Because the popular 3D CAD apps have no visible appendages to beat each other down into an oily goo or give their own opinion on medicine, politics or art, we’ve decided to see what the web has to say about how they all stack up in this regard.

To do it, we’re using a nifty little web app from Aaron Zinman and the MIT Sociable Media Group called Personas. It’s part of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit at the MIT university and an interesting way to see how your name can be used to lock you into a little house of web activity.

However, instead of a person’s name, we’ll enter the names of a few popular CAD companies – SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Alibre, Pro/E, and Inventor – to see who has more character and then poke and laugh at the results.

Let’s Generalize CAD

Time for an inaccurate characterization of CAD corporations. The first image under each company is what Personas looks like as it grabs the result. The second image is the final result. You can run a query yourself at the Personas website.

Product Design

Product design in general has a big chunk of education, but not a whole lot going for it in military or… design? Strange and obviously why this tool lacks in evaluating certain criteria.


SolidWorks is pretty beefy in the online area, but they don’t care too much for family or genealogy, according to this. Fortunately they have professional and education characteristics to make up for that.


Oooo, Inventor has a pretty good online piece as well, and they seem to have a stronger fashion sense that the rest. I would have thought the legal section to be bigger.


Pro/E. Well, obviously from this, Pro/E is really into online sports. Doesn’t make a lick of sense at all. They’re much more into the performing arts.


Alibre may have the most even results across all the categories… that is except for when it concerns legal.

Solid Edge

It’s a shame that Solid Edge puts an interest in fame over movies.They are however, doing pretty good in the online category.

What value does this provide?

Not much, there are no numbers or sources, but it does give an interesting visual about what context each is mentioned in. It may also be a rough look at the social engagement each have online and within various categories analyzed by Personas. If nothing else, it can be a simple, yet colorful computer wallpaper for your favorite 3D CAD app. enjoy.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.