Free Simulation Software included with SOLIDWORKS!?!

Article by Rod Mackay updated June 5, 2015


Did you know that every version of SOLIDWORKS includes free simulation software? It doesn’t matter if you have SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS Professional, or SOLIDWORKS Premium; there are tools available to enhance your experience and enable you to test your design.


On the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) side, there is SimulationXpress. With SimulationXpress you can statically load single body parts with force and pressure applied. Once completed, you’ll have access to Stress, Displacement, and Factor of Safety result plots that can be shared in a report or an eDrawings file.

SimulationXpress Results

SimulationXpress Results

If your results indicate a failure or if you want to reduce material/weight from your design, an optimization can be run too!

Optimize Design

Optimize Design

(NOTE: If you have SolidWorks Premium, please use the full SOLIDWORKS Simulation package to take advantage of additional capabilities. To use Simulation (vs SimulationXpress) go to Tools > Add-Ins > and selecting the toggle to the left of Simulation)

Other “Xpress” tools:

  • FloXpress – basic fluid flow analysis used to calculate how air/water flows through part or assembly models.
  • SustainabilityXpress – Enables you to perform life cycle assessments on individual parts to understand the environmental impact of your design decisions.
  • DriveWorksXpress – Introductory design automation software.
  • DFMXpress – Used to validate the manufacturability of parts designed with SOLIDWORKS.

To use the Xpress tools follow these simple steps:

1. Select the appropriate button on your Evaluate tab of your CommandManager:

CommandManager Tab

CommandManager Tab

2. If presented with the following (first time use), select the MySolidWorks link provided:

MySolidWorks Registration

MySolidWorks Registration

FloXpress Registration

FloXpress Registration

3. Run through a relatively painless registration process that takes place at MySolidWorks:

4. Then copy/paste the code provided into the dialog box shown in step 2.

…and I just realized Andrew posted a better description of how to activate Xpress products in MySolidWorks.

Learn how to get started with SimulationXpress

Make sure you take advantage of the online training resources in MySolidWorks to learn how to get started with SimulationXpress

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.