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The Fastest and Easiest Way to 3D

Today's successful companies are the ones that have found a way to bring more competitive products to market quicker, with higher quality at a lower cost than their competition. These companies value increased productivity and the solutions that can deliver it. CAD International's IronCAD Authorised Reseller

IronCAD 2014 Quick Overview
[2:59 minutes]
IronCAD Solution Advantage Video
[5:07 minutes]
IronCAD Performance, Flexibility and Collaboration
[9:16 minutes]

IronCAD understands this need for easy to use, highly productive tools that can be used either stand alone or incorporated into a broader corporate PLM initiative. It is that understanding that has lead to the development of IRONCAD. More...

Main features


IRONCAD is the productivity leader when it comes to moving creative ideas into full 3D reality. It utilizes a breakthrough Creative Design approach that delivers a level of design freedom unmatched in the industry today. IRONCAD is the tool of choice for design engineers when deadlines are tight and a high degree of unanticipated change is to be expected. It provides a fresh alternative to today's history based parametric only systems by providing the additional capability of a radical new drag and drop 3D environment that delivers unmatched ease-of-use, and superior productivity.

IronCAD Plastic Bottle
[4:39 minutes]
IronCAD Ease of Use
[5:22 minutes]
IronCAD Smart Assembly
[3:30 minutes]

IRONCAD, since its introduction, has received many awards because of its innovation in the areas of 3D design. It allows a new user to be productive after only a few days while allowing unprecedented productivity for the experienced user. IRONCAD was engineered from the ground up with visual drag and drop concepts at its core, intuitively extending familiar Windows concepts into 3D. The result is a solid modeling solution that is more productive in Creative 3D Design than any of today's leading CAD systems. That's a big statement - and yet is it as true today as it was when IronCAD was first first developed.

The IRONCAD Difference

The IRONCAD difference is the increased productivity and design freedom experienced when using IRONCAD's new and Creative Design approach.

Creative Design can best be described as:

  • The freedom to design without the end in sight
  • The freedom to choose when and where to apply design intent and constraints
  • The freedom to change ones mind without having to rebuild the model
  • The freedom to load another's design and modify it without fearing the unexpected

IronCAD Intro


IronCAD Basic Modeling

Creative Design Approach

The power of Creative Design is in the freedom it gives the user to choose when and where to apply a traditional parametric approach. This freedom of choice allows the user to apply the best design approach for the job at hand. In the early stages of a design it is hard to know exactly what constraint scheme would work the best. With IRONCAD the user does not have to concern themselves about which constraint scheme to adopt instead they can focus on the conceptual design issues leaving the parameterization until later in the design process.

IronCAD Power of the Triball
[1:47 minutes]
IronCAD Screw Modeling
[7:57 minutes]

Creative Design Benefits

The Creative Design approach delivers the following key benefits to the user.

Improved Design Productivity:

    • Drag and Drop - Drag and Drop of basic geometry features from pre built catalogs allows models to be built faster than with the current CAD approach of first building a profile, and then performing some operation on it. IRONCAD provides both methods of building models but allows the user the freedom to select the one that would give him the most productivity.


    • In context design - Traditional CAD systems create what is called a feature tree that captures the order in which the features were combined to create the model. When you want to edit a feature in this tree all the features that occur after that point in the history are blanked out. Software that utilizes this approach creates a non-productive situation for the user because many times the feature they would like to reference has been removed. IRONCAD does not have this restriction. A user can reference any visible feature on a part while making any required changes. This makes it both easier and faster for the user.


    • Single design environment - IRONCAD is very unique in that it does not require the support of a separate assembly and part file, instead it only requires a single file which has the ability to support both parts and assemblies seamlessly. This approach allows the user to effortlessly move between part and assembly design. It allows parts to be created in context to the full assembly model without having to setup a constraint relationship first. This fully-integrated environment allows the user to let the assembly structure evolve within a single file, and and at any time link out or insert files as required to create the desired assembly structure.


