This article is a SolidWorks price guide for the United States. For British prices, please see SolidWorks prices in the UK section of this article.
How much does it cost to buy SolidWorks?
As an engineer interested in SolidWorks, the first question is usually ‘how much does it cost?’. Since the company does not publish its pricing on their website (they ask for your contact info for a custom quote and will send these details to a local reseller in your area), this SolidWorks Price Guide was created to give you an idea of what you should expect to pay for each version of the software. Pricing is of course subject to change, so please use this guide as a reference, not as a definitive price list.
SolidWorks Price Guide
SolidWorks comes in three packages namely; Standard, Professional, and Premium. Each version can be purchased with an annual maintenance plan that will give you access to support and upgrades. This annual maintenance fee is optional.
SolidWorks Standard price
The price for one license of SolidWorks Standard is $3995 with an annual maintenance fee of $1295. You may find it interesting to learn that this price has not changed since 1996 when it was first released, so no surprises there! Term licenses are also available at $810 per 3 months or $2700 per year. The Standard package contains the most common features as listed below:
- 3D Modelling
- Sheet Metal
- Plastic Parts
- Mold Design
- Simulation (Static Stress Only)
- CAM Standard
SolidWorks Professional price
The price for one license of SolidWorks Professional is $5490 with an annual maintenance fee of $1495. Term licenses are also available at $1080 per 3 months, or $4600 per year. The premium package includes all the Standard package features as well as those listed below:
- Photorealistic Rendering
- Part Libraries
- Circuit Works
- SolidWorks PDM Standard
- Cost Estimation
- Simulation (Frequency, Buckling, Thermal, Drop Test, etc.)
SolidWorks Premium price
The price for one license of SolidWorks Premium is $7995 with an annual maintenance fee of $1995. Term licenses are also available at $1450 per 3 months or $4825 per year. The premium package includes all the Standard & Professional package features as well as those listed below:
- Pipe, tube, duct and wire routing
- Environmental Impact Analysis
- Structural part and assembly analysis
- Advanced surface flattening
- Simulation (Topology optimisation, non-linear materials, large deformations, etc.)
SolidWorks features by package
|3D part & assembly modelling||Includes everything in Standard PLUS:||Includes everything in Professional PLUS:|
|2D drawings & detailing||PhotoView 360 & Visualize Standard||Structural part & assembly analysis|
|Large assembly designs||Toolbox||Motion analysis|
|Advanced surface design||Design for cost & cost estimation||Offloaded simulation|
|Sheetmetal design||ECAD/MCAD collaboration (CircuitWorks)||Advanced surface flattening|
|Configurations||Task scheduler & batch processing||Routing: (pipes/tubes/electrical/wiring)|
|Interfaces||Design checker||Stress hot spots|
|Animations & visualisation||PDM Standard||3D Interconnect: CATIA|
|Xpress software||Tolerance stack-up analysis|
|FeatureWorks||Reverse Engineering (scan to 3D)|
|Magnetic Mates & Mate Controller|
SolidWorks Student price
How much does SolidWorks Student cost? For students, they offer a Student Version for $150, which can be purchased directly through the website. The student version is a time-limited version that works for one year and has almost all of the full-size features, but with some minor modifications that make it unsuitable for commercial applications. Check out our SolidWorks Student Edition: free and licensed versions overview article.
SolidWorks Educator version
An educator version for college professors, which includes all of the normal functionality with built –in courses and interactive lessons. Educational licenses are normally priced in bulk, so you’ll need to get a quote from an authorized reseller to purchase it.
SolidWorks for Start-ups (SolidWorks for Entrepreneurs)
If your business is less than 3 years old, you are not currently using SolidWorks, and have an idea for a physical product that you plan to design using CAD and eventually manufacture, you may be eligible for SolidWorks for Entrepreneurs program. This program provides start-ups with free software, traning and co-marketing resources.
SolidWorks Accelerator & Incubators
If you are an accelerator, incubator, SEED/VC fund or startup-enabling organization, you may be eligiable to participate in SolidWorks Accelerator & Incubators program. You will receive SolidWorks premium software products, online training, certification, co-marketing opportunities (participation in events, promotion on social media and email campaigns), design guidance and access to knowledge resources (white papers, videos etc.).
SolidWorks’ buying options
SolidWorks Perpetual license
If you prefer to own the license outright, SolidWorks Standard will cost $3995, but in order to receive annual updates and maintenance, you will have to pay $1295 on top every year. So, it is very much like renting anyway, except for the fact that even if you stop paying the annual fee, you will still own the licence which never expires – hence the name.
SolidWorks Perpetual Standalone License
This is a license intended for a single user. Once installed, it can only be used by one used on one computer. You can move the licence to a different machine by utilising the activate/deactivate mechanism. Once the licence is activated you no not need access to the internet.
SolidWorks SNL (Perpetual Floating License)
The Floating licence (SNL) can be used by multiple users, but not at the same time. It can only be used if nobody else is using it at the time you access it. These licences are used by the business where there are several ad-hoc SolidWorks users as it is the most cost-effective solution.
SolidWorks Term license
If you would prefer to rent, you can go for the Term licence, priced at $810 per 3 months or $2700 per year. This is a great option for most small businesses and self-employed engineers due to its minimal cash flow drain.
More than 20 pieces of software can be rented under term licences, with prices ranging from $300 to $4,000 for a 6-month rental, depending on the type of software.
