What Is the Difference Between SolidWorks and SolidWorks PDM?

What Is the Difference Between SolidWorks and SolidWorks PDM?

SolidWorks and SolidWorks PDM are two widely used software applications in the field of computer-aided design (CAD) and product data management (PDM). While both are developed by Dassault Systèmes, they serve different purposes and Target different aspects of the design process. In this article, we will explore the key differences between SolidWorks and SolidWorks PDM.

1. SolidWorks

SolidWorks is a powerful CAD software that enables engineers and designers to create 3D models of products. It offers a wide range of tools and features to support the entire design cycle, from conceptualization to manufacturing.

Some notable features of SolidWorks include:

  • Intuitive user interface for easy navigation
  • Parametric modeling capabilities for efficient design changes
  • Assembly modeling to create complex product structures
  • Motion simulation for analyzing mechanical movements
  • Drawing creation for producing detailed engineering documentation
  • Integration with other engineering software and hardware

SolidWorks PDM, on the other hand, focuses on managing product data throughout its lifecycle.

2. SolidWorks PDM

SolidWorks PDM stands for “Product Data Management” and is specifically designed to address the challenges related to organizing, controlling, and sharing engineering data within an organization.

The main functions offered by SolidWorks PDM include:

  • Data storage and version control: It provides a centralized repository where all design files, including CAD models, drawings, and associated documents, can be securely stored and accessed.
  • Revision management: SolidWorks PDM enables efficient tracking and control of design revisions, ensuring proper versioning and revision history.
  • Workflow automation: It allows the creation of custom workflows to streamline design processes, including approval cycles and document routing.
  • Collaboration: SolidWorks PDM enables teams to work together more effectively by providing a platform for sharing and discussing design data.

In summary, while SolidWorks is primarily focused on creating 3D models and supporting the design process itself, SolidWorks PDM complements it by providing a robust data management solution. Together, they form a powerful combination for organizations looking to optimize their product development workflows.


In conclusion, SolidWorks is a comprehensive CAD software that empowers engineers with advanced modeling capabilities. On the other hand, SolidWorks PDM is a dedicated product data management tool that ensures efficient organization and control over engineering data. By understanding the differences between these two applications, organizations can make informed decisions about which tools are best suited for their specific needs.