IronCAD Cart Wheel Modelling


IronCAD Modeling Cart Wheels

  • Catalogs - Catalogs provide a fast method to quickly apply design components such as Intellishape™ features, parts, assemblies, textures, animations, etc, to the model by simply using the Windows drag and drop standard interface. It is this drag and drop approach that dramatically improves the design productivity of the user. The user can use the catalogs as in-process storage locations; a place where they can obtain the most commonly used pre-created features/parts/assemblies. Each user has the ability to create their own custom catalogs on the fly, significantly improving their overall productivity.
IronCAD Quick Search
[2:04 minutes]
IronCAD Creating a Bent Pipe
[0:53 minutes]
IronCAD Saving External Links to Catalogs
[2:23 minutes]

Design Flexibility:

    • Import/Export - IRONCAD has a complete set of data translators that allow both facet and solid geometry to interchange with all leading systems. IRONCAD allows engineers to confidently exchange and make use of CAD data throughout the design process, as well as enabling power users and novices to share parts or assemblies. Additionally, beyond the simple import of CAD data from other systems as static reference geometry, IRONCAD actually can utilize and modify imported data as though it were created natively.


    • Dual Kernel - IRONCAD supports both the ACIS and Parasolid kernels simultaneously allowing the user to seamlessly switch between the two. Through kernel collaboration if one kernel fails to perform a certain operation the other kernel is automatically called to see if it has better success. Through this collaboration between the two kernels the user ends up benefiting from the strengths of each during the modeling process. Dual kernels help when collaborating with other users since it allows the user to design using the same kernel as their partner. Performing a native kernel data transfer is always more reliable than using a standards based neutral format transfer.


  • DFM - Direct Face Modeling (DFM) allows model modifications to be made irrespective of the previous feature history or in cases where it does not even exist. Being able to directly overwrite feature history when desired results in tremendous productivity gains over the process required by today's feature based systems. DFM is very effective when working with imported b-rep geometry that does not have feature history. Today's systems have to rely totally on feature recognition but when that fails they do not have an alternate editing method. Unlike this limitation, IRONCAD can treat an imported b-rep model as if it was created natively using DFM.

Ease of use:

    • Handles - IRONCAD was a pioneer in the use of dynamic handles for mainstream mechanical design. From its earliest beginnings this patented approach has consistently been enhanced until today it is the most productive way to design available anywhere. IRONCAD handles can be found at the profile, feature, part, and assembly levels. They can be used to position, size, scale, rotate and snap to just about anything. You can even change their orientation to provide just the right snap behavior. Handles in conjunction with SmartSnap creates a fast, precise, easy to use design environment that enables the novice to pick it up immediately and the expert to reach the highest levels of design productivity.


    • SmartSnap™ - SmartSnap, a dynamic 3D constraint solver, which provides precise positioning and alignment while graphically dragging Intellishape features. It allows the user to see which face, edge, and vertex or center point they are about to select for the active command. SmartSnap in conjunction with drag and drop and handles creates the fastest most productive design environment available today.


  • TriBall™ - The patented TriBall, a remarkably intuitive multi-purpose tool provides precise positioning or copying of any objects by translation, rotation, mirroring, patterning or any complex 3D transformation. This array of operations is accessed through a single graphical interface making it very powerful yet easy to use.

Improved Design Visualization and Communication:

    • Rendering - The integration of powerful, high-end visualization technologies into the core of the software makes the entire design process faster, more productive, and more understandable. Fully integrated, real-time, texture, bump, and decal mapping to represent design details are available to save time and valuable data space.


  • Animation - Through the use of SmartMotions IRONCAD parts and assemblies can be given realistic motion paths allowing the visualization of dynamic designs. Through a simple to use graphical key frame interface motion elements can added, modified and timed within the context of the design scene. This fully integrated environment allows design change to happen in context of a part in motion. Animations can be exported in GIF or AVI for downstream team collaboration or presentations.

