There are some similarities between SolidWorks’ functionality and that of CATIA. Both, for starters, are 3D CAD applications, which allow users to create feature-based models. Meanwhile, both also offer users 2D functionality—though this is more limited in scope than both applications’ 3D features.
Though SolidWorks is perhaps best known as a parametric, feature-based solid modeller, it also incorporates a number of powerful features, making it a much better rounded piece of software. Amongst these include:
The ability to draw using either parts or assemblies
Simulation tools that give users insight into fluid flow, fluid forces, computational fluid dynamics, life cycle assessment, and more
Rendering tools for photo-realistic visualizations, helping to improve customer experiences
Electrical design solutions, enabling the creation of schematics using libraries and part information
CAM tools to help integrate design and manufacturing processes
Product data management tools, which ease the sharing of design information and the automation of workflows, and ensure that all stakeholders have up-to-date versions of files
As well as these varied tools, SolidWorks offers a number of different industry-specific solutions. Examples of these include SolidWorks Plastics, which helps to predict and avoid manufacturing defects; SolidWorks MBD (Model Based Definition) for the definition, organization and publishing of 3D product manufacturing information; and Circuit Works, which allows mechanical and electrical CAD designers to share data.