What 3D Modeling Software is required

Hi, I am brand new to UE and have been tasked with creating VR experiences (Engineering Assembly and factory layout). Right now, I am after what I need more than how to actually do it. My native CAD format I’m working with is SolidWorks and Pro Engineer.

I’ve been tinkering for a few days and was successful in bringing Solidworks models into UE via Datasmith. Overall it worked very well in terms of the CAD integrity, materials, and colors. Most of the training material for UE when it comes to modeling, meshes, and materials refers to 3DS Max or Sketchup. My question is are these software really necessary or is it possible to work directly between SolidWorks/ProE and UE?

I don’t really want to purchase additional modeling software, but if it’s what makes sense I need to understand why.

Also, which of these are necessary or best (3DS Max, Maya, Sketch up Pro, Sketch up Studio)

Blender is good and free.

You could probably get away with just using Blender for the few cases that you need a modeling application.

Having an alternative to Solidworks might be useful for things like editing normals, UVing, foliage, fabric/organic models, animation, etc.

Thank you so much! This is very helpful!

I believe the Unreal Studio Datasmith plugin actually has support for Solidworks, meaning you can just export directly from there to UE4.