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SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD is one of the most powerful and intuitive 3D CAD systems on the market. Produced by Dassault Systèmes, it is a solid modelling program that runs on Microsoft Windows.The first product was released in 1995 by SOLIDWORKS, Corporation, then based in Concord, Massachusetts

Trusted by millions

The product is currently used by over three million engineers and designers at more than 245,000 companies worldwide. The user base ranges from individuals to large corporations, and covers a very wide cross-section of manufacturing market segments. Commercial sales are made through an indirect channel, which includes dealers and partners throughout the world.

SOLIDWORKS is a solid modeller, and utilises a parametric feature-based approach to create models and assemblies. Such systems are very good at capturing the design intent of the creator of the part being worked on. Building a model in SOLIDWORKS usually starts with a 2D sketch (although 3D sketches are available for power users).

There are currently several versions of SOLIDWORKS, in addition to eDrawings, a collaboration tool, and DraftSight, a 2D CAD product.

SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD comes in three packages - Standard, Professional and Premium. What are the differences between the three? When does it make sense to upgrade?

Take a look at our matrix to see the different features of each version to help decide which is the right one for you.

Although there are many factors involved, our expert team will be pleased to look at which main functionalities you need and whether upgrading is needed to streamline your design processes.

SOLIDWORKS Standard:

A fully functional suite of SOLIDWORKS' core 3D design capabilities, allowing the rapid creation of parts, assemblies and 2D drawings. SOLIDWORKS Standard also includes some FEA capability to perform static and stress analysis on parts.

SOLIDWORKS Professional:

All the power of SOLIDWORKS Standard but with additional capabilities:

  • Extensive CAD libraries
  • SOLIDWORKS Costings
  • PhotoView 360
  • eDrawings Professional.
Ultimately SOLIDWORKS Professional will increase your productivity, ensure greater accuracy and help you to communicate design information more effectively.

SOLIDWORKS Premium:

The complete 3D design system, SOLIDWORKS Premium has the following additional features:

  • Advanced FEA simulation capabilities, allowing static, stress and motion analyses to be performed.
  • A routing feature for tooling and harnessing, including support for rectangular ducting and cable trays
  • CircuitWorks, to create enclosures for circuit boards Automated Tolerance Stack-Up Analyst (Tol Analyst) to determine sizing allowances.

Key Benefits

  • Easy to learn, easy to use
  • Customisable to fit experience and expertise
  • Wizards, experts and diagnostics tools take the complexity out of CAD, with powerful modelling tools making it easy to create the complex forms needed
  •  Sketches update automatically in the 3D CAD model
  • Powerful modelling tools produce sophisticated, beautiful forms that differentiate products in today's competitive market
  • Tools such as copy, mirror and pattern geometry automate repetitive design and development tasks
  • Quickly and easily create design variations from a single model
  • View, rotate and even fly-through complex assembly designs for more clarity
  • Check interferences, clearances and alignment throughout the full range of motion
  • Intelligent libraries of reusable parts, including intelligent fasteners that assemble themselves automatically
  • Create brochure-ready high quality product renderings selecting from a range of options for materials, textures and backgrounds; capture animations of your design to share with suppliers and customers
  • SOLIDWORKS Large Design Review will quickly open, navigate, walk-through, measure, section and create snapshot views of massive assemblies, adding annotations as you go
  • Creates comprehensive 2D drawings that are automatically linked with the 3D model - as the 3D model is modified so too is the 2D drawing updated ensuring all views are up to date and drawings are to scale
  • Standard templates and automated drawing checks streamline common design checking tasks
    Automated creation of bills of material (BOMS), balloons and annotations, plus expert tools for dimensioning and tolerancing

Resources

SOLIDWORKS Speeds Up Designing with Drones for Circumspectis

Circumspectis - SOLIDWORKS enables designing with drones

Circumspectis

The Company

Circumspectis uses the latest in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology to carry out land surveys. Founded by CAD engineer Christian Deas, the company works for a range of clients on environmental, agricultural and landscaping projects.

The Challenge

Having worked closely with farming professionals and utility firms, Christian spotted a gap in the market to improve the accuracy, cost and speed of landscape site surveys and inspections using the latest in UAV technology. Scanning the landscape with a drone, Christian needed a CAD software that could import scan data and convert it into CAD models that he could manipulate to deliver accurate site plans and construction drawings to client specifications.

The Solution

Christian has been using SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD for engineering design projects since 2001. For Circumspectis, he needed a CAD package with specific tools including Finite Element Analysis, a CAD library Toolbox, Rendering and a Product Data Management system. Christian says after evaluating other CAD systems he found SOLIDWORKS Professional was the best in terms of its user-friendly interface, affordability and CAD functionality.

For his new droning venture, Christian uses SOLIDWORKS ScanTo3D solution, which reduces the time required to build complex 3D models of real-world items. By taking 3D scan data such as point clouds and mesh, SOLIDWORKS ScanTo3D can quickly convert the information into 3D solids and surfaces.

The Results

  • Being able to offer UAV surveys as a real design solution
  • Ability to carry out site surveys, building inspections and 3D topological scanning
  • Converting the data to use in 3D modelling
  • Designing for agricultural and civil engineering projects much easier and faster

“With SOLIDWORKS I wouldn't have a business. With SOLIDWORKS we can quickly convert the 3D scan data into useable surface CAD models. It's easy to use and our design processes are significantly faster, which means we can spend more time on innovation and discovering new design applications."

Christian Deas

Founder & Managing Director, Circumspectis