Product Drawing Automatization:

    • Fully associative - IRONCAD supports bi-directional associativity between the 3D model and its 2D drawing. Changes made in the scene can be automatically updated in the drawing and changes made in the drawing can be updated back in the 3D model. A notification mechanism is used to indicate to the user a situation when the 3D model and its drawing are out of sync.


    • Detail drawing generation - Associative 2D multi-sheet layout drawings can be created automatically from parts and assemblies. Just some of the view generation types include orthogonal, isometric, detail, section and auxiliary views. Full annotation including symbols catalogs, SmartDimensions™, GD&T, text notes, centerlines, Bill of Materials and reference geometry supporting ANSI, ISO and JIS standards.


IronCAD Product Demonstration


IronCAD Marine Design Demonstration

  • Bi-directional BOM - BOM creation is made simple through the automated extraction of designated part properties into a fully editable table on the drawing. Once created, changes made to the BOM on the drawing can be automatically pushed back to the 3D model, creating a fully bi-directional editing capability which dramatically speeds up the drawing creation process, while ensuring proper synchronization.

Cost Effectiveness

IRONCAD is the most competitive priced product in its class. It comes standard with all the 3D modeling you will ever need, photo realistic rendering, animation and a full set of data translators. It is the best value to be found in the market today.

IronCAD Product Demonstration


IronCAD Product Demonstration
       [Broadband Recommended, opens in a new window]

IRONCAD Customer Experience

Thousands of IRONCAD customers from around the world have experienced the IRONCAD Difference; defining it by saying things such as:

  • IRONCAD is the productivity leader when it comes to moving creative ideas into full 3D reality.
  • IRONCAD is the Fastest and Easiest Way to 3D.
  • IRONCAD is the best Creative Product Design system in the market today.
  • IRONCAD delivers the highest 3D design productivity that is available in the market today.
  • IRONCAD is the Easiest to use 3D design system in today's market.

IRONCAD's Creative Product Design approach gave us significant productivity gains over our previous CAD system. (See table below)

"Innovation is the echoing theme of our company, so it only made sense to acquire the tools that will allow our engineers to perform their jobs with speed and efficiency, while at the same time not restraining their creativity. IRONCAD made this happen."

Howard McCall - Multiple Discipline Technology Group

"IRONCAD's innovative design approach allows me design prototype assemblies in the context of a single file without having to deal with cumbersome single part files which are standard in tradition design systems. This architecture allows me to design in the context of the assembly which allows for less errors and better designed components. IRONCAD's freedom and ease-of-us allows me to make changes and build components with unprecedented speeds and flexibility."

Mr. Schappacher - Weil Engineering

"IRONCAD has made the design process much more efficient and effective allowing our designers more flexibility and freedom in their work than ever before. We could never be this efficient in Pro/E or other constraint based systems".

Anders Uddman - Ankarsrum Motors AB

"IRONCAD allows us to quickly visualize our ideas and will produce designs much faster. Also the data in the 3D IRONCAD model allows us to make direct connections with our existing CAD-CAM production software."

Rene Hollegien - Van Keulen Interieurbouw

Are you ready to take the IRONCAD challenge?

The only way to fully appreciate the IRONCAD Difference is to take IRONCAD for a test drive or ask an IRONCAD authorized reseller to show you the IRONCAD Difference one on one. Its time you found out for yourself why IRONCAD is "The Fastest and Easiest Way to 3D".


