What is CATIA V5 PLM Express and How to Install It

Article by GoEngineer on May 28, 2020

What is CATIA V5 PLM Express?

One of the great features of CATIA V5 is that it has a wide variety of functionalities. Unfortunately, navigating through all of them to find which ones are going to be beneficial to your business can be a bit challenging, and individually hand-picking which options to use could end up being expensive. This is where CATIA V5 PLM Express comes into play.

CATIA V5 PLM Express provides numerous bundled solutions or configurations based on overall functionality. This allows customers to buy pre-made packages geared toward their company’s needs. Often, these configuration packages result in more functionality at an overall lower cost.

Some of these configuration packages include Mechanical Design, Complex Surface Design, Sheet Metal Design, as well as many others. If your company needs multiple configurations, CATIA V5 PLM Express allows you to bundle different configurations together, allowing for even more versatility and customization. There is even a starting configuration, CAT3DX, that provides the base functionality of CATIA V5 as well as an entry-level for the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

Listed are some of the more common configuration bundles and their general application:

  • CAT3DX + MCE – Advanced Mechanical Design
  • CAT3DX + MCE + HDX – Complex Surface Design
  • CAT3DX + FPE – Sheet Metal Design
  • CAT3DX + TRE – Review 3D tolerances & annotations
  • CAT3DX + GAE – FEA Analysis
  • CAT3DX + MME – Design + Multi-Axis Machining
  • CAT + MCE + CPX – Composite Design

how to install CATIA V5 PLM Express

When installing CATIA V5 PLM Express, there are several crucial steps to ensure a successful installation. Below is a step-by-step guide to getting the software up and running for you. Before doing any of these though, you will need to verify that you have installed the Dassault Systèmes License Server (DSLS).

Step 1: Locate your two CATIA PLM Express Edition 3 zip files. For this example, we will be using V5-6R2018.CATIA_PLM_Express.win_b64.1-2 and V5-6R2018.CATIA_PLM_Express.win_b64.2-2 files.

Step 2: Create a folder to extract both CATIA PLM Express Edition 3 zip files into. We will call this folder “CATIA_PLM_Express”. Extract both the V5-6R2018.CATIA_PLM_Express.win_b64.1-2 and V5-6R2018.CATIA_PLM_Express.win_b64.2-2 file into this newly created folder.

  • When creating the folder name, you will want to avoid using special characters and spaces. You will also want to make sure that the file path does not exceed 180 characters in length.

This is the unzipped folder with the files for CATIA V5 PLM Express

Step 3: Open your newly created folder. You will notice that inside it, a new folder, “CATIA_PLM_Express.win_64”, has been created.

Be sure to use the 64 bit version of CATIA V5 PLM Express, shown here.

Step 4: Open the “CATIA_PLM_Express.win_64” folder.

Step 5: Next, open the “1” folder.

Step 6: Double-click the setup file to begin installing the software. When installing the software, use the default settings unless otherwise recommended.

Step 7: While the software is installing, go to your Windows Search bar and type in Notepad. You will open the Notepad app to create a new text file.

Step 8: With the Notepad app open, you will type in one of the following text formats:

Device Name:4085


IP Address:4085

The IP Address format is used when the DSLS is put on an external machine. When this is the case, you will need to open the 4085 ports in the firewall to allow proper communication.

For this example, the device name is CIN-TECH-JZ, therefore the text file will read:


Create a text file with your device name and the appropriate port. The result should look like this.

Step 9: Click File, Save As, and browse to where you have your CATIA PLM Express Edition 3 software download zip files. Here, you will save this text file as the following:


  • It is important you save this file exactly how it is spelled out including proper capitalization.
  • Do not add “.txt” to the end of the file name.

This is the name for your new text file created previously,

Step 10: Once the software install is finished, uncheck I want to launch CATIA PLM Express V5-6R2018, and click Finish. There are a few more steps before the software is ready.

This is the setup complete screen for CATIA V5 PLM Express. We've unchecked the option to launch the program to make additional modifications.

Step 11: Right-click on your newly created “DSLicSrv.txt” file and Copy it.

Step 12: Go to your C: drive.

Step 13: At the top of the window, click View. Then go to the right side of the screen and click the down arrow under Options, followed by clicking Change Folder and Search Options.

This shows how to change the folder view and search options at a top level.

Step 14: A Folder Options window will open. Select the View tab at the top. Towards the middle of the screen will be a Hidden files and folders icon with two options below it. Select the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option.

Under folder view options, we've selected "Show hidden files, folders, and drives".

Step 15: Click Apply. Then Ok in the Folder Options window.

Step 16: In the C: drive, open the newly unhidden Program Data folder.

You should now see a ProgramData folder, shown here, that wasn't visible before.

Step 17: Open the DassaultSystemes folder.

Open the DassaultSystemes folder under your ProgramData folder.

Step 18: In the DassaultSystemes folder, you will create a new folder called Licenses. Ensure that you spell it with a capital L.

Create a new folder called Licenses, shown here.

Step 19: Open the Licenses folder and paste the “DSLicSrv.txt” file into it. This step allows this computer to point at the License Server.

Copy your DSLicSrv text file to your new licenses folder.

Step 20: Open the CATIA software. An error message will pop up. Click OK.

This is an error message you will see when opening CATIA V5 PLM Express.

Step 21: The License Manager window will open with a list of Available Configurations or Products. Select all that apply, then click OK.

This is the license manager in CATIA V5 PLM Express. You will customize these options.

Step 22: Close out of the software, and re-open it up. Your CATIA software is now ready to use.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Learn more about CATIA below.

Related Articles

CATIA V5 Parametric Optimization Guide

Abaqus and CATIA Now Available from GoEngineer: NOT Just for Enterprise!

CATIA V5 vs 3DEXPERIENCE CATIA: Interface, Licensing, Installation, & Setup



About GoEngineer

GoEngineer delivers software, technology and expertise that enable companies to unlock design innovation and deliver better products faster. With more than 35 years' experience and tens of thousands of customers in high tech, medical, machine design, energy and other industries, GoEngineer provides best-in-class design solutions from SOLIDWORKS CAD, Stratasys 3D printing, Creaform & Artec 3D scanning, CAMWorks, PLM, and more

View all posts by GoEngineer