How Do I Start Drawing in SolidWorks?

Starting to draw in SolidWorks can seem overwhelming at first, but with a little practice and guidance, you’ll be creating professional 3D models in no time. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the essential steps to get started with SolidWorks drawing.

Installing SolidWorks

Before you can start drawing in SolidWorks, you need to install the software on your computer. Head over to the official SolidWorks website and download the installation file.

Once downloaded, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

Creating a New Drawing

Once you have SolidWorks installed, launch the program and click on “New” to create a new drawing. Select your desired template or choose a blank template if you prefer starting from scratch.

The User Interface

When SolidWorks opens, you will see a user-friendly interface consisting of several key components. The main window is divided into four sections: the FeatureManager Design Tree, the Graphics Area, PropertyManager, and CommandManager.

The FeatureManager Design Tree: This tree structure displays all the features of your model such as sketches, dimensions, and annotations.

The Graphics Area: This is where you will see your 3D model or 2D drawing displayed.

The PropertyManager: This panel allows you to modify properties of selected objects or features.

The CommandManager: Located at the top of the window, it provides access to various tools and commands for creating and editing your model.

Sketching Tools

To start creating your drawing in SolidWorks, you need to use sketching tools. These tools allow you to draw shapes or lines that form the basis of your 3D model.

SolidWorks provides a wide range of sketching tools, such as lines, arcs, circles, rectangles, and splines. You can access these tools from the CommandManager or by right-clicking in the Graphics Area.

Pro tip: Use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your sketching process. For example, press “L” for a line or “C” for a circle.

Dimensioning and Constraints

Once you have sketched your desired shape or object, it’s time to add dimensions and constraints to ensure accuracy and stability.

Dimensions: Click on the “Smart Dimension” tool in the CommandManager and select the edges or points you want to dimension. Enter the desired values or let SolidWorks automatically calculate them based on your model.

Constraints: Constraints are used to define relationships between sketch entities. For example, you can make two lines parallel or perpendicular by adding appropriate constraints. Use the “Add Relations” tool in the CommandManager to apply constraints.

Extruding and Modifying Features

Now that you have created your sketch and added dimensions and constraints, it’s time to turn it into a 3D model.

Extruding: Select your sketch in the FeatureManager Design Tree and click on the “Extrude” tool in the CommandManager. Specify the extrusion direction and distance to create a solid object from your 2D sketch.

Modifying Features: SolidWorks allows you to easily modify previously created features. Simply double-click on a feature in the FeatureManager Design Tree or use the appropriate modification tools in the CommandManager to make changes.

Saving and Exporting Your Drawing

Once you are satisfied with your drawing, it’s essential to save your work. Click on “File” in the menu bar and choose “Save” or use the shortcut “Ctrl + S”. Specify a location on your computer, give your file a name, and select the appropriate file format (.sldprt for parts, .sldasm for assemblies).

If you need to share your drawing with others who don’t have SolidWorks, you can export it to various file formats such as .STEP, .IGES, or .STL. Simply click on “File” in the menu bar, choose “Save As,” and select the desired format.


Starting to draw in SolidWorks may seem daunting at first, but by following these steps and practicing regularly, you will become proficient in creating 3D models and drawings. Remember to explore additional features and tools offered by SolidWorks to enhance your designs further.