Dassault Systèmes CATIA is just one brand in their extensive portfolio of PLM products and solutions, specifically offering 3D design (CAD) capabilities. With such an array of solutions, it can be difficult to understand specifically which brand does what, which is why we have explained each brand in layman's terms.
CATIA is a Computer Aided Design (CAD) suite which allows users to create parametric and non-parametric models. We go into more detail about this in our What Is CATIA? blog post. As with any software, as time goes on the developers tend to update their software package which generally brings enhanced functionality as well as increased stability. This is also the case with CATIA, where generally each version has minor updates annually. CATIA V5, CATIA V6 & CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE are essentially different versions of Dassault Systèmes design suite. Although DS update each version, they are principally different. But what is the difference between them?
CATIA V5 is primarily a CAD software used for parametric and non-parametric modelling. It is capable of working alongside products with different brands. CATIA V5 essentially replaced CATIA V4 by adding additional functionality, ease of use, additional platform support, etc. CATIA V5 currently is the most widely used release in industry. CATIA V5 out of the box (OOTB) gives CAD users the abilities to not only design but also perform basic FEA analysis and basic machining without the add on of SIMULIA and DELMIA products.
The modelling side to CATIA V6 is vastly unchanged in comparison to CATIA V5. Other than the Graphical User Interface (GUI) looking completely different, it now has a Product Data Management (PDM) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system bolted on, ENOVIA. The benefits of ENOVIA bolting onto CATIA itself OOTB is that it emphasises ownership of models, eliminates modelling problems related to links management and also allows the data to be stored in one central location, thus allowing it to be access from anywhere.
CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE is essentially the next iteration of CATIA V6. It incorporates the same benefits of V6 with the additional integration of DS other brands such as SIMULIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, etc. The aim of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is to incorporate itself into other areas of a company other than the engineering office. It provides fancy web based PLM as well as the ability to view models without having to install additional applications. Not only does 3DEXPERIENCE give a change in GUI, it adds ease of use and an enriched experience overall.