Global CAD Market to Steadily Grow Through 2021

A new report predicts steady growth for the CAD market through the early 2020s.

The automotive industry appears to be driving current CAD growth.

The automotive industry appears to be driving current CAD growth.

In a recent study, industry analysts at Technavio indicated that the global CAD market will continue to grow through the early 2020s.

According to the report, “Global Computer-Aided Design Market 2017-2021,” analysts believe that the CAD market will “post a CAGR of close to 7%” over the next four years, with Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, PTC and Siemens PLM Software leading the market.

As CAD users likely already know, one of the biggest drivers of continued CAD growth is the “preferential shift from product lifecycle management (PLM) to cloud-based PLM software.” Although PLM has been instrumental in streamlining product design, it has oftentimes been expensive to adopt and difficult to implement. However, new cloud-based PLM systems are making PLM implementation much easier by offering options to deploy their software on the cloud as an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) package. This immediately reduces the cost of PLM adoption, and makes PLM data available everywhere no matter where a user might be located.

Another interesting point made by Technavio’s report is that CAD growth appears to be driven primarily by heavy industry. Although the report states that market growth has been propelled by adoption in the automotive, aerospace, industrial machinery and electronics industries, one has to wonder just how much the maker or hobbyist market is buoying CAD growth. Over the last few years, CAD options like Fusion 360 and Onshape have pushed down the cost of adopting sophisticated CAD tools to the point where nearly anyone with an idea can afford a license. Sadly, Autodesk and Onshape have held adoption numbers close to their chests, making it impossible to get a true picture of what the CAD landscape will look like in the near future. Needless to say, I do expect that individual users and small firms will begin to make their mark on the CAD market in the coming years.