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.


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.


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


Streamlining Control Valve Development and Production with SOLIDWORKS

Whuzong Instruments

Wuzhong Instrument Co. Ltd (WZI)

The Company

Wuzhong Instrument Co. Ltd (WZI) is a leading global manufacturer of industrial control valve products. The company's control valves, which became the preferred solution in the Chinese industrial market throught the 1980s and 1990s, are now exported to markets around the world. Today, WZI produces a complete range of control valve products - including ball valves, butterfly valves, and speciality valves which are used for automation purposes in the petroleum, natural gas, chemical, power metallurgy, paper, pharmaceutical, food processing and environmental protection industries.

The Challenge

Transition from 2D to 3D design to take advantage of finite element analysis (FEA) tools and extend the use of 3D CAD technology beyond design to support a more efficient and cost-effective model-based definition approach to manufacturing.

The Solution

Implementing the SOLIDWORKS 3D product development platform. After evaluating the Pro/ENGINEER and SOLIDWORKS 3D design systems, WZI chose SOLIDWORKS software because it is easy to use, supports model-based definition manufacturing, and provides the best combination of functionality and price.

When WZI transitioned to SOLIDWORKS design software the company's designers and engineers immediately benefited from the software's capabilities. The ability to create a family of model configurations using a design table that is linked to the initial design produced substantial time savings - reducing the process from a week to one day - and the application of interference detection tools helped to minimise design errors.


  • Cut dimensioning time by 40 percent
  • Reduced NC code generation time by 80 percent
  • Decreased configuration modelling time from one week to one day
  • Shortened R&D prototyping by six months.

"We decided to define everything in 3D, populate our 3D models with product manufacturing information - such as tolerancing, dimensioning, process card, and routing sheet information - and output SOLIDWORKS models to automatically generate NC code and SOLIDWORKS eDrawings instead of paper to more efficiently drive production."

Chang Zhandong
Project Manager, Wuzhong Instrument Co., Ltd