SolidWorks is a solid modeling computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) computer program. SolidWorks is published by Dassault Systèmes. According to the publisher, over two million engineers and designers at more than 165,000 companies were using SolidWorks.

SolidWorks corporation was founded in December 1993 by Massachusetts Institute of technology graduate Jon Hirschtick. Hirschtick recruited a team of engineers with the goal of building 3D CAD software that was easy-to-use, affordable. Massachusetts released its first product SolidWorks 95, in November 1995.

SolidWorks is a solid modeler, and utilizes a parametric feature-based approach which was initially developed by PTC (Creo/Pro-Engineer) to create models and assemblies. The software is written on Parasolid-kernel.

Parameters refer to constraints whose values determine the shape or geometry of the model or assembly. Parameters can be either numeric parameters, such as line lengths or circle diameters, or geometric parameters, such as tangent, parallel, concentric, horizontal or vertical, etc. Numeric parameters can be associated with each other through the use of relations, which allows them to capture design intent.

Design intent is how the creator of the part wants it to respond to changes and updates. For example, you would like to the hole at the top of a beverage can to stay at the top surface, regardless of the height or size of the can. SolidWorks allows the user to specify that the hole is a feature on the top surface, and will then honor their design intent no matter what height they later assign to the can.

3D Design

SOLIDWORKS uses a 3D design approach. From the initial sketch to the final result, you create a 3D model. At this model, you can create 2D drawings or mate components consisting of parts or subassemblies to create 3D assemblies. You can also create 2D drawings of 3D assemblies. When designing a model using SOLIDWORKS, you can visualize it in three dimensions, the way the model exists once it is manufactured.


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