SolidWorks Standard vs Professional

  • SolidWorks Standard contains the core capabilities of the SolidWorks software
  • SolidWorks Professional includes upgraded features for improved efficiency and accuracy
  • Standard is for the casual user, Professional for the everyday user
  • The major benefit of the Professional package is increased productivity and time-saving

Solidwork Standard vs Professional

What differences can be ascertained between SolidWorks Standard vs Professional? The results to this commonly asked question depend on a variety of factors that affect how each package will work and which version will be right for the user. Also read about SolidWorks prices in the UK and the US.

Many users will make the choice between SolidWorks Standard and Professional as they are starting a project, others will be considering the upgrade from the Standard to the Professional package. This of course depends on what both packages offer. Fortunately we have compiled the features of both with the main differences in functionality in order to aid any potential users in making their decision:

SolidWorks Standard

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.

There is also the FeatureWorks add-in that enables the user to carry out parametric feature recognition on dumb solids like Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) or Standard for the Exchange of Product Data (STEP) files, so you don’t have to start from the beginning.

An extensive list of SolidWorks Standard features consist of:

2D Drawings: Create 2D drawings that are ready for production and will communicate how the design will be manufactured and assembled.

3D Animations and Basic Rendering: Easily and quickly create animations and images to represent the design functionality and intent.

3D CAD Modeling: Increase efficiency, reduce expenses and speed up the design process with 3D CAD modeling that sports virtual testing and lifelike visualization.

CAD Import and Export: Accelerate design, increase productivity, reduce development costs and save time on projects by converting CAD data into the desired format for that certain project. The aforementioned 3D Interconnect enables models from other CAD software to be connected.

Design Analysis: Check the performance and operation of the design as you create it with the analysis feature and simulations.

Interference Check: Make sure that parts will fit into assemblies, and assemblies will operate properly together.

Large Assembly Design: The design of large assemblies can be simplified with straightforward tools that will create, manage and visualize the complex designs that may contain upwards of 100,000 individual parts.

Mold Design: Mold design, product design and validation are all fully integrated and update all part files automatically. This enables changes all the way up to the final manufacturing.

Sheet Metal: Cost-effectively and quickly create a vast array of sheet metal parts using various dynamic tools to achieve the desired finished product.

Weldments: Designs that include extrusions are easily created along with a bill of materials and cut lists to simplify the design and creation of welded bases, frames and structures.

Find out more in the below video by SolidWorks detailing their SolidWorks 3D CAD software:

SolidWorks Professional

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.

SolidWorks toolbox is a built-in library of over a million standard components (bolts, screws, nuts etc.) that auto-size and smart-mate themselves when inserted into assemblies.

Two photo rendering applications are included in SolidWorks Professional, SolidWorks Visualize which is a standalone application for creating magazine quality professional renders and PhotoView 360 for making quick concept renders while working inside SolidWorks.

There is also SolidWorks Costing so you can consider cost estimates for various design ideas and alternatives before creating a prototype, and the task scheduler for automating common tasks like batch printing and file conversions.

Solidworks Design Toolbox
SolidWorks Professional showcasing its Design Toolbox feature in the right-hand side menu

An extensive list of SolidWorks Professional features include:

Advanced Photorealistic Rendering: Solidworks Visualize Standard is used by content creators, engineers and designers to create designs with relative ease and efficiency. High-quality content is used in the beginning of the design workflow, so better design decisions can be made and early feedback can be received from potential customers and sales teams.

CAD Library: Libraries of pre-built 3D CAD models and more CAD data can be found in SolidWorks Toolbox, which help reduce development expenses, speed up the design process and save time, while increasing productivity.

Design Collaboration: eDrawings Professional software is used to accelerate the design process, encourage collaboration and increase efficiency by viewing and sharing SolidWorks 2D drawings and 3D models through an email format.

Design for Manufacturability: Verify manufacturability and evaluate designs of a product early in the development process. This reduces development costs, saves time, speeds up the project timeline and improves productivity.

ECAD/MCAD: Using the CircuitWorks tool, make data available to electrical CAD and mechanical CAD (ECAD/MCAD) designers.

File Management: Users and workgroups can use SolidWorks PDM Standard to restrict their design changes, administer project data, control who accesses files and speed up project timelines.

Manufacturing Cost Quoting & Estimation: Avoid redesigns, save time and reduce expenses by continuously evaluating designs against budgets with cost estimation tools in SolidWorks Costing.

Reverse Engineering: Create new designs based on existing ones using SolidWorks ScanTo3D.

Standards Checking: Create standards for design and check drawings using SolidWorks Design Checker, to create consistent designs which aids in the progress of the overall project.

Task Scheduling: The user can avail of Task Scheduler to run the system while they are not physically at their desk. It runs intensive processes like batch exporting, printing and importing in the background.

Tolerance Analysis: Check tolerances and dimensions with SolidWorks TolAnalyst software, this will help to check the viability of the design before it is created.

SolidWorks Visualize Professional showing just how good renders can become when created accurately.
SolidWorks Visualize Professional showing just how good renders can become when created accurately.

SolidWorks Premium

SolidWorks has a third tier in its CAD packages, this uppermost tier is called SolidWorks Premium. It includes more features again; more FEA capability, allowing work on static, stress and motion on assemblies and parts, a routing feature for harnessing and tooling, CircuitWorks, and many more!

Will Upgrading to SolidWorks Professional Improve My Design Process?

This answer generally depends on the project that you are working on, but SolidWorks Professional was made to improve accuracy, increase efficiency and help to communicate design information. If you are a casual user that does not work on SolidWorks frequently or may not be very familiar with the software, maybe the upgrade is not for you. But for the vast majority of users, the upgrade will benefit your workflow and output.

Does this answer the previously asked question, “What differences can be ascertained between SolidWorks Standard vs Professional?”. Let us know with a comment down below!



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