This post was originally published in August 2016, and has been updated annually for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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 it’s alternatives, you may to find out which is best: SolidWorks or Solid Edge. You can also learn more about this sorfware by researching the top 5 SolidWorks forums on the web.
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.
As of the publication of this article (Oct 2019), the latest released version of the software is Solidworks 2020. Pricing is of course subject to change, so please use this guide as a reference, not as a definitive price list.
SolidWorks Price and Packages
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.
The Standard Package: The price for one license of SolidWorks Standard is $3995 with an annual maintenance fee of $1295. 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
The Professional Package: 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.)
Premium Package: 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.)
- 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
- 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.
How to Buy SolidWorks
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.
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.