The following additonal SolidWorks software can be rented with the Term license
- Electrical Schematic Professional
- Flow Simulation
- Flow Simulation Electronic Cooling Module
- Flow Simulation HVAC Module
- Inspection Professional
- Inspection Standard
- PDM Professional CAD Editor
- Plastics Premium
- Plastics Professional
- Plastics Standard
- Simulation Premium Term License
- Simulation Professional Term License
- Simulation Standard Term License
- Visualize Boost
- Visualize Professional
- Visualize Standard
SolidWorks Term licence vs. Perpetual licence
Each of the options has its pros and cons, if we look at the cost of the bare licences without any add-ons, then it’s only cost-effective to buy a Perpetual licence if you plan to own it for over 5 years. This is unless you are happy to never receive any updates, which will quickly cause problems due to software compatibility issues – we talking about all related software, not just SolidWorks (eg. Operating system).
UK Subscription model (Perpetual pricing model)
- SolidWorks Standard – £1,200 to £1,500 (software price approx. £4,500)
- SolidWorks Professional – £1,500 to £1,800 (software price approx. £5,800)
- SolidWorks Premium – £1,800 to £2,100 (software price approx. £7,000)
UK Term licenses
Term licenses can be a cost-effective and flexible way to use SolidWorks if you only need to use it for a short time period. Rentals are offered in 6- or 12-month increments.
- SolidWorks Standard – £2,200 per year
- SolidWorks Professional – £2,800 per year
- SolidWorks Premium – £3,400 per year
Unlike some other CAD packages, SolidWorks can’t be purchased directly through the manufacturer’s website (aside from the Student version). The only way to purchase it is through a certified reseller also known as a certified value-added reseller (VAR). SolidWorks has over 1,000 VARs across the globe, of which over 250 are in the US. Such resellers offer technical support, training and other services related to SolidWorks and CAD in general.
How does SolidWorks purchase process work?
- Once you contact one of the value-added resellers, you will be invited to observe a demo which will help you decide if SolidWorks is right for you.
- Next, you will be provided with a detailed quote that will include all the products you expressed interest in, their prices and any other additional products and services VAR considered suitable for you.
- Once your organisation officially agrees to pay, it takes less than a week to complete your order. Following the completion, you will be provided with all the software and instructions by your VAR. Your SolidWorks training will be scheduled.
Find SolidWorks reseller near you
- Locate a Commercial SolidWorks reseller in the US, UK or anywhere in the world.
- Find SolidWorks Educational reseller anywhere in the world.
- Or see all SolidWorks resellers on the map.
Here’s a list of certified UK resellers with a map.
Is SolidWorks right for you
SolidWorks is one of the most popular CAD packages on the market. It is owned by Dassault Systemes (who are also the owner of Abaqus). Its robust 3D modeling, drawing, and assembly modules are known for being easy to learn and extremely powerful, with many additional functions available for everything from sheet metal components to electrical system design to finite element analysis.
In case you are still torn between SolidWorks and its alternatives, you may want to find out which is best for you: SolidWorks or Solid Edge. You can also learn more about this software by researching the top 5 SolidWorks forums on the web. Here are some more articles that you might find useful, a lot of them have screenshots and “how to” instructions and will give you a good idea about how SolidWorks works:
- SolidWorks PDM – What it does, How to Use it, and How much it costs
- 5 of the Most Interesting Updates in SolidWorks 2020
- SolidWorks System Requirements and Computer Recommendations
- Revolved Cut: Creating Revolved Features in Solidworks
- SolidWorks Motion Study Tutorial
- SWOOD – the woodworking design software for SolidWorks
- Solidworks Hole Wizard Tutorial
- How to Change Units in SolidWorks. Using Units and Dimensions in SolidWorks
- How to create Renderings in Solidworks if your ‘Render Tools Tab’ is missing
- How to fix the SolidWorks error – “The Sketch is open, self-intersecting or intersects the centreline”
- 3D Printing Software overview
- What is PTC Creo
- Top AutoDesk Software in 2020: AutoCAD, Fusion 360, Inventor and Revit
- AutoCAD vs. SolidWorks
Choosing between SolidWorks Standard and SolidWorks Professional
For a detailed overview of these two packages, please read SolidWorks Standard vs Professional article. Here’s a brief description of the packages:
SolidWorks Standard Package
SolidWorks Standard is designed for the casual user who needs the core capabilities of drawings and part assemblies, including sheet metal, surfacing, weldments and mold tools, and it also includes 3D Interconnect to enable the user to incorporate CAD files from other systems into their design without translation.
SolidWorks Professional Package
SolidWorks Professional includes everything that SolidWorks Standard features, but adds in several features intended to boost productivity for the everyday user who needs to get through their work faster and more efficiently.
Free CAD Tools
In addition to their heavy-duty software, there are a handful of free tools available on the website that interface with their main CAD packages.
eDrawings viewer is a free tool for opening and viewing SolidWorks drawings, this is ideal if you want to review a file but don’t have access to SolidWorks. It can be downloaded for free on the Free Tools page.
In addition, you can download Draftsight, a 2D CAD program, a CAD file manager called SolidWorks Explorer, and several other useful applications from the same page.
SolidWorks is a very powerful CAD package that can be customised to suit your specific requirements. Whether you just create 3D models, or you need to design a product from concept to manufacturing, SolidWorks will have what you need. This SolidWorks price guide can be used as a baseline to understand the market rate for a single license. However, contact a reseller in your area for more accurate pricing.
This post was originally published in August 2016, and has been updated annually for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.