Headphones created with industrial design

What is industrial design software?

Industrial design software helps users create, analyze, visualize, and communicate design intent and aesthetics before building a physical prototype. Many of the everyday products we use have been designed through industrial design software, from tablets to headphones to cars.

Types of 3D modeling used in industrial design

  • Use polygonal modeling tools for concept modeling


    Polygonal modeling software is used in industrial design for concept modeling and is useful for quick ideation.

  • Use surface modeling software to create and adjust precise freeform surfaces


    Surface modeling software is used widely across industrial design and lets designers create and adjust freeform 3D surfaces with high precision.

  • Create 3D models, assemblies, and drawings with solid modeling tools


    Solid modeling software is used to create 3D models, assemblies, and drawings.

  • Change parameters in the software with parametric modeling


    With parametric modeling, you can change parameters in the software, altering the shape of the design based on those values.

How is industrial design software used?

  • Astro Studios customer story

    Astro Studios

    See how San Francisco–based industrial design company Astro Studios designed its Minus 8 watches and even its packaging with Alias.

  • Radical Transport Moov video

    Radical Transport

    See how Dallas startup Radical Transport developed its electrical rideable, the Moov, with the help of Inventor.

  • Scriba customer video

    Scriba customer video

    A different type of stylus for the sketcher/designer/artist of today. Follow the journey of Scriba from an idea to a viable product, thanks to Fusion 360.

Product Design Manufacturing Collection

Product Design & Manufacturing Collection

Make anything with our best Inventor, with integrated
tools for advanced simulation and 5-axis CAM.
Collection also includes access to Fusion 360, helping
you get on the path to the future of making things with
our cloud-based product innovation platform.

Free industrial design software


We offer free Autodesk software for students and educators. Use the same industrial design software as top professionals around the world.


Fusion 360 offers free use to qualifying startup and hobbyist makers through a simple 3-step activation process.

Industrial design resources

  • Use these foundation tutorials to explore the world of industrial and car design using the powerful set of tools in Alias.

  • Whether you’re just getting to know Inventor or are a seasoned 3D CAD user, check out these tutorials to see how you can put Inventor to work for you.

  • Experience the power of cloud-based 3D CAD. Learn 3D modeling and 3D printing with beginning and advanced tutorials.

  • Learn about industrial designer and design-studio owner Danielle Trofe, the award-winning Mush-Lume innovator.

  • Find out how Hack Rod founding partner Felix Holst capitalized on professional detours to create a successful industrial design career.

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