Designing for Today: 3D Creator

By Sarah Taylor on

From the makers of SOLIDWORKS, xDesign provides powerful 3D Modeling capabilities in your browser through the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. xDesign is a cloud-based mechanical CAD tool included with SOLIDWORKS Cloud. Here are a few things you need to know about xDesign!

In the video below, I will walk you through the process of making changes to a model in xDesign. You will see how xDesign connects seamlessly to the cloud-based file management and collabDoration tools included in SOLIDWORKS Cloud on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.



The first thing you should know about xDesign is that it is fully cloud-based, as is the rest of the SOLIDWORKS Cloud Offer. This means xDesign will run in your web browser on any internet-connected device. This makes it a great option for designers who often switch between multiple computers, or those who use Macs or tablets.

Feature-based, Parametric modeling

In xDesign, your design is defined using parameters like dimensions and constraints. The workflow is very similar to that of SOLIDWORKS, where 2D Sketches are created and then used as the profile input for a 3D Feature such as an Extrude, Sweep, Revolve, etc. Within a 2D Sketch, entities are fully defined using dimensions (lengths, angles, radii, etc) and constraints (making entities perpendicular, colinear, concentric, etc). Features also contain dimensions, such as the Depth of a Cut, or the Radius of a Fillet.

3DCreator Design Features

As Features are applied to the model, they are added to the list of Design Features. This is a chronological “history” of the sketches and features that are used to build the model. Sketches and Features can be Edited, Deleted, and Reordered to change the resulting geometry of the model.

3DCreator Design Manager

Intuitive Sketch Shortcuts

Within a Sketch, design information can be quickly applied using the intuitive sketching shortcuts. Dashed lines will appear within a sketch when a Constraint can be automatically applied, such as making a line horizontal/vertical, or parallel/perpendicular to surrounding entities. For example, after drawing one circle, additional circles will have a pink dashed outline, which when snapped to, creates an equal relation between the two entities, as seen in the images below.

3DCreator 33DCreator sketch shortcut

Super Features

A unique feature of xDesign is the use of “Super Features”, where multiple types of 3D Features are combined into one interface. As Shown in the screenshot below, a 2D Profile is selected for use in a Cut Extrude. However, in the “Extrude” dialogue, the type of feature can be changed to “Add” to add solid material instead of a Cut, and it can even be changed into a Thin Feature or a Surface Body.

3DCreator extrude

Ability to change between other “xApps”

There are other design apps which come included in SOLIDWORKS Cloud. They are:

  • xFrame: Welded structural members
  • xSheetMetal: Sheet metal parts and flat patterns
  • xShape: Sub-division modeling

These specialized modeling tools add in extra functionality to meet complex modeling needs. Each of the “xApps” share a similar working environment, and the user can switch between apps with just one click.

Want to know the differences between SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS? This on-demand webinar covers the key differences in each version’s ecosystem and how they benefit your team. The time may be just right for switching to cloud connectivity and taking advantage of these cloud-based tools!