Top 10 Add-Ins for SOLIDWORKS (2023)

If you’ve ever opened SOLIDWORKS, you likely already know that there’s more capability within the software than any individual user could hope to use in a single lifetime. Despite all of the often-untapped potential in SOLIDWORKS, however, users in certain technical fields may find that the software lacks particular industry-specific tools required for product design and documentation. That’s where SOLIDWORKS Partner Products come in!

The SOLIDWORKS maintains a directory of partner products on their website andoffers a search engine for browsing available add-ins, but with over 500 solutions available, finding the perfect tools for the job can be a challenge. Here, we present our top 10 list of SOLIDWORKS Partner Products to help you extend the power and utility of your existing SOLIDWORKS licenses and bring your designs to life more elegantly.

10: Exact Flat

Do you design or manufacture products that incorporate composites, industrial fabrics or technical textiles? While SOLIDWORKS Premium does provide an Advanced Surface Flattening tool, ExactFlat takes it the extra mile by allowing you to simulate fabric behavior, eliminate wrinkles/sag, and automate common design tasks such as adding notches and seam allowances. ExactFlat Professional ups the ante by including tools for automatic nesting, costing and optimizing material usage.

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Since it’s fully integrated with SOLIDWORKS, you’ll also find that design changes are associative, just like you’d expect. From car seats to bounce houses, ExactFlat can help you get the job done right the first time.

9: Power Surfacing

If I had a dollar for every time a student told me they wished they could push and pull SOLIDWORKS surfaces manually, I’d have more than enough to get myself a license of Power Surfacing. This add-in enhances the surfacing capability of SOLIDWORKS by providing that push-pull modification of surfaces you’ve always dreamt of.

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Create your own subdivision surfaces, or import directly from non-native CAD programs. Power Surfacing even supports downstream addition of SOLIDWORKS features, such as fillets, so you’re not limiting your parametric potential by using it. For industrial design of organic shapes, you really can’t get much better than this. Though it may be number nine in the list, Power Surfacing is one of my personal favorite Partner Products.

8: CST

Recently acquired by Dassault Systèmes, Computer Simulation Technology (CST) actually offers a variety of electromagnetic simulation modules that pair with SOLIDWORKS to provide users the ability to investigate and understand the electromagnetic properties of their designs.

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If your products require comprehensive analysis of electromagnetic compatibility or signal/power integrity, CST has a solution to fit your needs. From electronics and communication to energy and health care industries, CST is already helping hundreds of companies across the globe produce cutting-edge designs.

7: xFlow

If the phrase “particle-based Lattice-Boltzmann technology” gets you excited, then you definitely need to check out xFlow. This Simulia-powered computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tool supports a number of simulation scenarios that aren’t currently feasible with traditional SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation; including real moving geometry, complex multi-phase flows and fluid-structure interactions.

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xFlow minimizes user input to keep the simulation workflow simple, and advanced rendering capabilities make understanding the flow and thermal performance of your designs a breeze. Reduce physical testing and spend more time iterating and optimizing your designs with xFlow.

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6: Eureka G-Code

If you’ve ever broken a CNC tool/fixture or even crashed a CNC machine, you know what true suffering feels like. To prevent this type of costly mistake, Eureka G-Code performs complete 3D simulation of CNC machine tools based directly off of G-Code for manufacturing verification.

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By default, the software supports a number of machines and controllers, from Fanuc to Siemens with many in between, and other controllers can easily be integrated. Eureka has developed such a reputation, it’s even used to power similar manufacturing verification in CAMWorks, the premier CNC programming software for SOLIDWORKS.

5: CAMWorks

Of all the CNC software available for SOLIDWORKS, only one was good enough to be adopted by SOLIDWORKS itself. CAMWorks is a fully-integrated CNC package supporting multi-axis milling and turning operations while providing advanced capabilities such as wire EDM, nesting, and virtual manufacturing verification via Eureka G-Code.

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CAMWorks allows users to maintain associativity between CAD model and CNC toolpaths while reusing established programming best practices, and even includes Volumill technology to generate intelligent toolpaths, reducing machining time and improving tool life. If you program for a living, you can’t live without this tool.

