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CAD Freelance or CAD Outsource: Which Is the Right Choice?

When you need CAD help on a project, you have a few options. Two choices are to pick a CAD freelancer or go with a CAD outsourced engineering team. Which one do you choose?

In this guide, we’ll explain the differences and benefits of both options. By the end, you’ll know which option is perfect for your specific application.

What Is a CAD Freelancer?

A CAD freelancer is a contractor that works for your company. They aren’t a full-time worker who gets benefits and a W-2 from your company. They work independently.

A CAD freelancer could work on a single project or be a longer-term partner. The distinction between a freelancer and someone on your staff is that there’s no commitment for either of you.

The freelancer could leave, or you could terminate the contract at any time. There’s no HR team that needs to get involved, the partnership just ends.

Your agreement is between your company and the freelancer themselves. It is typically an independent person who markets themself as a CAD expert, and they can offer a wide range of different services.

What Is CAD Outsourcing?

CAD outsourcing is when you pay a third-party company to handle your CAD work. This company is designed and run as a full-service CAD operation. They can have any number of employees, and their list of offered services can range dramatically.

A great CAD outsourcing company could easily have over 100 engineers on their staff and offer services from 2D CAD up to 3D plant layouts.

You would sign some form of contract between your company and the outsourced CAD company. You would also determine how long you would like to work together — it could be for a one-off project or for continued engineering support.

In most cases, you would only interact with the outsourcing manager. They would run their internal team and reach out to you with deliverables, questions, and information.

An outsourced CAD team might be a fully remote company, or they could spend some time at your site taking measurements, 3D scans, or looking at your equipment.

Benefits of CAD Freelancers

To understand the differences between these two options, let’s discuss the benefits of both options. To start, let’s look at the benefits of choosing a CAD freelancer.

The Relationship Is More Direct

The biggest selling point of a CAD freelancer is that you’re working directly with that person. You won’t have to route questions through a separate channel or deal with their boss.

Of course, this also means that there are fewer checks and balances to keep them on task. You either have to oversee their work or hope that they’re not billing you too many hours.

If you have a question or feedback, you can go right to the freelancer and talk to them.

You Can Make Space for Them in Your Office

Since you’re only bringing on a single freelancer, it’s easier to find office space for them in your building. This isn’t a requirement, but it’s typically easier to give system access to a freelancer when they’re working from your building.

If you bring on a whole team of CAD outsourced engineers, you might not have the space that they need.

They Could Be an Industry Expert

If you do enough homework, you could find an industry expert who is running a freelancing business. We’ll admit, this is definitely rare. The true industry experts either run their own CAD outsourcing team, or work for a big company.

Over the Shoulder Shot of Engineer Working with CAD Software on Desktop Computer, Screen Shows Technical Drafts and Drawings. In the Background Engineering Facility Specialising on Industrial Design

Benefits of CAD Outsourcing

Next, let’s discuss why you might choose a CAD outsourced team of engineers.

Get Quicker Delivery

It all boils down to how many engineers are working on your project. With an outsourced CAD team, you could have dozens of engineers tackling your job. This means that you’ll get delivery much faster.

At CAD/CAM Services, we offer delivery times as quick as 24 hours. If a freelancer tried handling the same project, it would probably take them days or weeks.

Pricing Is Typically Lower

CAD freelancers will typically overcharge for their services, and then take their time on the project. If you commit to an hourly wage, then they could lie about the hours they worked so they can charge even more.

With a CAD outsourced team, the pricing is often lower. Not only do you get your projects faster, but you don’t have to deal with overpaying for everyone’s time. A well-established CAD outsourced engineering team will have enough projects to keep them busy and keep the lights on, so they don’t need to scam you for your hard-earned money.

Gain Access to a Lot of Industry Experts

Every good CAD outsourcing team has a ton of industry experts on their staff. Typically, their engineers come from different working backgrounds and bring a lot of expertise with them. As a result, the team could cover dozens of different industries and specific applications.

While you’re interviewing a CAD outsource team, talk about your application and see if they have industry experts on their staff to help out.

They Tend to Be More Established and Professional

It takes a lot to put together a CAD outsourcing team, and it’s easy to become a “CAD freelancer”. CAD outsourced teams are more established and tend to be more professional. After all, they’re a legitimate company that might have been operating for decades.

Why does this matter? You can avoid paying for an engineer who doesn’t know what they’re doing. That’s right, you might pick a CAD freelancer who lied about their experience and abilities. Suddenly you’re on the hook and have to find a replacement quickly.

When you choose a legitimate CAD outsourcing team, you don’t have to worry about that. At CAD/CAM Services, you can read our customer testimonials, talk directly with our owner, or read any of our case studies. We know what we’re doing, and we always work with professionalism.

Who Should Choose a CAD Freelancer?

You should choose a CAD freelancer if you’re a small company and you just need help with a little project. The project needs to be low-impact in case the freelancer isn’t good at their job.

Onboarding a CAD freelancer can be easy, but it’s always a gamble.

Who Should Choose CAD Outsourcing?

You should choose a CAD outsourcing team if you need 2D or 3D engineering work. They are more established, offer a huge workforce, and can tackle a variety of projects.

At CAD/CAM Services, we have over 100 engineers who work around the clock to deliver CAD Perfect results.

A CAD outsourcing team can save you a lot of time and money. It frees up your engineers, and allows you to focus on growing your business.

You can even outsource little CAD projects. Maybe you have hand drawings in a backroom that need to be updated to 2D or 3D CAD drawings. No problem. At the same time, you can use the same CAD outsourced team to handle massive projects.

Need an airplane reverse-engineered? We got it.


As you just learned, CAD freelancers are a smaller-scale, riskier version of a CAD outsourced team. If you want the best results, you should always choose a CAD outsourced engineering company.

For incredible results, trust CAD/CAM Services. We’ve been operating for decades, and we can handle your small or massive project. Our huge team of expert-level engineers is always here to help. Get a free quote today.

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