Solidworks: definition, functionality and scope

Solidworks offers a comprehensive package of solutions for various design requirements. From the initial idea to the creation of the design and manufacturing, the tool promises to be by your side. We have listed below the exact options you have and the costs associated with them.

The most important facts in brief:

  • Solidworks is a 3D CAD program and was developed by Dassault Systèmes
  • As early as 1995, the first version of the program was launched
  • The license can be purchased for a Standard, Professional and Premium version
  • The possibilities in the software are versatile and complex
  • Solidworks is aimed primarily at experienced users and companies and is less suitable for beginners

Solidworks: Definition: How it works and what it covers

Solidworks is a 3D CAD program that is widely used, especially in industry. The product enables the process from idea and sketch to prototype manufacturing. Along the way, Solidworks works with all sorts of tweaks and special features, such as fluid rendering, different visualization options, and productivity tools.

Using Solidworks in the 3D printing process

Solidworks is good to use in the 3D printing process for modeling individual parts or entire assemblies. Furthermore, you can also use the tool to first design 2D drawings, refine them and then create the objects with your 3D printer. Due to the versatile possibilities and functions, such as the automation of constructions, Solidworks is rarely used in the private sector.

Solidworks file formats

  • ACIS
  • WIRE
  • FBX
  • MAYA
  • DAE
  • 3DXML
  • ICEM
  • Pro/E
  • Creo
  • DXF
  • DWG
  • IGES
  • OBJ
  • X_T
  • X_B
  • 3DM
  • JT
  • SKP
  • PRT
  • PAR
  • ASM
  • STEP
  • STL
  • U3D
  • VDA

Solidworks: costs, trial version and operating systems

Solidworks is not a free program, but is offered under a paid license. We have listed everything about the costs, compatible operating systems and possible trial versions here.

Cost & trial version

The cost of Solidworks depends on the particular variant. The standard version is available for a price of around 6,930€. A good 8,500€ are due for the Professional version, and 10,450€ for the Premium variant.

In a free trial version you can use the program free of charge for the time being. However, its use is limited to a short period of time.

Version for students, educational institutions

Solidworks provides its own licensing models for students and universities. The student edition, for example, can be purchased starting at 99€ per year and offers the complete suite of design and simulation tools.

Supported operating systems

By default, Solidworks only supports the Windows operating system. However, using an application like Boot Camp, you can also use the program on a device running macOS.

Advantages and disadvantages of Solidworks in 3D printing

We have clearly listed all the advantages and disadvantages of Solidworks in 3D printing for you below:


  • Complex and precise machining possible
  • Compatible with a wide range of file formats
  • Flexible range of applications in numerous industries
  • Free trial version available


  • High cost
  • Not suitable for beginners


If you are looking for an application to work at the highest level, you will find it with Solidworks. The program is paid and not necessarily in a price range for home users. However, the enormous functions and possibilities make the tool especially interesting for the industry. If you still want to breathe the air of such a program, you can use the free trial version.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions & answers about Solidworks

Solidworks is not suitable for beginners. The application is very complex and also involves high acquisition costs.

Solidworks offers a tremendous range of functions. From the creation of 2D models to 3D modeling and simulation, the tool covers numerous features.

Solidworks is not an application that can be learned and perfected quickly. It's not for nothing that the company behind the product provides a variety of guides and advisors.

Students can purchase Solidworks at a discounted rate. This is associated with a cost of 99€ per year and thus costs only a fraction of the regular version.

Solidworks is available in a free trial version. This is bound to a short test period, during which all functions of the full version can be used.