How Do I Use SolidWorks?

So, you want to learn how to use SolidWorks? You’ve come to the right place!

SolidWorks is a powerful computer-aided design (CAD) software that allows you to create 3D models and simulate real-world conditions. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this guide will walk you through the essential steps to get started with SolidWorks.

Installation and Setup

Before diving into SolidWorks, the first step is to install and set up the software on your computer. Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Obtain a licensed copy of SolidWorks from the official website or through your educational institution.
  • Step 2: Run the installation file and follow the on-screen instructions to install SolidWorks.
  • Step 3: Once installed, launch SolidWorks and enter your license information when prompted.

User Interface

The SolidWorks user interface may seem overwhelming at first, but with a little practice, you’ll become familiar with its various components. Let’s take a closer look:

Main Toolbar

The main toolbar is located at the top of the screen and provides quick access to frequently used tools. It includes options for creating new documents, saving files, and modifying objects.

Command Manager

The Command Manager is located below the main toolbar and contains tabs for different modeling functions such as sketching, features, assemblies, and drawings. Each tab displays a set of related commands that can be accessed by clicking on them.

FeatureManager Design Tree

The FeatureManager design tree is located on the left side of the screen. It displays a hierarchical representation of the features and components in your model. You can expand or collapse each feature to access its parameters.


The viewport is the large central area of the screen where you can view and manipulate your 3D model. You can rotate, zoom, and pan the view using mouse gestures or the navigation tools.

Creating a 3D Model

Now that you’re familiar with the SolidWorks interface, let’s dive into creating your first 3D model:

Step 1: Sketching

To start creating a 3D model, you first need to sketch its basic shape. Select the desired plane (e.g., front, top, or right plane) from the FeatureManager design tree and click on the Sketch button in the Command Manager. Use sketching tools like lines, circles, and arcs to create your desired shape.

Step 2: Adding Features

Once you’ve sketched your basic shape, it’s time to add features like extrusions, cuts, fillets, and chamfers. These features modify the geometry of your model based on the sketch. Select a feature from the Command Manager and specify its parameters using dimensions or references to other objects.

Step 3: Assemblies

If your design consists of multiple parts that need to be assembled together, SolidWorks allows you to create assemblies. You can import existing components or create new ones within an assembly file. Use mates to define how different parts interact with each other.

Simulation and Analysis

SolidWorks offers powerful simulation tools that allow you to test your designs under various real-world conditions:

Motion Analysis

With SolidWorks Motion Analysis, you can simulate the motion of your assembly and analyze factors like velocity, acceleration, and forces. This helps you identify potential issues and optimize your design for performance.

Stress Analysis

SolidWorks Simulation enables you to perform stress analysis on your models. By applying loads and constraints, you can determine the structural integrity of your design and make necessary improvements to ensure its reliability.

Documentation and Drawing

Once your 3D model is complete, SolidWorks allows you to create detailed engineering drawings for manufacturing:

Drawing Views

You can generate multiple views of your 3D model in a drawing file. These views include orthographic projections, isometric views, sections, and details. Use the Drawing toolbar to add dimensions, annotations, and other annotations required for manufacturing.

BOM (Bill of Materials)

SolidWorks automatically generates a Bill of Materials based on the components in your assembly. The BOM lists all the parts along with their quantities and other relevant information.

Congratulations! You now have a solid understanding of how to use SolidWorks.

Remember, practice makes perfect. So keep exploring the software’s capabilities, experiment with different tools and features, and work on real-world projects to sharpen your SolidWorks skills.