The CAD market is growing and stronger than ever, thanks to the engine of digitalization, which affects every aspect of design and engineering and every discipline.
The market is anticipated to grow with a healthy growth rate of more than 2.4% over the forecast period 2018-2022.
The Computer-Aided Design Market is expected to reach USD $9 billion by 2022.
New players and broader applications are enabling strong growth in the CAD industry. The large CAD customers in the automotive, aeronautics, construction, machine design, and process & power industries are gravitating towards systems design. Customers are opting for integrated products from the same vendors, but they have also successfully forced their suppliers to ensure software from different companies works together.
The report considers data from as many as 36 CAD companies making approximately 53 products, but we concentrate on the ten market leaders: Autodesk, Aveva, Bentley Systems, Dassault, Graebert, Hexagon, Nemetschek, PTC, Siemens Digital Industries, and Trimble.
The report looks at the market according to the major segments and provides market overall market share figures, and also market shares for major segments including AEC, Manufacturing, Process, Power & Marine, with sections on BIM and GIS as well. In addition, the report breaks out user numbers for 2D vs. 3D, and the major market segments.
The report highlights industry trends, drivers, and challenges and incorporates both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the industry.
“There is plenty of room for the leading CAD companies to forge their own way in specialized markets as world industries transform their workflows via digitalization. There is plenty of differentiation. But, even more than digitalization, 3D workflows, are enabling CAD customers to build digital twins to test and model designs before they are built and monitor them in operation,” says Analyst.
- Trends for 2020
- Model-based design, digital twins
- Analysis and generative design
- 3D printing
- Cloud-based computing
CAD Market Overview
- M&A changes the landscape
- Opportunity and danger
- 3D: Shifts in emphasis
- 2D: The contenders
- An overview of the drafting landscape
- Today's workalike market
- Independent CAD developers with AutoCAD workalikes
- The ODA explores new territory
- The 2D landscape
- 3D CAD for the future
- A closer look at market segments
- Trends in AEC
- Transforming AEC
- Opportunities abound for BIM
- Cloud-enabled BIM
- Autodesk BIM 360
- Bentley ProjectWise 365 and Synchro
- Bricsys 24/7
- Graphisoft Teamwork and BIM Server
- The metrology revolution in AEC
- CAD in Manufacturing
- Manufacturing world outlook
- AEC, architecture, engineering, and construction
- The construction opportunity
- Process, Power, Infrastructure & Marine
- Trends in PP&M
- The Mac market
- Digital reality: Real-world capture
- First steps
- Bentley and Siemens unveil PlantSight
- Viewing tools
- Sketching and drawing
CAD User profiles
- The users: 2D, 3D, and both
- 3D CAD for the future
Definitions & Methodology
- Information sources
- Primary research for this report
- Secondary research for this report
Table of Figures
Figure 1: Systems within Systems: the CAD universe is expanding to incorporate related fields. The expansion will continue giving companies plenty of room to grow and innovate
Figure 2: CAD reflects world economies. Revenues for the CAD software market from 2008 to 2022. The market contracted in 2016 as subscriptions changed accounting methods and world economies were challenged. The engines of commerce started back up strongly in 2018 and 2019
Figure 3: Over the years, the large CAD companies have been acquiring smaller companies and building systems-based business models. As a result, companies have developed different areas of interest giving them room to grow and collaborate as well as compete.
Figure 4: It’s striking to see the growth of 3D compared to 2D, but it’s also important to see that 3D does not necessarily replace 2D work. Revenues from 2D have been very stable, and some of the decline could well come from free and low-cost alternatives being more widely accepted.
Figure 5: By the numbers, the CAD market seems to grow at fairly modestly as befits a very mature industry, but grow it does and together with the numbers in Figure 3, which show revenues rising for 3D, it’s clear that more people are working in 3D and spending more money for their tools. In addition, designs and models contain more information and are often multipurpose.
Figure 6: Generative design can help designers reach a design idea that is lightweight and strong. The technology is available from the large vendors in the manufacturing segment including Autodesk, Dassault, PTC, and Siemens
Figure 7: Rendering of Jaguar by Visual State using Chaos V-Ray Next
Figure 8: The CAD industry has seen new competitors arrive, but the traditional leaders have held their position. Companies are exploiting their core competencies and looking for niches.
