SOLIDWORKS 2020 What’s New Top 10 Features

Article by Rod Mackay updated September 18, 2019


SOLIDWORKS 2020 provides hundreds of new features to help you design your products faster than ever. Check out what we think are the SOLIDWORKS 2020 Top 10 Features:

01. Large Assembly Drawings for Working Faster

With the new Drawing Detailing Mode you can open drawings in a matter of seconds while maintaining the ability to add and edit annotations. Detailing Mode is perfect for quickly opening drawings for minor edits or design reviews.  Individual sheets load in an instant and the drawing can also be printed.  Some editing capabilities are available as well, such as making changes to annotations or dimensions.

Plus the new Graphics Acceleration for Drawings improves frame rates when panning and zooming within drawings with hardware-accelerated rendering.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Large Assembly Drawings

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Large Assembly Drawings

BENEFITS: Work faster on drawings with many sheets, configurations, and resource-intensive views.

02. Faster Assembly Design

With the updated Envelope Publisher in SOLIDWORKS 2020, envelopes are no longer limited to components in the same assembly. Now, you can simply select the components needed for reference and a destination assembly.

Large Design Review Mode now allows you to create mates to the reference geometry of components, create and edit linear and circular component patterns, edit pattern-driven and sketch-driven component patterns. While editing an assembly in Large Design Review mode, you can use shortcuts to copy and paste components, hide or show components, and zoom to components.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Assembly Defeature

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Assembly Defeature

BENEFITS: Speed up assembly design and reduce visual clutter

03. Flexible Components

With Make Part Flexible you can display the same part in different conditions in the same assembly. For example, show a spring compressed and at full length in the same assembly. You can make a part flexible without creating unique configurations or separate part files. This optimizes your data management and efficiency when bringing parts to life. Whether it be living hinges, bellows, springs, cables and beyond, use Make Part Flexible with SOLIDWORKS 2020 to improve how you visualize and validate your next assembly.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Flexible Components

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Flexible Components

BENEFITS: Create assembly designs faster while maintaining an accurate bill of materials.

04. Faster Sketching

With new Silhouette Entities you can create multiple sketch entities by projecting the outline of component bodies onto a parallel sketch plane.

Torsion Continuity Relation will help you to achieve G3 curvature between sketched curves, thereby allowing a seamless transition.

Making mistakes is part of the design process but using the undo button too liberally may result in lost work. SOLIDWORKS 2020
makes significant improvements to the redo function so that, even if you accidentally undo out of a sketch, your changes aren’t lost.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Sketching

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Sketching

BENEFITS: Create robust sketches faster

05. Faster Calculations and Improved Accuracy for Simulation

Speed and accuracy of SOLIDWORKS Simulation has been improved by combining linear and quadratic elements in the same simulation study.

Pin and Bolt Connectors can deform faces attached to Pin and Bolt connectors.

Beam Models can now Import temperatures to perform a stress analysis after running a thermal analysis on a model with beams.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Faster Calculations

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Faster Calculations

BENEFITS: Run faster calculations and better simulation of real-world behavior

06. Improved Design Experience

Checking that your part or assembly fits inside the 3D print area is the first step to successful 3D printing. SOLIDWORKS 2020 includes a comprehensive list of 3D printers with up-to-date envelope information. With SOLIDWORKS 2020 you can now generate slices based on precise 3D geometry rather than having to first export to a tessellated geometry format like STL.

This information can be saved in the 3MF format; an open source, XML based format designed specifically for modern additive manufacturing. It not only stores the 3D geometric data but also stores material, colour, textures, 2D slice data and more.

If you don’t have fabrication resources available in-house, try 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace where you can get quotes from hundreds of qualified service providers (including us) and several different manufacturing processes at the click of a button. You simply upload your design, optimize it live, choose your manufacturer, and receive your custom parts.

With all of these new 3D printing enhancements, SOLIDWORKS 2020 is making it even easier to go from design to prototype to manufacture.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 3D Printing

SOLIDWORKS 2020 3D Printing

BENEFITS: Save time and simplify design tasks

07. Expanded Interoperability with 3D Interconnect

SOLIDWORKS 2020 simplifies the interconnect workflow using native and neutral CAD files by allowing you to now drag and drop non-native exported files from Windows Explorer into your assemblies like any other SOLIDWORKS component.

Additionally 3D Interconnect in SOLIDWORKS 2020 adds support new formats, including 3D DWG™ and DXF™ as well as IFC, enabling you to work directly with more files without the need for translation.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 3D Interconnect

SOLIDWORKS 2020 3D Interconnect

BENEFITS: Collaborate with more data sources easily.

08. More Flexibility for Surfacing

SOLIDWORKS has always been a powerful tool for working with imported surface data and offsetting existing geometry.  Sometimes all the desired surfaces can’t be offset as needed.  SOLIDWORKS 2020 introduces new functionality that shows you the surfaces that can’t be offset.  Each surface can be easily identified and the you have the choice to change the offset or simply remove the failing surfaces.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 introduces a new option to thicken surfaces equally in both directions. SOLIDWORKS 2020 makes complex surface modelling simple and easier than ever!

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Surface Offset

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Surface Offset

BENEFITS: Simplify and speed up your design with more robust, flexible surface options.

09. Direct Mesh Editing

The need to directly edit mesh geometry, like STL files, is becoming more common. SOLIDWORKS 2020 continues to expand on its already rich mesh editing feature set. Filleting edges is now possible using the same workflow as a native SOLIDWORKS file. You can even change the fillet to a chamfer and vice versa.

It’s not uncommon for STL files to be damaged you can now delete these holes by right-clicking and choosing Delete Hole from the context menu or by simply selecting the edge and pressing delete. SOLIDWORKS 2019 introduced Delete Face. SOLIDWORKS 2020 expands the capability to support Delete and Fill which makes removing these features on the part a trivial operation.

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Direct Mesh Editing

SOLIDWORKS 2020 Direct Mesh Editing

BENEFITS: Work with Mesh and STL files more easily

10. Connected Design-to-Manufacturing Ecosystem in the Cloud

Easily connect SOLIDWORKS 2020 with key tools through the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.

Data Sharing and Collaboration makes it easier to share models back and forth between SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE tools. Collaborate in real time from anywhere and on any device.

Extended Workflows allows you to easily extend your design ecosystem with new capabilities such as sub-divisional modeling, conceptual design, and product lifecycle and project management in the cloud.



BENEFITS: Enable seamless product development workflows and easily extend them with new tools as your business needs evolve

Want to learn What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2021?

Discover the Top Ten features in SOLIDWORKS 2021 and SOLIDWORKS 2021 What’s New Demo Videos.

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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.