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CAD Industry to Maintain Solid Growth Despite Poor US Economy

The global CAD (computer-aided design) industry will grow to over $8.2 billion by 2012 based on the latest research by Jon Peddie Research, according to its latest 2008 CAD Report. The Macintosh segment remains modest but will grow with the rest of the industry


Jon Peddie Research has announced its 2008 CAD Report, an industry-leading analysis of the global CAD industry. The report indicates that the CAD industry continues to grow at a healthy rate (15% for the year 2008) due to several key factors and will continue to grow at this rate through 2012.

The report notes that the CAD industry has been undergoing a remarkable renaissance over the last five years as a result of several factors. Most notable among these are hardware advances such as 64-bit computing, multi-core processors in the mainstream and a broadening acceptance of 3D techniques.

Revenue and Growth

According to JPR’s research, CAD software vendors saw combined revenues of $5.2 billion (USD) in 2007 globally. The CAD software market grew by an astounding 20% in 2007 compared to 2006. Despite a very poor US economy and the threat of US recession, the CAD industry will continue its positive economic trend and will grow to over $6 billion (USD) in 2008. Looking out five years the global CAD software market will reach and exceed $8.2 billion (USD).

The Mac in Global CAD

The 2008 CAD Report contains a section on CAD for the Mac. Revenues and share of CAD on Apple’s Mac platform remains modest overall and are concentrated around more creative disciplines and market sectors, principally in the AEC subset.

The market looks at the industry from two major subsets: Mechanical/Manufacturing and AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction).

The Macintosh CAD market exceeded $122 million (USD) in 2007. The German company Nemetschek, which has acquired Graphisoft (ArchiCAD) and previously has owned Nemetschek North America (VectorWorks) owns most of the market for Macintosh CAD.

2D and 3D

In 2007 the worldwide installed base of CAD users reached 5.31 million. In 2007 the majority of CAD users (63%) are still working in 2D, while 37% work in 3D. However, revenues for 3D CAD surpassed 2D CAD taking 53% of the market. This trend will continue but JPR makes note that not all 2D CAD users will make a transition to 3D CAD.

In some cases a transition from 2D to 3D CAD means a change of job description. However, those 2D CAD users who do make the transition to 3D can expect to see increased job prestige and increased income.

The JPR report also notes that there is a trend for CAD software companies to decrease the price of 2D only CAD programs and that there is a slow encroachment of 2D CAD programs offered for free by companies hoping to woo 2D users to their 3D products.

Obtaining the 2008 CAD Report

The 2008 CAD Report is available from Jon Peddie Research now and is priced at $5,000 for a single license and $7,500 for a site wide license. The table of contents is available online for viewing here. For more information go to:

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