Related Industries

Rubber Product Manufacturing NEC, Plastic Blow Moulded Product Manufacturing, Plastic Extruded Product Manufacturing, Plastic Product Rigid Fibre Reinforced Manufacturing, Plastic Foam Product Manufacturing, Plastic Injection Moulded Product Manufacturing, Glass and Glass Product Manufacturing, Ceramic Product Manufacturing, Ceramic Tile and Pipe Manufacturing, Ceramic Product Manufacturing NEC Concrete Pipe and Box Culvert Manufacturing, Concrete Product Manufacturing NEC, Basic Iron and Steel Manufacturing, Iron and Steel Casting and Forging, Steel Pipe and Tube Manufacturing, Alumina Production, Aluminium Smelting Copper, Silver, Lead and Zinc Smelting, Refining, Basic Non-Ferrous Metal Manufacturing NEC, Aluminium Rolling, Drawing, Extruding, Non-Ferrous Metal Rolling, Drawing, Extruding NEC, Non-Ferrous Metal Casting, Structural Steel Fabricating, Architectural Aluminium Product Manufacturing, Structural Metal Product Manufacturing NEC, Metal Container Manufacturing, Sheet Metal Product Manufacturing NEC, Hand Tool and General Hardware Manufacturing, Spring and Wire Product Manufacturing, Nut, Bolt, Screw and Rivet Manufacturing, Non-Ferrous Pipe Fitting Manufacturing, Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing NEC, Motor Vehicle Manufacturing, Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing Automotive Electrical and Instrument Manufacturing, Automotive Component Manufacturing NEC, Shipbuilding, Boatbuilding, Railway Equipment Manufacturing, Aircraft Manufacturing, Transport Equipment Manufacturing NEC, Photographic and Optical Good Manufacturing, Medical and Surgical Equipment Manufacturing, Professional and Scientific Equipment Manufacturing, Computer and Business Machine Manufacturing, Telecommunication, Broadcasting and Transceiving Equipment Manufacturing, Electronic Equipment Manufacturing NEC, Household Appliance Manufacturing, Electric Cable and Wire Manufacturing, Battery Manufacturing, Electric Light and Sign Manufacturing, Electrical Equipment Manufacturing NEC, Agricultural Machinery Manufacturing, Mining and Construction Machinery Manufacturing, Food Processing Machinery Manufacturing, Machine Tool and Part Manufacturing, Lifting and Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing, Pump and Compressor Manufacturing, Commercial Space Heating and Cooling Equipment Manufacturing, Industrial Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing NEC, Prefabricated Metal Building Manufacturing Prefabricated Building Manufacturing NEC, Wooden Furniture and Upholstered Seat Manufacturing, Sheet Metal Furniture Manufacturing, Furniture Manufacturing NEC, Jewellery and Silverware Manufacturing, Toy and Sporting Good Manufacturing, Manufacturing NEC

Questions & Answers

[Q] What are the differences between IronCAD, Inovate and IronCAD Draft?

[A] You can see our IronCAD Comparison Chart here.


[Q] Why would I choose IronCAD over any of the other MCAD like Inventor or SolidWorks. I don't quite get the difference?

[A] An excellent question and one that we, as CAD International deliberated over for a long time before selecting IronCAD as our preferred MCAD software to sell and support. When we did our assessment of the leading MCAD software we looked at Pro-E (Pro Engineer), Solid Works, Solid Edge, Inventor, Alibre Design, Think-3D, Solid Thinking and Space Claim. 

All the CAD software in this segment of the market have strengths and weaknesses, but we discovered with IronCAD that IronCAD was quite unique in how it modeled, making it faster to learn, faster to use and significantly easier to make changes to a model at any stage in the design process without lacking in any area that we could reasonably test.

In simple terms whilst each of the others had their individual redeeming features, IronCAD could do everything they did combined as well as having some totally unique tools of its own.

In some regions (Europe and China) IronCAD is extremely popular. Its popularity is growing rapidly in most other regions such as South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Since CAD International have embraced the software buyers have been further reassured due to the companies reputation for excellence in support and its logevity in the industry.


[Q] I have heard that it is important to model things in a strict order with these types of CAD programs, is that also true for IronCAD?

[A] The other products only use a structured history-based approach - This means the order in which you model your design is critical to the way your model behaves as you make changes - get the order of features in your model wrong and one simple change to one small aspect of your design could mean the most bizarre results and time consuming re-building to make the model work again.

IronCAD is different because it has both structured and non-structured part design. Non-structured works particularly well when you are in the more creative stage of design and are testing out concepts and ideas and need to make radical changes quickly without being constrained by the model's sequence of construction.