4: Predator

Perhaps you already have a bustling CNC operation in the works. Would you like to improve the productivity of your machines and manufacturing tasks? Of course! Predator works to increase the capability of both your programmer and the shop floor by simplifying G-Code editing, comparison and verification, just to name a few benefits.

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If you like the idea of monitoring machines, collecting data, and tracking productivity metrics, even better. Predator can help turn your manufacturing floor into a lean, mean, money-making machine, and it’s directly supported by Hawk Ridge Systems with on-site services to get you up and running in no time.

3: Enterprise Harness

If you’ve worked with electrical routing in SOLIDWORKS, you likely already know how powerful it is for the design and documentation of wires, cables, conduits and harnesses. Using electrical routing tools can prove to be rather difficult, however, for users without years of hands-on SOLIDWORKS experience.

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Enterprise Harness separates mechanical design and electrical routing work while maintaining associativity, resulting in a uniquely simple and intuitive interface for electrical routing. Beginning with a lightweight exported model, simply place connectors and map the wires – routes can be manipulated with push-pull controls, making them significantly friendlier than 3D splines. The performance of large assemblies is vastly superior compared to SOLIDWORKS routing, and you can create schematic layouts or manufacturing drawings with complete BOMs in a snap. If you regularly work with very large harnesses or electrical designers who are unfamiliar with SOLIDWORKS, Enterprise Harness can be a game-changer.

2: DriveWorks

If the majority of your designs are “basically the same, but different,” you may be missing a huge opportunity to streamline the development of new designs. If your day to day activities include recreating models, drawings, or sales/purchase orders, DriveWorks can automate those mundane tasks and get you back to working on the important stuff. While configurations and design tables are great, DriveWorks’ rules-based design ensures your products remain manufacturable, and model specifications can be shown on-demand with Real Time Preview.

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DriveWorks technology can even be used online to allow customers to build their own models, automatically generating the necessary data and documentation for manufacturing. To get a taste for yourself, check out DriveWorksXpress. This lightweight version of DriveWorks is included with every SOLIDWORKS CAD license, and will give you a glimpse at the possibilities that can be realized.

1: HAWKWARE

HAWKWARE is a suite of software solutions built for SOLIDWORKS by a dedicated development team at Hawk Ridge Systems that specializes in automating, integrating and enhancing your SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS PDM experience. Our free HAWKWARE Tools solution provides several highly sought-after enhancements to SOLIDWORKS such as the ability automatically rename fillets according to size, and save design configurations as individual files.

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CUSTOMTOOLS sweetens the deal, allowing batch file conversion and printing, automatic part numbering, and advanced property management, while CUSTOMTOOLS Professional builds on this to allow external database lookups, ERP linking, and enhanced sheet metal functionality. If BOM management is a daily struggle, aggregate your CAD, Excel and CSV BOMs into one trackable, reusable form that can even include spare parts and consumables with our xBOM solution.

HAWKWARE also offers advanced PDM applications to improve collaboration, communication and documentation practices. And of course, all HAWKWARE products are supported directly by the Hawk Ridge Systems technical support team. Check out our specialized products today to streamline your modeling, manufacturing and collaboration processes. The possibilities are endless.

With the added utility of SOLIDWORKS Partner Products, you can extend the capability of your SOLIDWORKS licenses and empower your users to design, document and manufacture more effectively and efficiently than ever before. Do you have a favorite SOLIDWORKS Partner Product that wasn’t included in this list? Let us know in the comments!

For more information on SOLIDWORKS or if you have any questions, contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!

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FAQs

What are SOLIDWORKS Add-Ins? ›

SolidWorks add-ins (sometimes called SolidWorks plugins) provide extended functionality in CAD. There are native add-ins, developed by SolidWorks, and 3rd party add-ins, which you can think of as applications built on top of CAD. For a quick overview of how to install add-ins you can check out this tutorial video.

Where can I find SOLIDWORKS Add-Ins? ›

You can load SOLIDWORKS add-ins from the SOLIDWORKS Add-Ins tab of the CommandManager. This loads the add-in for the current session only. To use other applications with the SOLIDWORKS software: Click Tools > Add-Ins.

