Getting started with SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer software [VIDEO Series 1 of 4]

Article by Dimos Siagoulis updated June 25, 2015


When I first started using SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer (SWID) I was thrilled to test out all of the exciting new functionality that I had heard about. Eager to begin, I started up the software on the Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience Platform and was greeted by a visually appealing, well thought out user interface. Not knowing where my buttons lay, I spent some time poking around the software to orient myself and became familiar with where the tools were.

Once I became familiar with the software, I began creating models with complicated geometry in minutes – which would have taken hours or days with other 3D design software.

I am very impressed with the 3DExperience Platform and can easily say I haven’t had this much fun modeling in a very long time.

Today and over the next few weeks I will be sharing my knowledge of the software including some tips and tricks which will aid you in a quicker learning experience with SWID. In addition I will include a challenge for you to try out at the end of each blog post which will be increasing in difficulty as we move onward. To encourage you to learn and become more familiar with SWID the instructions for completing this challenge will be provided in the next published blog post.

SWID User Interface (UI) Tips

Lets get started, this first post in the series, getting started with SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer, covers the user interface:

Using the Toolbar

  • Set up the Toolbar: The first thing I recommend doing when you open Industrial designer for the first time is set up the toolbar to your desired appearance. To do that simply right click on the toolbar and select the Icons with Labels and/or the Sections with labels check boxes, these will make navigating the toolbar easier.
  • Hiding the Toolbar: You can hide your toolbar by clicking the down facing arrow to the right of the toolbar, and show it again by clicking the up pointing arrow in the very right corner.

View Tools

  • Zoom & Pan Tools: To orient yourself, you can use your mouse scroll wheel, scroll to zoom in, and press it in to rotate the camera. In addition you can use your middle mouse button and Shift, Control or Alt together, to Zoom, Pan or Rotate your view.
  • Quick Views: Alternatively Press space bar to see a perspective view where you can choose how you want to see your object. Pressing N is a quick hotkey to view Normal to the object.

The Design Tree

  • Using the Design Tree: On the left of the screen you will see your design tree, you can show/hide parts there. You can also rename your project by slow double clicking on “Physical Product#” at the top. Use the same technique to rename various steps in the design tree as well.
  • Page Curl: Clicking the page curl at the bottom right grants access to another view which will display only your hidden components from the Design Tree. Clicking it again will return you to the original view.
  • Bread Crumbs: A neat tool they added is the breadcrumbs feature which appears on the bottom left of your screen when your design tree is hidden. Essentially it is a tree that allows for easy access to the different components of your object while you work, without taking up space on the left of your screen.

Save & Share Project

  • Save Project: To save your project hover over the share icon (Right facing arrow) at the top right of your screen, and click save. You can click on the expand button for more options.
  • Share Project: In that same Icon you will be able to Share, 3DMessage, Export or print your object.
  • New Project: The plus icon (+) to the left is where you can create a new Physical Product or import files from your computer.
  • Work Space: The house icon shows you which work space you are currently in. When you save your object it will automatically save to the highlighted work space.

Getting Help

  • Online Community Help: On the right of the screen is the 3DSwym (See what you mean) Communities. Here you can collaborate, ask questions and share information between customers and colleagues, in a non formal way to eliminate the need for lengthy Emails. There will be more information about this in an upcoming Blog post.
  • Help Tool: Lastly, if there is ever any time you need clarification on how a tool behaves, you can press F1 and Industrial Designer’s help tool will be there to aid you where needed.

Now that you are caught up with the user interface it is time for you to begin playing around and getting comfortable. There is no better way to learn than getting hands on experience, so get out there and enjoy playing with SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer.

Your SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer UI Challenge

Example Model created with SWID

Example object created with SWID

This week’s challenge is to set up your hotkeys and create your very first object in Industrial Designer, some suggestions are mugs, shovels, computer mouse, or any other object with at least one piece of complex geometry or an algorithmic (NURBS*) surface. If you’d like to share your creation post a comment below with a link to a screenshot and I will respond with some feedback.

Get a Free Trial of SWID

If you or your company are interested in a free trial of SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer software, visit our web page and complete the form to request a trial and a sales representative will get back to you as soon as possible! NOTE: We can only provide trial copies to Canadian individuals and companies.

Get a Free Trial

On behalf of Javelin Technologies I thank you for taking an interest in SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer, if there are any questions please leave a comment and I’ll reply as soon as possible, thank you!

*NURBS: Non-uniform rational b-spline

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Dimos Siagoulis

Co-op student from McMaster University on my second work term at Javelin Technologies Inc.