Figure 9: A breakdown of the major segments considered in this report. In this chart, the segments are apportioned according to revenue.
Figure 10: The advantage is increasingly going to large companies. Now that the large companies are smoothing out their revenues with subscription, we expect them to pull further ahead. It’s very hard to start a new CAD company today. However, as this chart demonstrates,
Figure 11: The CAD leaders: Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, PTC, and Siemens PLM have a disproportionate percentage of market share compared to their smaller competitors.
Figure 12: In terms of sheer numbers, the majority of CAD users can still be classified as 2D users, but 3D programs cost more and require a different expertise. 2D remains a necessary discipline.
Figure 13: BricsCAD’s Quadcursor provides a dialog at the cursor point offering likely commands
Figure 14: The industry has learned that 2D is an essential tool for communicating design information. It’s used in conjunction with 3D information. 2D information lives alongside 3D information.
Figure 15: 2D CAD users' market share. Most companies offer access to 2D tools as part of their portfolio. This picture is complicated by Dassault’s DraftSight, which includes users who have registered for free programs. In this chart, we’re recognizing many of those users. We offer an alternative view in the discussion of users further below.
Figure 16: The companies providing software tools for 3D CAD design tend to be larger and offer systems of tools and information management.
Figure 17: The 3D CAD market is more specialized than the 2D market.
Figure 18: Data gathered by McKinsey in 2014 demonstrate the disparity between manufacturing, which has been able to adopt digital methodologies for design, visualization, and collaboration faster and more efficiently than the construction industry
Figure 19: Looking at the revenues and market distribution of the major CAD companies offering BIM solutions, we see considerable market growth.
Figure 20: The BIM Maturity Level wedge: a model developed by Mark Brew and Mervyn Richards and delivered in 2011 as part of the UK BIM Task Group project outlined a path to BIM adoption in the UK, with the goal of reaching level 2 in 2016
Figure 21: According to “Connecting Teams,” a Dodge SmartMarket Brief (a series of reports sponsored by Autodesk and other organizations), BIM users report significant advantages of using BIM tools
Figure 22: This diagram of conventional versus BIM 5D communication was found in a presentation from Consolidated Construction Company, CCC. The conventional model has members communicating in an ad hoc manner and there is no assurance everyone is getting the whole story or even the same story. BIM 5D resembles the Level 3 (Figure 10) model for iBIM in diagram from Mark Brew and Mervyn Richards. The term 5D BIM describes 3D CAD plus schedule (4D) and cost-related information (5D)
Figure 23: The companies with CAD and BIM tools stand to gain as countries adapt BIM standards. In this, look at market share we are comparing the CAD companies with BIM tools. Because there is much more to BIM than CAD, the BIM universe of BIM tools is much larger than these companies.
Figure 24: Autodesk hopes to offer as many tools as possible to keep users working with Autodesk products. The company has acquired Assemble, PlanGrid and Building Connected to build out its portfolio of collaboration tools. In addition, Autodesk’s Forge provides enables 3 party developers to offer specialized tools to fill in the gaps
Figure 25: Excel Engineering demonstrates scanned imagery combined with 3D model in Revit
Figure 26: Trimble’s metrology business cuts across its business segments but the company has been successful growing its Building and Construction business in 2018. The company’s metrology tools have long played a role in civil engineering but it’s also becoming important in construction. Trimble also has interest in resources and utilities, transportation, and navigation
Figure 27: Hexagon presented this slide at their annual market day: it captures the technology mix that is driving the metrology revolution
Figure 28: Worldwide manufacturing segments
Figure 29: The market share among leading CAD providers in manufacturing. Manufacturing is the largest segment of CAD. It’s a lopsided market with large suppliers, small companies, and specialist companies
Figure 30: A comparative look at CAD software revenues from the leading companies based on estimates and company-disclosed data. We believe that Siemens has gained market share through its digitalization strategy and better integration between divisions. Autodesk has weathered the transition to subscription. PTC’s strength has been in IoT, not necessarily CAD. Overall, notice the mid-decade slump.
