This week, we have launched a new version of SOLIDWORKS known as 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS, or “SOLIDWORKS Connected.” This new version of SOLIDWORKS offers a different way of thinking about our favorite design tool, and while it is SOLIDWORKS, it works differently than the version we’ve been using for the past few decades.


Always Connected

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is deployed and run from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It is a locally-installed Windows application, with the same system requirements as SOLIDWORKS Desktop. However, since it’s licensed through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, installation is much simpler. There are no questions about serial numbers, SNL servers, or file locations – everything is automatically handled through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

In order to use 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS, you must be connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which means you need to have an active internet connection. Your SOLIDWORKS designs are automatically stored in the cloud, so your data is always accessible from anywhere – no more VPNs! In fact, since your SOLIDWORKS designs are always on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, that means you can view your data from anywhere, on any device, using the browser-based tools that all platform users have access to. Which also means that anyone else in your company with access to the platform can do that, too.

Built-In, Cloud-Based Data Management

“Where is that file? Is it the latest one?” are two questions you won’t be wrestling with when using 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS. Your files are always in the cloud, and every file is managed with simple revisions. No more hunting through folders on network drives, and no more wondering if there is a later version of the file in some other network folder or local folder that you missed.

SOLIDWORKS Connector for Data Management
Using 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS or regular SOLIDWORKS with the Collaborative Designer For SOLIDWORKS platform role, your designs are managed automatically in the cloud.

Collaborations Made Easy

The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform is completely web-based, so anyone can access information from anywhere using any device. Communities and tasks are built into the platform, as is the ability to view and link to files – including 3D files. You won’t need to be looking through emails to find the latest concept, or recall a colleague’s feedback, because you can capture it all in your project communities. It’s like Teams or Slack, except all of your CAD data is there, connected and available. 

3DEXPERIENCE Communities
Collaborating through 3DEXPERIENCE Communities keeps everyone informed and up-to-date without endless email strings and “Reply All” issues.

Complimentary Browser-Based CAD Tools

With any of the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS offers, you get bundled the browser-based part and assembly modeling tool called xDesign as part of the included 3D Creator platform role. With 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium offers, you also get the subdivisional modeling tool known as xShape as part of the included 3D Sculptor role. These additional tools can come in handy when you’re away from your SOLIDWORKS workstation, or when you want to created highly-sculpted shapes quickly and easily. Models created in these “xApps” are managed in the same cloud space as your SOLIDWORKS files, and they can be incorporated into your SOLIDWORKS designs with just a drag-and-drop.

Example of subdivision (Sub-D) modeling
The 3D Sculptor platform role that comes with 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium gives you access to the powerful subdivisional modeling tool known as SOLIDWORKS xShape.

The Same, But Different

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS really IS the same SOLIDWORKS we know and love, but with a few differences. We already talked about how it’s installed and run from the cloud, and how all of its data is saved and managed in the cloud. There are some other differences to consider, however.

  • Ancillary SOLIDWORKS Desktop apps and third-party tools are not supported. There are, however, tools available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to provide functionality similar to the desktop integrated apps – instead of using SOLIDWORKS CAM, for example, you would use CAM offered in the DS DELMIA brand. Rather than using SOLIDWORKS PDM, you would use the built-in data management tools on the platform (which we call ENOVIAWORKS).
  • Configurations are handled a bit differently on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, and there are some other technical considerations for prospective users of 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS.

If you’re a current user of SOLIDWORKS Desktop at your company, you will definitely talk with us here at GSC to discuss your specific use case. I think most existing customers will stick with SOLIDWORKS Desktop for the time being, but there is a way to connect that tool to the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, as well…

Connecting Your Existing SOLIDWORKS

For people who love their SOLIDWORKS Desktop environment and related tools, we have a way to get your SOLIDWORKS connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform and take advantage of all the secure cloud storage and data management. It’s called Collaborative Designer For SOLIDWORKS. and that platform role includes a locally-installable SOLIDWORKS add-in that connects your beloved CAD tool directly into the platform. 

Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS

To get a first look at 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS in action, check out this brand-new informational video and then contact GSC with any questions you have.

Contact Us

We’re always available over the phone at 262-790-1080, or, if you don’t have time for a phone call, we take submitted inquiries online.

Want More?

If you’re interested in SOLIDWORKS, 3DEXPERIENCE solutions, and other resources:


Meet the Author

Jeff Setzer

As Technology Evangelist, Jeff loves showing customers new ways to use software and complementary tools to make their jobs easier. Jeff has been working with SOLIDWORKS since its first release in 1995 and he has been with GSC from the beginning! He is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional, a Certified SOLIDWORKS Support Technician, a Certified SOLIDWORKS Instructor, a Certified Simulation Support Technician, and a Microsoft Certified Professional.

view all posts by Jeff Setzer

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