[Q] What's so good about the Drag 'n' Drop and Tri-Ball features in IronCAD - Can't they all do much the same?

[A] Amazing at it may seem, IronCAD is unique in its ability to simply drag pre-ordaned features from a palette onto your model. This makes it faster to apply features than in any other product. This same drag and drop approach also applies to assemblies and even materials for rendering. The single design environment also means you can work seemlessly in the assembly and in the part at the same time.

The patented TriBall feature alone is a big reason to work with IronCAD. It is the most intelligent method of modifying the geometry of your design. Others have tried to copy but have done a poor emulation - It remains the industry leader in model manipulation. It can take a little while to master it but when you do there's no turning back.


[Q] We have large assemblies with thousands of parts. Our current CAD software does not cope very well with these, especially when generating 2D drawing views from the model onto the page. It has a feature designed to make the parts in the assembly less demanding but it doesn't seem to help much. How good is IronCAD with large assemblies?

[A] IronCAD's earlier versions had much the same problem that you are experiencing but the two latest versions are brilliant at handling large assemblies. There are special modes of display for small parts and also a way to generate 2D drawings without having to compute every aspect of every part of every assembly of every sub-assy of...you get the picture. Its good.

Additionally, models that are detailed and contain many components will render on screen in real-time faster than any other software we tested which makes working on large models much easier. It is still important to run a fast CPU with lots of RAM and preferably Windows 7 on a 64bit machine.


[Q] We are an Australian manufacturer and have heard good things about IronCAD. We currenly use AutoDesk Inventor but we are not really happy with it. Could you give me a list of users of IronCAD in Australia that I might be able to talk to? From what I have read on the net and in forums IronCAD looks like it might be a much better fit for us but it helps if we can talk with users first hand.

[A] Here is a list of some clients currently using IronCAD in your region that are ok for someone to chat with them. You will find several have been using other programs like Inventor and Solid Edge or Solid Works but have made the switch to IronCAD. I don't recall anyone going the other way! 

Action Bearings, Adval Australia, Boss Aluminium, Carbontech, Colourvision Systems, Compound Polymers Aust, Cridland Automation, Dana Spicer Australia, Decon Conveyors, Design JS, Display and Design, Invetech, Iggy Design, JW Design, Lakeside Cooling Towers, Melville Tooling, NHP Electrical Engineering, Omegatech Drafting, QD Lighting, Robotunits Australia, Safezone Electrics, Technicad Solutions, TycoWater, Vocom Exhibition Services, OneSteel, Infinity Design, Mallet Foundry, Pixie Ice Cream, Redflow, Skyline Design, Vinidex, Beurteaux, Roscos Trademate, Tommotek, Displaywise, Ennor Engineering, Mobasco, Visimage Displays, Seattle Services, SED Manufacturing Services, Suspension Technology Aust, Able Industries, Atco Engineering, BAE Systems, Carbontech (Redback Spyder), Colour Vision Systems, Compol P/L, CSL Limited, Convair Engineering, Cridland Automation, The Elan Factory, Fosters Limited, Honeywell Australia, Lakeside Cooling Towers, Mobile Refrigerated Air, NHP Electrical Engineering, Outerspace Design Group, RMIT Product Design TAFE, Stageweld, Swinburne Engineering


[Q] How does IronCAD actually rate with software like Solid Edge, Solid Works or Inventor etc? I am currently using Alibre and find it very limited. I have used Solid Works and quite liked it at the time. IronCAD 'looks' like it would be best but I am not really sure.

[A] I think the best way to answer is to explain where most MCAD products fit in relation to each other.

At the bottom of the pile are products that lack key functionality or have simply added 'solids modeling' to an existing 'wire frame' CAD environment to allow them to say they have 'solids' - These include AutoCAD, TurboCAD, Bricscad and many others. They are literally older tecnologies with solids bolted on.