Figure 31: Good news and bad news: The above chart is a focused look at influential worldwide economies via the OECD’s Condensed Leading Indicators (CLI). The CLI is a compilation of factors the OECD has found to have an effect on the economy. In an update published August 2019, the OECD cautioned that world economies are in a fragile state
Figure 32: The companies serving the manufacturing market are looking for ways to expand their product lines into the life cycle of products
Figure 33: The AEC market is coming into its own with growth rates the manufacturing industry can hope to see again. AEC is tremendously sensitive to economic trends but the trend is up now and so is the adoption of digital technologies.
Figure 34: The major markets of AEC.
Figure 35: A comparison of the AEC companies’ relevant revenue shows a trend of growth since the 2012 drop. Trimble’s building and infrastructure business is a reporting segment for Trimble and includes AEC operations and maintenance. AEC is trending up as the industry goes digital.
Figure 36: Room for growth. As this is being written, the world is holding its breath about Brexit and less than happy financial indicators such as manufacturing PMI. Source: Eurostat (sts_copr_a). The EU 28 includes the entire member states of the European Union, and the EA 19 are those countries in the Euro Area (EA) that have adopted the Euro currency.
Figure 37: Process and power market share.
Figure 38: In the U.S., the sources of power are distributed and they have shifted. The above chart is from 2018. Coal has lost ground to natural gas and renewables are growing. Renewables are the fastest-growing source of energy in the US
Figure 39: Energy generation by source
Figure 40: The US EIA (Energy Information Administration) expects energy demands to rise dramatically in India and China. The other emerging economies are catching up while the 34 OECD partners (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) levels off. The OECD countries include the US, Europe, Nordic countries, Australia, etc., and account for 63% of the world’s GDC.
Figure 41: According to the 2019 GuiBuiz report, the total Geospatial industry will grow to $439.2 billion by 2020. T
Figure 42: The companies leading the GIS industry are ESRI, Hexagon, Trimble, and Maxar.
Figure 43: The market for CAD software on the Mac is small. The products in this chart have native Mac CAD products. Those users who want CAD on the Mac primarily use virtualization techniques like Bootcamp and use Windows-based software on Mac machines. Programs built for the Mac have modest revenues but their user base is dedicated.
Figure 44: PlantSight combines the real world and digital information to provide a digital twin for plants
Figure 45: A comparison of salaries shows CAD drafters to be relatively low paid compared to Professional Engineers, and Architects
Figure 46: The 2D CAD market has room for plenty of small players and that field has actually grown
Figure 47: Using reported or estimated numbers and dividing by ASP provides a look at 2D CAD users according to annual revenue. In 2019, Autodesk has shown very strong numbers for AutoCAD as customers adopt suites or accept subscription plans. Contrast this model with our estimate of 2D users including people using the free DraftSight product.
Figure 48: By the numbers, the ratio between 2D and 3D users; however it’s a little misleading since 2D drafting tools are basic tools owned by many. We have seen considerable growth in 3D workflows as vendors optimize their software for their target industry segments.
Figure 49: The 3D CAD software market is well distributed. 3D tools are enabling digital twins, prototyping, analysis, visualization, and other advanced capabilities, which means there’s plenty of opportunities to differentiate and explore new markets.
Figure 50: The numbers of active CAD users are fairly stable. What’s interesting, and what is growing is the usefulness of CAD models and the sophistication of design processes.
Figure 51: Strong representation by European CAD companies has changed the picture of worldwide CAD revenues.
Figure 52: The Asian market has changed and has often leapfrogged the west as it has raced to build infrastructure and also reduce costs in traditional industries such as product manufacturing, consumer devices, and textiles.
Figure 53: CAD distribution in Asia
Figure 54: CAD distribution in EMEA
Figure 55: CAD distribution in Latin America
Figure 56: Recovery has been slow in the many markets encompassed by CAD. We believe that growth will pick up in the coming years, but it will stay within the modest ranges of CAGR we have come to expect in CAD.
Figure 57: The CAD forecast might not look like much, but that simple line hides revolutions in every area of design and production. The market slowed down as users held off on buying during the transition to subscription. They started making their decision to buy in 2018 and 2019.
Table of Tables
Table 1: A general breakdown of the market concentrations for the major CAD companies
Table 2: AutoCAD workalike programs
Table 3: AutoCAD workalikes based on Ares code
Table 4: The ODA companies
Table 5: CAD programs and suppliers for the Mac.
Table 6: List of CAD programs