Catia V5 PLM Express

If you struggle to understand the different editions of CATIA V5 you are not alone!

Most of our customers have a PLM Express edition of CATIA V5 which has been created especially for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises).   Companies of all sizes and from all industries need a fast, easy-to-use, and affordable solution to manage their product development from design to manufacturing.

What is Catia V5 PLM Express?

The CATIA V5 PLM Express edition is a modular solution which means customers can buy the functionality they need.  This functionality generally comes in the form of pre-configured packages or configurations which is normally at a lower cost they buying specific functionality and generally with more capabilities.

The starting configuration for CATIA V5 PLM Express is usually a CAT licence.  This is the basic configuration which more capability can be added to.    The functionality included within a CAT configuration license includes simple Assembly Design, Drafting, simple knowledge workbenches, simple Part Design and simple Wireframe and Surfacing.  It also includes some SmarTeam licenses.

There is now a new CATIA V5 PLM Express starting configuration, this is the CAT3DX.  This contains the same CATIA V5 functionality as a CAT but also provides an entry level into Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience Platform for a CATIA V5 user.

What are the typical configurations?

Most users add additional functionality to a CAT licence, the most common licenses are the MCE – Mechanical Product Creation configuration, the HDX –  Mechanical Shape Design configuration and the FPE – Fabricated Product Creation configuration, which create combinations of configurations such as CAT+MCE+HDX+FPE.

Typical Configurations are:

CAT+MCE – Mechanical Design

CAT+MCE+HDX – Complex Surface Design

CAT+FPE – Sheet Metal Design

CAT+GAE – FEA Analysis

CAT+MCE+CPX – Composite Design

Finding ways to reduce design-to-manufacturing cycle times is often a key priority for our customers.  An accurate virtual definition of mechanical products is the answer but sometimes its construction is time consuming and design changes are complicated.  Companies require a solution that is highly productive and flexible, without compromising design accuracy.


The MCE – Mechanical Product Creation provides a solution for this, it enables customers to develop high-quality mechanical products quickly.  This configuration provides further capabilities to those available within the CAT configuration in Assembly Design and Part Design but and also introduces surfacing capabilities via Generative Shape Design and moulded part design via Functional Molded Part design.


The HDX – Mechanical Shape Design configuration provides a unique modelling approach for the creation of high-end mechanical shapes and the intuitive manipulation of free-form surfaces.  This solution for the creation of high-quality surface modelling promotes efficient concurrent engineering between styling and shape design.  This configuration adds further capabilities for surfacing and introduces Freestyle Shape Design and Developed Shape Design to help generate those complex shapes.


The FPE – Fabricated Product Creation configuration is dedicated to the rapid design of sheet metal parts. Users will be able to take into account manufacturing constraints early in the design.  In this way, they can create sheet metal parts that are fully compliant with company rules and standards for efficient manufacturing.  This configuration as the name suggests includes capabilities to assist with the design of fabrication such as Sheetmetal Design and Weld Design.

There are a number of additional capabilities and configurations that can be added to a CAT or CAT3DX, such as electrical, styling, mechanical, equipment, optimization and review and manufacturing.  If a CATIA V5 PLM Express edition of CATIA V5 is of interest or you require any further information then please contact us at Majenta Solutions.


Written by:


Chris Stock, Technical Account Manager.

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