How is cadasio different from CATIA Composer?

You would like to create assembly and service instructions from your CATIA CAD data and someone has mentioned CATIA Composer and you are wondering how cadasio compares to it.

Both cadasio and CATIA Composer allow you to create images from your CAD data for use in your instruction manuals, however both software have distinct differences which you need to understand before making the right decision for your business. We have highlighted what we believe to be the major considerations to make when comparing the software.

3D Output Capability

Whilst there is no doubt that printed instruction manuals still have their place, people are increasingly looking for alternatives. cadasio focuses on 3D output as we believe it to be the future. We generate 3D, interactive content which can improve the end users experience and understanding of your product whilst also reducing printing costs, making your business more sustainable.

CATIA Composer can produce 3D content. It has a separate player which allows people to view Composer documents, but who wants to download an additional viewer just to see how to assemble something? The viewer itself is based on ActiveX technology, which is so old and vulnerable to security issues that it's actually blocked on modern browsers and certainly won't work on Android or IOS devices. You need specific hardware to run Composer (see below) and the same is true for the Composer Player. Can you guarantee the people you want to share your documents with have a CAD grade computer?

On the other hand, cadasio is built using cutting edge WebGL technology. This means your projects can be viewed on any device with a modern Internet browser. Your customers will simply browse to a unique URL or scan a QR code which are automatically generated and then your project will be displayed fully in 3D on any device including phones and tablets.

2D Output Capability

CATIA Composer can create vector and raster images as well as AVI animations. We cant deny, the vector images produced are excellent, giving you crisp, scalable images. You can also create AVI movies, which have some limitations but generally can look pretty good.

Whilst cadasio can save out high quality PNG's from your projects, unfortunately at this time we cannot export vector images. However, from experience, there are a lot of people who want to create images for their instructions and service manuals who have no idea what a vector file is and no experience in using, editing or manipulating them. Consider whether this is really a must or whether a high resolution PNG file would suffice.

We are committed to making our software the best it can possibly be and like to keep our customers informed of the direction we are taking. At the moment we cannot save out an AVI animation of your project however it is on our product road map. Since projects you create in cadasio will automatically animate between steps, you may not need an AVI (or maybe any 2D output at all!) when you could just share a fully 3D animated model instead.

Cost

Let's face it, when buying anything, a huge consideration is the cost.

CATIA Composer can only be purchased from an authorised reseller. Often the pricing isn't that clear from their website and you have to request a quote. At the time of writing we could not find a definitive online quote. However, one thing you may not realise is that CATIA Composer is almost identical to SolidWorks Composer. The main difference is the ability to open CATIA files.

We found SolidWorks Composer prices ranging from $5490 to £7466 and products in the CATIA family are typically more expensive than those found in the SolidWorks catalogue. It doesn't always take into account the subscription cost that you will pay if you want to receive updates, which is typically in the region of $1000 a year.

When it comes to the cost of cadasio, a simple and transparent pricing structure is available. We offer a free version and a Professional version at $50 a month. If you find yourself reaching your project limit, you can simply purchase more. It is very likely to work out cheaper than the yearly maintenance fee a CATIA reseller would charge, plus you would not have the huge up front outlay.

Computer Equipment

CATIA Composer needs a computer with the Windows operating system and ideally a CAD graphics card in it. If you do not, you can not guarantee that it will run without issues or receive full support. Whilst the machines your CAD engineers use are no doubt suitable, are those of the person responsible for creating your instructions? Upgrading or replacing a computer just to use Composer could be very expensive, so factor this in when deciding.

cadasio will run on any modern computer. Mac, Windows, we don't mind. You won't need to buy any specific hardware. If your computer can handle our examples than you are good to go!

Training

There's an official training course for CATIA Composer. This is typically a two day course which can set you back hundreds, not only in the course fee but with the time out of the office. Compared to cadasio there is a steeper learning curve and you would be hard pushed to get up to speed with Composer without attending the course, which ultimately adds to your investment cost.

We have tried to make cadasio as user friendly and clutter free as possible. Training guides are available for you to watch at your own pace, you can access the software straight away and we would expect users to be able to pick it up very quickly with no time out of the office.

Updates

CATIA Composer provides several updates throughout its release cycle. To receive these updates you will need to be on subscription. You will also have to take time out of your day to install the updates yourself. You may also want to check out what updates have actually come out for Composer over the last few years, as most users have not found anything too meaningful for thier money.

If you prefer the idea of regular, useful updates which you automatically receive and a responsive development team, then cadasio is a wiser choice.

So should I use CATIA Composer or cadasio?

We would love you to use cadasio and hopefully the above has helped you make a more informed decision.

If you are specifically after output of SVG or CGM images then CATIA Composer is the software for you, however it comes at a cost.

No viable online 3D sharing of your manuals, high initial cost and the steep learning curve of CATIA Composer should be enough to at least consider cadasio, after all you can sign up for free now, so what have you got to lose?!

Ultimately if you are looking at updating the way you deliver you instructions and service manuals than cadasio is the choice to make.

Try cadasio for free today
All of the above was correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. If you believe any of the statements above to be factually incorrect then please let us know and we will be happy to reevaluate and amend this article.