Can SolidWorks Be Used for Animation?

Can SolidWorks Be Used for Animation?

When it comes to 3D modeling and design software, SolidWorks is often the go-to choice for engineers and designers. With its robust features and intuitive interface, it has become a staple in many industries.

But can SolidWorks be used for animation? Let’s delve into this question and explore the possibilities.

Understanding SolidWorks

SolidWorks is primarily known for its powerful 3D modeling capabilities. It allows users to create complex models with precision and accuracy. From mechanical components to architectural structures, SolidWorks can handle a wide range of design requirements.

But what about animation?

The Basics of Animation in SolidWorks

SolidWorks does offer some basic animation tools that allow users to create simple animations within their models. These tools include the ability to animate assembly motion, manipulate parts and components, and define keyframes.

Animating Assembly Motion:

One of the fundamental ways to animate in SolidWorks is by manipulating assembly motion. This means defining how different parts move relative to each other within an assembly. By specifying constraints, motions, and mates, you can create realistic movement in your designs.

Manipulating Parts and Components:

In addition to animating assembly motion, you can also manipulate individual parts and components within your model. This allows for more precise control over the animation process. You can rotate or translate parts, change their size or shape over time, or even simulate real-world physics within your designs.

Defining Keyframes:

To create smooth animations with complex movements, you can define keyframes in SolidWorks. Keyframes are specific points in time where you set the position, orientation, or other properties of your model. SolidWorks then automatically interpolates between these keyframes to create a seamless animation.

Limitations of Animation in SolidWorks

Although SolidWorks has some animation capabilities, it’s important to note that it is not a dedicated animation software. As such, there are certain limitations to what you can achieve:

  • SolidWorks animations are best suited for simple and mechanical movements rather than intricate character animations.
  • The animation tools in SolidWorks lack advanced features like rigging, inverse kinematics, and facial expressions.
  • Rendering and visual effects options in SolidWorks are limited compared to dedicated animation software.

Integrating Animation with Other Software

To overcome the limitations of SolidWorks’ animation capabilities, many users choose to integrate it with other software specifically designed for animation. This allows for more complex and realistic animations:


You can export your SolidWorks models as various file formats compatible with popular animation software like Autodesk Maya or Blender. This enables you to take advantage of their advanced animation features while still utilizing your SolidWorks designs as a starting point.


SolidWorks offers collaboration features that allow you to work seamlessly with other software. For example, you can import animations created in other software into your SolidWorks assembly or use the motion data from SolidWorks in an external rendering program.

In Conclusion

In summary, while SolidWorks does have basic animation capabilities, it is not primarily intended for complex character animations or high-end visual effects. However, by integrating it with other specialized software, you can leverage the strengths of SolidWorks in conjunction with advanced animation tools. This combination allows for a more comprehensive and powerful animation workflow.

So, yes, SolidWorks can be used for animation to a certain extent, but it’s important to understand its limitations and explore integration options with other software for more advanced animations.