’, ‘Mobile Access to CAD’, ‘Advanced real time Rendering and Visualization’ and ‘3D Printing’.
  • 3D Modelling is widely adopted but 2D Drafting remains important. Two thirds of users still rate 2D drafting highly important (8, 9 or 10/10). 39% of design work produces 2D drawings, 27% 3D models and 34% both 2D drawings and 3D models.  2D drawings automatically generated from 3D CAD or BIM models are important as is more software development on 2D drawing capability.
  • CAM software usage increased 37% in the last year. Almost 70% of those using or planning to use CAM think it’s important to have machining instructions automatically generated from 3D CAD models. 6 in 10 of them also want to see more software development effort on CAD/CAM integration.
  • Concurrent Engineering (72%) and PLM (67%) have good growth potential in the coming 3-5 years.
  • BIM is showing a surprising amount of flux – predicted growth missed and a drop in perceived importance.
  • Clear ROI on CAD Software upgrades demonstrated.
  • Nearly 60% of CAD users are downloading 3D CAD models monthly, 50% of Manufacturing users download multiple times per month. Significant drop in those never downloading to just 10% of CAD users.

In addition many key questions are answered; are annual software upgrades worth the investment, what hardware is in use now for CAD and what will be used next, how do customers prefer to keep up to date with industry developments etc.?  As interesting as these questions are, equally intriguing are the variations in results by country/region, industry, size of company and software brands. The annually published report is high level and many deeper insights are available from the full data set. If you are interested in more detailed analysis, for example by region, industry or software vendor, please contact us.

“Over the years we have completed more than 500 market research, data analytics and consulting projects for many of the world’s leading CAD, CAM, PLM, PDM and CAE solution providers.  The confidential results of those projects often reveal competitive advantages or strategies and naturally very few of these have been published.  However we believe the contributions of CAD, CAM, PLM, PDM and CAE to productivity growth across many industries are vitally important and very interesting to many worldwide. For this reason we do an annual survey of worldwide CAD Trends in our own name and share the results publicly.”

“Lastly, we promised everyone, who contributed by completing the survey and left their email address, early access to the report as well as entry into a draw for an iPad mini. We thank all contributors and have already sent them the link to the report. The prize draw was conducted and our hearty congratulations go to the winner, Istvan Bartha.”

Business Advantage’s team of specialist researchers has undertaken B2B market research and consulting on a worldwide basis and has successfully completed over 1,200 assignments for information and communications technology clients in over 100 countries, spanning five continents.

For press and media enquiries contacts:

Chris Turner,
Managing Director,
Email: Email Contact
+44 (0) 1689 873708

US & Americas:
Bill Gordon,
Email: Email Contact 
+1 650 558 8870

Business Advantage: Formed in 1992, Business Advantage is a B2B market research, business development and marketing consulting practice operating in the global IT, Digital Communication and Telecommunications sectors. Their team of specialist researchers has undertaken B2B market research on a worldwide basis and has completed assignments for information and communications technology clients in over 100 countries, spanning five continents.

Business Advantage provides a wide range of services to many leading international companies, including 3M, Autodesk, Canon, Dell, HP, Infor, IBM, Intel, Lexmark, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Sony, Sophos, Xerox and many others.

Follow Business Advantage:


Twitter:        @BusAdvantage


Chris Turner
Managing Director
Email Contact 
+44 (0)1689 873708 (UK and EMEA)

Bill Gordon
VP Business Development
Email Contact
+1 650 558 8870 (US and Canada)

All brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders


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