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What CAD Software Does SpaceX use?

Companies like SpaceX or Tesla are exciting new space-age ventures with prospective employees lining out the door! And many are wondering what CAD software does SpaceX use in their engineering endevours.

I do not doubt that every mechanical or aerospace engineers’ dream is to work for a company like SpaceX, and as such, it is only natural to ask. What exactly is it that the geniuses at SpaceX are using to design the future of humanities transport?

Those world builders operating under Elon Musk are pioneering the future of the human race, creating biodomes on Mars and rocket ships capable of deep space flight. And probably a couple of blasters for any close encounters of the 3rd kind!


Surely, the CAD software they must be using would be top-secret, futuristic, and so advanced that common folk like you or I would struggle to comprehend its vast and incredible capabilities!

Well, you should be shocked to find out that it isn’t really the case.  

While it is true that there exists a plethora of CAD Softwares available in the industry today, most seasoned professionals will tell you that your options are somewhat limited. A few companies like AutoDesk and Dassault Systèmes offer a multitude of different programs that cover all of the world’s Design, Modelling and Simulative needs.

SpaceX, in particular, has shown a fondness for both NX and CATIA.

Both these alternatives are true for a masterclass in CAD and software design. Sometimes, it is truly remarkable to think about the potentials of the technology that is well within our reach!

NX is a creation of Siemens and is a direct competitor to CATIA (created by Dassault Systèmes). Both are fantastically deep programs that are forerunners to the respective niche industries that they cater to.

As of late, however, it has been reported that prospective SpaceX applicants should have a thorough working knowledge of CATIA and preferably CATIA V5.

Does this recent fondness for CATIA indicate its superiority in relation to NX?

No, no, no! Not at all! A company’s preference for one software over another is determined across various factors ranging from industry or national standards to employees’ previous experience. Quality not being one of them. As stated above, both of these are highly intricate, well-designed and well-maintained pieces of technology of the utmost quality. And Elon Musk certainly has the receipts to prove so!

All jokes aside, it is no secret that most CAD software licences are ridiculously expensive, but rightly so. Considering a great deal of effort goes into creating and maintaining them. Imagine a piece of software that has a deep understanding of Newtonian physics and can simulate most real-life conditions, virtually? That definitely won’t be cheap.

Here is the video of Elon Musk explaining SpaceX 3D CAD engineering setup:

So now the question on all of your mind. Can we at mechanictec.ca design YOUR spaceship?

Well, of course!

We have a number of engineers with decades of experience who can help you with all of your projects. See our quote page to submit your request.

CATIA and SolidWorks are sister programs, both being created by the same company (Dassault Systèmes). They have very similar layouts and perform most of the same functions. However, CATIA is an industry leader in the aerospace and automobile sectors due to its focus on surface modelling. As opposed to SolidWorks and its focus on 3D parts and assembly modelling.

Just click above for a quote relating to all your CAD modelling and Interplanetary needs!