What is Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS? ›

Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS® is an integrated software solution combining the world's leading CAD with the world's most widely used CAM. With this product, you can standardize your database of CAD files with no need to compromise the quality of your NC programming.

What is included in SOLIDWORKS standard? ›

SOLIDWORKS Standard

Along with part, assembly, and 2D drawing functionality, specialized tools are included for sheet metal, weldments, surfacing, molds, product configuration, design analysis, DFM, and CAM.

Does SOLIDWORKS have cam? ›

SOLIDWORKS CAM is an add-on to all versions of SOLIDWORKS CAD that lets you prepare your designs for manufacturability earlier in the development cycle. Manufacturing tasks that had to wait until a design was complete can now be performed concurrently with the design process.

What is SOLIDWORKS PCB? ›

SOLIDWORKS® PCB—powered by Altium®—is a mechatronics/electronics design and mechanical collaboration solution jointly developed by Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corporation and Altium Limited, both leaders in the development of electronic and mechanical design solutions.

Can solidworks do CFD? ›

SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation is an intuitive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solution embedded within SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD that enables you to quickly and easily simulate liquid and gas flows through and around your designs to calculate product performance and capabilities.

What is Solidworks API? ›

The SOLIDWORKS Application Programming Interface (API) is a COM programming interface to the SOLIDWORKS software. Functions in the API provide programmers with direct access to SOLIDWORKS functionality.

How do I add PDM to Solidworks? ›

In SOLIDWORKS, click Tools > Add-ins and verify that SOLIDWORKS PDM is selected. Click the SOLIDWORKS PDM icon to open the Task Pane. In SOLIDWORKS, open or create a part, drawing, or assembly to view SOLIDWORKS PDM information for the file in the Task Pane.

Can SOLIDWORKS create G code? ›

SOLIDWORKS CAM is a Computer Aided Manufacturing add-in for SOLIDWORKS that allows us to create G/M code for CNC machining our parts.

Is SOLIDWORKS better than Mastercam? ›

If you are already familiar with both Mastercam and SOLIDWORKS design tools you'll generally prefer SOLIDWORKS for design work if you can justify the purchase. SOLIDWORKS is the superior design tool, but for just creating and modifying 3D models for programming Mastercam Design can get the job done.

Is SOLIDWORKS CAM free? ›

As a starting point, if you have a license of SOLIDWORKS active on subscription and only need simple part machining with 2.5-axis milling, you can add SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard for free.

How much is a SOLIDWORKS Licence? ›

You can buy a Perpetual licence with an annual maintainance fee, or rent a Term licence. Get SolidWorks for as little as $60 if you're a student.
...
SolidWorks features by package.
StandardProfessionalPremium
Animations & visualisationPDM Standard3D Interconnect: CATIA
eDrawingseDrawings Professional
14 more rows

Is SOLIDWORKS a one time purchase? ›

Yes, you can buy what is called a perpetual license of SOLIDWORKS without a subscription.

Which is the best version of SOLIDWORKS? ›

I haven't noticed a big difference in bugs in the 10 or so years I've been using SolidWorks. But Service Pack 5 of each year tends to be the most reliable. So unless you need a feature from a specific year, staying at SP5 of the previous year may be your best bet.

Whats the difference between Mastercam and Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS? ›

MasterCAM includes features like Milling, Router, Lathe and Mill-Turn. Solidworks CAM is known for functionalities like Milling, High Speed Machine (HSM), Assembly Machine and Configuration.

What is Mastercam used for? ›

Mastercam is a software that provides both CAD and CAM functionality to drive CNC machines efficiently for optimized productivity.

How do I install Mastercam on SOLIDWORKS? ›

Installation Steps
  1. To configure the Mastercam for SOLIDWORKS install for SIM Type or Shared Folder Location, select the Configure button.
  2. If you are using a NetHASP, you can change the SIM Type. ...
  3. Select Next.
  4. Read and accept the license agreement. ...
  5. When the installation is complete, select Exit.

How much does a seat of Mastercam cost? ›

Software Price: Depending on the options a user chooses, Mastercam can cost anywhere between $4,000 and $40,000 per seat.

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