How to run SOLIDWORKS on a Mac

Article by Rod Mackay updated August 26, 2020

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How to run SOLIDWORKS on a Mac? This is a question we receive on a regular basis and while not impossible it was a challenge in the past to get it running on a Mac. But with the new 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS Design Roles, SOLIDWORKS 3D Creator for mechanical design, and SOLIDWORKS 3D Sculptor for industrial design, you can now design your products on a Mac via your web browser.

That is probably the biggest advantage with the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Cloud-based Apps…you just need a web browser (with a decent internet connection), allowing you to design anywhere and on any device.

Confused about Platform, Roles, and Apps? Have a look at this 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS post for an explanation of the new design roles and what all these terms mean »

SOLIDWORKS Mac Requirements

Using a SOLIDWORKS App (such as xDesign) on a Mac is the same as a PC. The only requirement is that you run the App in a Mac web browser, Google Chrome is probably the best for performance. The user interface, look, and feel, is exactly the same as the PC version, you just happen to be working on a Mac.

SOLIDWORKS on a Mac

SOLIDWORKS 3D Creator Role with xDesign App on a Mac

SOLIDWORKS Design Roles/Apps to choose from for your Mac

3DEXPERIENCE WORKS is expanding and new roles/apps are being added all the time. At this time there are four distinct design roles to choose from depending on what type of product design you want to create on your Mac:

  • SOLIDWORKS 3D Creator, which provides access to a parametric modeling app known as SOLIDWORKS xDesign.
  • SOLIDWORKS 3D Sculptor, which provides access to a surfacing sub-d modeling app known as SOLIDWORKS xShape.
  • SOLIDWORKS Drafter, enables you to quickly create and detail 2D drawings, and communicate how your design must be manufactured.
  • SOLIDWORKS 3D SheetMetal Creator is an intuitive, browser-based solution that offers associative parametric sheet metal design capabilities to build components, assemblies and enclosures.
SOLIDWORKS Mac Design App

SOLIDWORKS Mac Design App

Editing and sharing with users on different devices

In a design environment where you are working with other people in your company they could use a PC or a Mac and be able to access your model (.sldxml) and make changes using a SOLIDWORKS App. Working between different devices, PCs, Macs, is seamless as you save your models to the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. You don’t have to worry about file extensions, or file types as the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform takes care of all that for you making it a pain free experience (in 3D!).

But if required you can share a model as IGES or STEP for other 3D apps such as Autodesk Fusion 360 or OnShape, the SOLIDWORKS Design Roles/Apps have export capabilities as shown in the screenshot below. But if everyone in your company is using 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS then you won’t need to worry about that.

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Export Options

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Export Options

Sharing with Connected SOLIDWORKS Desktop PC users

Users on a PC that are running 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS (the latest desktop version of SOLIDWORKS that is connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform) would be able to access your model and use it as reference for assemblies, or build on it by applying features etc. But the desktop version of SOLIDWORKS and the cloud apps are not fully compatible at this time.

Connected SOLIDWORKS desktop user on a PC

Connected SOLIDWORKS desktop user on a PC

Are you interested in running SOLIDWORKS on a Mac?

If you are a Mac user and want SOLIDWORKS cloud design tools then please contact us or take a look at 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS.

Also if you have the traditional desktop version of SOLIDWORKS (old and new releases) and want to run them on the cloud then take a look at our latest SOLIDWORKS Cloud services.

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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.