How Much Do Engineering Design Services Cost for Company Design R&D?

How Much Do Engineering Design Services Cost_

Whether you’re trying to design a new car, a time-saving gadget, or even a house, you’ll probably need CAD drafting services to complete these things. Engineering design involves creating a technical drawing that provides detailed information on how to make the part, product, or building they have been hired to design.

Technical drawings are critical to avoiding costly mistakes and creating a sensible road map for construction or manufacturing teams to follow. You may need several different views drawn up for clarity, or more than one part if it is a large and complex piece of equipment.

If you have a product that needs a freelance engineering design service to make, you may be wondering what the cost is. In general, you can expect an engineer’s hourly fee to be somewhere between $100 and $120 per hour, with the price of your project varying on how many hours the engineer needs to provide the drawings you need.


Certain factors can make a project cost more. If you’re wondering how much you can expect a project can be, here are a few variables that can change the cost of your project. Your project might cost as little as $800 if it is a relatively straightforward design to $3,000 or more for a highly complex set of drawings.

To figure out which end of the spectrum your project is on, you’ll need to look at a few different variations in projects.

Type of Drawings

While you may be picturing a traditional blueprint or a simple sketch, there are a wide number of mechanical engineering design services. If you’re hoping to get a complicated part manufactured, you’ll need a 3D schematic detailing the placement of every screw and rivet, while a building might be a 2D sketch.

A color drawing often costs more than a black and white drawing, and if a lot of detail is needed regardless of whether it’s a 2D or 3D project, the price will go up.

A skilled engineer can let you know what type of drawings you need, whether 2D or 3D, how many drawings would be appropriate, and why you need those particular designs.

Number of Drawings Needed

When engineering a part, it can sometimes be important to show both sides of the part, especially if they’re not asymmetrical, or to show different angles of a product to show off how it might look. Different views can be important for communicating an idea to a client or to ensure that a product is made properly.

Multiple drawings take more time to draw than a single piece and you will end up paying more for those extras.

Corrections and Other Changes

During a project, things change. You realize there is a fundamental flaw in your product or that greater cost savings without sacrificing safety if a specific piece is hollowed out. Sometimes, looking at a drawing itself is enough to realize a problem with the project and those problems will need to be corrected.

Although some civil engineers offer one free correction, many others charge for corrections. When searching for an engineer to work on your project, you may wish to ask about corrections, and how much having them done will cost you.


You may also ask whether a free correction is available only if it is the engineer’s mistake, or if a free correction is available regardless. By asking these questions, you can help clarify in advance what to expect and you won’t be surprised if you receive a higher bill.

Size and Complexity of the Drawings Involved

How many different views you need isn’t the only factor in your drawings. It’s also how complex the drawings are and their size. Large drawings will cost more than smaller drawings because they take longer to draw. The more details you include will also end up being a factor.

Things like furniture locations in an apartment or the locations of every bolt and screw in a product can all make a difference in how much it costs to draw the design.

RELATED: How to Calculate a Product Development Cost Estimation for Design & Prototype Engineering

This is another area where you may need the guidance of the particular designer to gage pricing. Even if your project is quite large, it may have a straightforward design that doesn’t necessarily mean a high cost. On the other hand, even a small product might end up with a costly design due to its complexity of it.

Education Needed

In general, architectural design services are more costly than other drafters. The price of an individual drafter will also vary depending on their location, experience, and education. Engineers typically require a bachelor’s or master’s degree and may have other certifications in drafting or CAD.

Experience may also cause prices to go up, as a newer drafter may offer their SolidWorks engineering design services at lower prices to attract their first customers. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with hiring a new engineer, and you may benefit from hiring a talented engineer at a lower price, it can be a wild card how well they perform.


Whether you are looking for someone new and perhaps more cost-effective, or reliable with the price tag to prove it, your choice will affect the total cost of the project.

Software Needed

Although this is harder to price in, the cost of the software needed can sometimes cause the price of the product to fluctuate. Different designs may need different types of CAD software to complete, and some of this software can be very expensive.

If your project happens to need more expensive software to be completed, you can expect the price tag to be a little bit higher to factor in the costs of the software.

Flat Fee or Hourly

Depending on what your needs are, you may be able to find someone who will work for a flat fee. This may be better because you will know what to expect for the size drawing you want, and you won’t be surprised by the end costs.

Flat fees are somewhat uncommon, however, and they may not apply in all situations. If you find a design engineering freelancer who offers a flat fee service, you may wish to ask about your particular circumstances, whether corrections are covered, etc.

Finding the Right Engineer

By now, you’ve probably determined which end of the spectrum your pricing will be on based on how many of these variations your project has. If you just need one or two small, simple drawings, you’re likely to be on the lower end of the spectrum. If you need lots of large and complex drawings, you’ll probably be on the higher end.


By knowing roughly how much a project costs on average, you’ll be able to discover whether you’re being offered a suspiciously low price, or if someone is asking more than average for the same amount of work.

Looking at more than one offer can also help find out if someone is offering fair market value by seeing how close the prices are. If one is extremely high or extremely low, you’ll know through comparison against other offers.

Look In the Right Places

A good prototype design engineer service will answer your questions politely and professionally. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Here are a couple of other tips on finding a qualified freelancer:Look in the right places

Most people choose to hire freelancers for engineering design services because it is the most cost-effective method for doing so. Unless you have a steady stream of projects to keep an engineer busy, only hiring a freelancer when you need one will save you from paying a salary even during downtime.

You can hire an engineer through places such as Cad Crowd, which offers prescreened freelancers that specialize in CAD software. Cad Crowd takes the extra step of protecting your data, which makes it an ideal platform if you’re concerned about the safety of your information.

Other freelancing websites include Upwork and Fiverr, which have engineers available among other freelancers.

Check Portfolios

A portfolio is the fastest way to check whether an engineer has the skills you need at the level of quality you expect. You can also see if they have experience in the field you need, such as architecture or product design and where their strengths are.

Check References

While the portfolio can help you assess skill level, the project itself isn’t all that is important. During the time you’re working together, you will likely be in regular contact, and if the engineer is delayed, your project will also end up being put on hold.


Talking to references can help you find out things that aren’t obvious from skill level alone. You can ask them if the project was completed on time or early, if the engineer was polite and professional, and if they responded to questions promptly.

Even if an engineer has great skill, if they are likely to be late or handle corrections poorly, it can make the project more costly than it needs to be.

Engineers are a critical part of many different industries and can help save money and make your product safer. Whether you’re working on a car, a new piece of technology, or a building, engineering design is an important part of your work, and finding a good one should be your top priority.

Cad Crowd’s Engineering Design Services are at Your Disposal

At Cad Crowd, we have the privilege of working with hundreds of highly qualified engineering freelancers. Our network of professionals have worked with plenty of high profile clients, including Tiffany & Co. If you’d like to get some help, contact us today for a free quote.