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3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS – Everything you need to know

Articles Mark Duggan 12 August 2020

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS – Everything you need to know

On July 2020 Dassault Systemes introduced their 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS offerings along with 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS, the new variant included the three levels of SOLIDWORKS which current users would be familiar with. However the new 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS will raise some questions that we would like to cover here.

What is 3DEXPERIENCE.works and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform?

3DEXPERIENCE WORKS is a portfolio of solutions that combine the ease of use of SOLIDWORKS with the power and breadth of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. With these solutions, your teams have access to powerful functions for design (SOLIDWORKS Cloud Apps), simulation (SIMULIAworks), and product data and life cycle management (ENOVIAworks).

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform can bring your entire company together – Every department in your company will be able to interact with their colleagues to fast track design and development from Sales through to production, servicing and marketing – in a browser based environment.


Current users with Desktop SOLIDWORKS can connect with the cloud based 3DEXPERIENCE Platform by purchasing the role “Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS”. The role has an application within it called SOLIDWORKS Connector which allows SOLIDWORKS files to be saved and revision managed to the cloud within a safe and secure environment.

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is directly connected to the platform and is installed and licensed through the platform. An internet connection is required to use 3D EXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS. To open and save files you must be connected to the Internet and the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, all files can of course be exported to a local drive but primary data storage is in the cloud. 

What are the new 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Offers?


There are two things that need to clarified about the offers:
Each offer includes a 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS which is comparable to desktop SOLIDWORKS but not the same.
The Offer packages offer other 3DEXPERIENCE roles in such a way as to enable the user to work on the cloud.

Installation & Deployment

Installed directly from the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform (6GB download and installed on your computer) the first time you launch it from the browser.
This greatly simplifies the management of CAD users’ environments. It is now very easy for companies to bring all users to the same version and to update functions and service packs.
Always on the latest revision with updates installed before launching the SOLIDWORKS Connected Application.
No network deployments
Critical fixes are automatically pushed


Starts directly from your desktop or the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform
Easily create a Desktop Shortcut

Is it SOLIDWORKS on the cloud?

No, 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is an application that is installed on your computer. This means that you will still need a computer that is compatible with SOLIDWORKS (supported systems, graphics cards and RAM) to run the application. The “3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS offer” however contains cloud based design tools xDesign and xShape under the 3D Creator and 3D Sculptor roles. These can run an any device that has a web browser and Internet.

So it isn’t the same as normal SOLIDWORKS?    

Similar but not the same, most of the core functionality is there but there have been changes in the way assemblies and parts are handled to be more in line with data management on the platform. Assemblies level features will always propagate to the part as the part is seen as the “source of truth”. Virtual parts are removed as each part and assembly are “physical objects” in the cloud. Similarly configurations are represented as “physical objects” and so each configuration will be represented on the cloud as a “physical object”.

Add-ins like Toolbox, Circuitworks, Xpress products, 3rd party software, API and additional software such as Inspection, Composer and Electrical are not supported. However they maybe integrated in future updates.

The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform does offer quite exciting CAD and data management technologies with Enovia.works bringing more apps every day from the Enovia Solution and the dashboards and integrated collaboration. The Professional and Premium offers also contain 3DEXPERIENCE apps for photo rendering, industrial design, simulation and analysis.

What does the licensing look like and how do I purchase the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Offers?

The 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS offers are available as Standard, Professional and Premium which reflects the desktop SOLIDWORKS levels. All offers also contain the Platform access roles “Business Innovator” and “Industry Innovator” with cloud design role “3D Creator”. Professional and Premium have the addition of “3D Sculptor” which is a sub-D modelling application.
The offers can be purchased as an annual or quarterly lease which allows access to the 3DEXPERIENCE Solutions for the duration of the term.
3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is a cloud-connected tool, you must have an active subscription to use the software.
3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is only available as a personal or “named” license. Access to the software is linked to the e-mail address of each user. Network licensing is not planned.

I am a current user of SOLIDWORKS, is it worth moving to the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS?

At this point in time, you as a desktop user have the best of both worlds with the ability to purchase the cloud platform access roles and the Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS. Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS lets you work offline and when ready push your files to the cloud for storage and data management. You also need to be aware that the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS app is always the latest and Desktop SOLIDWORKS cannot be installed on the same machine.

Currently we use PDM, would we be better to move to the cloud?

Probably not – from a functionality point of view if PDM is meeting your requirements then you are better to stay with it. Enovia.works which powers the data management on the cloud is limited to one workflow and does not have any significant advantages over PDM Standard. Of course there are other reasons such as a business decision to push for cloud based solutions to minimise hardware, software and IT management. Please contact us though to discuss any particular situation.

What’s involved with connecting our Desktop SOLIDWORKS to the cloud?

The platform access roles allow you to log into the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform and set-up dashboards, communities and spaces for your files. Existing files can be opened in SOLIDWORKS and then saved to a predefined area on the cloud. You have the best of both worlds as you can work off-line with your files and when readily upload them  with your data safe and revision managed. Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS connects your desktop SOLIDWORKS to the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform through your task pane. You can also continue to work with a network license if you have one and also use any add-in software that you currently use. You get access to all the cloud management functions integrated into the 3DEXERIENCE Platform allowing viewing, mark-up and collaboration with colleagues.


Interested in finding out more? 

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