Next are the 'entry level' parametric solids modelers. These are true modelers but are typically limited in functionality or fail when certain complex designs are attemped. They often do not support good file exchange or large assemblies but are fine for smaller one-off designs. Alibre and several others fall into this category. they are usually priced at around $3000 or below.

Following up the ladder from these are the far more professional modelers. These include Inventor, SolidEdge, SolidWorks and IronCAD (in that order). Typically these are sold well above $4000 per license with an additional upgrade or support cost on an annual basis. They are comprehensive and powerful products, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

We place IronCAD at the top of this group because IronCAD has the abilities of the other products but a design approach that is far more flexible and therefore faster and easier to use or make changes to a design. IronCAD's drag and drop feature, it file structure and the way geometry is manipulated is definitley superior. As a simple example of this, there is no need to sketch a profile and extrude it every time you want a part or feature - you simply drop a pre-shaped part or feature into the scene and push, pull and attach it how you need.

From our observation IronCAD have historically been more innovative with features - these features are often then emulated by the other players in the market several years later.

Sitting above these so called mid-range MCAD solutions are products like Catia, Unigraphics, and Pro-Engineer. These top-of-the-pile mega CAD products are sold at a much higher price and cost far more to maintain. They often have far more advanced surfacing abilities and engineering FEA built-in. They are used by companies involved in projects like major aircraft design or massive engineering projects. Each year we find that the more advanced features and functionality of these top-end programs are being incorporated into the mid-range software. 

The best way to be really clear about whether IronCAD is right for you though, is to ask one of the CAD International sales engineers. Be sure to tell them exactly the sort of things you will be designing so they can advise you correctly. If IronCAD is not the best solution they will tell you so. They don't work on commission and don't want you to come and complain to them after you have made your purchase! There are a lot of factors to consider when buying so take the advice of the experts to avoid making a costly mistake.

[Q] Can I put IronCAD onto more than one machine?

[A] Yes. there are several options. You can load IronCAD software onto as many machines as you like and simply unregister and reregister your license in a simple online procedure to move the license from one machine to another. Alternatively you can purchase an optional USB license dongle that enables the software license on whichever machine the USB dongle is plugged into. Finally, if you need access to IronCAD from multiple machines at the same time on your network you can purchase a network license manager that will allow you to run as many licenses as you have purchased at the same time on any machine on the network.


[Q] Why do you need Dual Kernel Technology?

[A] This video visually explains why it is important to have both ACIS and Parasolid modeling engines.


Support and Training

Expert Technical Support

In a recent marketing study we found that the core reasons Designers and Manufacturers choose IronCAD as their preferred design tool is the excellent support, speed of use, flexibility in design and ease of learning. We are very proud of our support reputation and go the extra mile to ensure you get the best value from your purchase. Support is fast efficient and affordable. Enrol to our expert and friendly technical support today.

Expert Training

Whilst IronCAD may be the easiest and most flexible high-end CAD on the market, to maximise your investment we highly recommend our proven IronCAD Online Training Course developed in consultation with users for all users from beginner to expert. enrol in the course and get familiar with IronCAD immediately.

System Requirements

Recommended System Requirements

  • Windows 10, 8 and 7 (Home Editions are not supported)
  • 64bit only
  • Intel i7 Processor
  • 12GB of RAM or more for very large assembly work.
  • OpenGL hardware-accelerated graphics card (for best results see HOOPS Compatibility).
  • 2GB of free disk space to install.
IronCAD Online Training Bundle

IronCAD Online Training Bundle

IronCAD OnlineTraining Bundle includes the complete series in one single pack....  More...

$ 395


Native CAD translator to run alongside IRONCAD, providing read/write capability for CATIA and also read capability for Pro-E, Unigraphics, Solidworks & Inventor....  More...

$ 1490
IronCAD CAD International Support Subscription

IronCAD CAD International Support Subscription

CAD International Direct Local Support for 12 Months...  More...

$ 595
IronCAD Armor Advantage Subscription

IronCAD Armor Advantage Subscription

IronCAD Armor Advantage provides full support and all upgrades for 12 months...  More...

$ 1955


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