How to choose the right SOLIDWORKS CAD Package

By Ray Morrogh on

TriMech offers different solutions to our clients’ 3D CAD work depending on their needs. There are several things that can be helpful in determining what might be a good fit. Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding what SOLIDWORKS 3D license type is best for you.

What advanced features are essential and can streamline your work?

This is arguably the most important question you should ask yourself. SOLIDWORKS Standard is an excellent selection for all your basic 3D design capabilities, and it can allow you to create parts, assemblies and 2D drawings for manufacturing and assembly. However, there are several add-ins in the SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium suite that can make your life as a designer easier, or may be essential to your workflow. Such functionality is present in SOLIDWORKS Professional through ECAD/MCAD data sharing using CircuitWorks, Task Scheduler, which can automate batch importing and exporting of files, and advanced rendering using SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard. SOLIDWORKS Professional also comes with an eDrawings professional license, which can help you publish your drawings for easy viewing and measurement by your manufacturing partners and/or customers.


Beyond these features and several others, a SOLIDWORKS Premium license will allow you to do advanced surface flattening, an essential feature in industries that require flat patterns for manufacturing like furniture upholstery, footwear or signage, to name a few. Other robust features of SOLIDWORKS Premium are piping and tube design, as well as electrical harness and conduit design, which can save a lot of time since you can integrate these features during the design process.

5 signs you should invest in SOLIDWORKS >> 

Will you be doing any sort of simulation or analysis?

Are you looking to use simulations in your 3D design software to reduce the number of prototypes you need to get to manufacturing? Every license of SOLIDWORKS Standard comes with the ability to utilize the SOLIDWORKS SimulationXpress tool, which can be used for first-pass linear stress analysis of individual parts. If this isn’t enough for your needs, it may be worth exploring a SOLIDWORKS Premium license, which will allow you to complete linear static studies on both parts and assemblies using FEA methods. You can also complete time-based motion studies on parts and assemblies to further evaluate forces and loads in your designs.


If you still need more, SOLIDWORKS Simulation has a lot to offer, including non-linear dynamics, thermal simulation, drop testing and vibrational analysis. Click here to see some of the license types for our simulation offerings.

Advanced Simulation reduces late changes and expensive physical tests >>

How much will you be collaborating?

If you will be working on-site and collaborating on parts within the same assembly with team members, every edition of SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium comes with a license for PDM standard, which can allow for file and data management, the movement of assembly files without breaking file references, and easy access and previews of all your parts and assemblies integrated into the windows explorer interface. If you’re interested in greater functionality from PDM or how to set up a PDM server, please see our other offerings for SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and Manage, as well as our server deployment systems for setting up your vault.

How much will you be using standard hardware in your designs?

SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium licenses allow you to utilize SOLIDWORKS toolbox, which will give you access to thousands of models of standard hardware that can be integrated into your design and customized to fit your model. Are you commonly using the same features in your designs? Utilizing the library feature within toolbox makes it as easy as dragging and dropping those features into your designs to quickly repeat sets of features, which saves you time and helps bring your products to life rapidly.

Ready to choose the right CAD package? Check out all the options below.