There are many options when it comes to CAD software solutions, which can make it hard to determine which one is best for your organization’s specific needs. It’s particularly hard to compare these solutions on a feature by feature basis – since all of the leaders have the basics covered. The best way to complete an effective CAD comparison is to look at the vision of both organizations along with feature advancement – which is exactly what we are doing in this Creo vs. Solid Edge CAD comparison.

Whatever CAD solution you pick – you’re likely going to stick with it for a long time. That’s why it’s critical you look at the company’s vision and not just make your decision based on a simple feature comparison.

CAD Comparison Breakdown

3D Modeling

3D CAD modeling is the main function of Creo and Solid Edge – so they both do it very well. However, while they have similar functionality now it has taken Solid Edge a few years to catch up to the capabilities already available in Creo. For example, Solid Edge just added the ability to geometrically compare two versions of a model – something Creo has been able to do for over 5 years. The 2020 Solid Edge datasheet shows a handful of other features that are being added to the latest release that Creo has had available for a long time. In addition to these advanced features, Creo also includes multiple extensions so teams can customize the platform to suit their needs – making Creo the clear winner in this category.

Creo is a highly customizable platform and has included advanced features for years, while Solid Edge is just catching up.

Ease of Use

Solid Edge has an outdated looking interface – similar to a client-server era application. In contrast, Creo’s UI has been refreshed and streamlined to make it similar to within a web browser. This helps increase productivity – another Creo win.

Creo has a refreshed and intuitive UI.

Collaboration and Security

Besides individual ease of use, you want a solution that makes it easy to complete your other job functions with other teams with effective collaboration tools supported by strong security. In our Creo vs Solid Edge showdown – both do well in this category.

Creo has had advanced online collaboration tools for years. Its security is strong with user-based permissions that can be assigned based on role and allows overrides when needed. Creo simplifies working with other platforms with its Unite Technology, a solution that allows users to open any file type without file translation. This simplifies collaboration with partners and customers, who may use alternative tools, without any risk of data loss during translation.

Solid Edge includes 5G of free storage, but that isn’t much when working with 3D CAD files. However, they do make it easy to collaborate with the ability to view files from any device as long as the viewer is installed. Files can easily be shared globally among customers, partners, and teams. Solid Edge’s security features allow files to be “viewed and downloaded” or “viewed only” and restrictions can be updated on a file-by-file basis. It even includes online markup tools so other users can better understand thoughts and comments.


Creo’s parent organization, PTC, has been a leader in CAD modeling since the beginning. With that, Creo is built with the tools needed to address a range of industrial and manufacturing applications like:

Solid Edge calls out a few specific types of manufacturing that Creo has included under their manufacturing umbrella. For example, Creo views the core functions of “industrial food processing equipment” and “industrial machinery” as relatively the same under the manufacturing umbrella. That said, Solid Edge specifically mentions that it serves the following industries:

  • Academic
  • Aerospace and supply chain companies
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Consumer durables
  • Energy and utility equipment design
  • Industrial food processing equipment
  • Industrial machinery
  • Medical devices

Regardless of specific industry focus, both Creo and Solid Edge have the tools needed to support industrial and manufacturing organizations.

Support and Education

Creo offers tons of online resources including a comprehensive resource library, on-demand webinars, training, and online help and support. Creo also has PTC Academic, an outreach program that connects students and educators to bridge academics with real-world skills. They also offer classes on which teach users new skills ranging from basic to advanced. PTC also has a thriving online user community and developer portals to share ideas and enhancements.

Solid Edge includes similar free online resources as Creo but has more of a sales and marketing focus instead of educational. However, users can usually find the answers to most of their questions.

Creo and Solid Edge include a range of online resources so you can always get the answers to your questions.

Product Vision

When you select a core CAD platform you want to make sure it is going to serve you now and in the future. Looking at the ongoing progress and product vision for Creo vs. Solid Edge is important in ensuring that the platform will continue to add features that become required in the market.

Solid Edge 2020 includes 2D nesting, improved collaboration tools, model-based definition, augmented reality (AR) design, and the ability to digitize an entire design for manufacturing. All of these features sound impressive, but they are just getting added to the 2020 release – while Creo has had all of those features for several releases. When it comes to product vision, Creo is regularly ahead of the competition.

CAD Comparison Creo vs. Solid Edge Winner: Creo

When you look at Creo vs Solid Edge it can be hard to simply sum up why one solution is better based on core features. Creo is clearly a winner when it comes to the intangibles of product vision and specific industry commitment – but those long-term benefits don’t come into play during the main decision-making process.

Now, as a PTC reseller, we will admit that we are biased towards Creo. Beyond that, based on our experience in CAD solutions and what we hear from our customers, we think Creo is the best solution for most organizations. This is especially true if you work with any other PTC products like Vuforia Studio or Windchill and want to integrate. PTC is always pushing the envelope when it comes to new features and is sure to always stay ahead of market demands.

Interested in purchasing Creo? Have any questions? Just contact us.