Your Guide to Buying SOLIDWORKS Simulation

A comprehensive guide to some of the most common questions people have before buying SOLIDWORKS Simulation.

How to Choose a Design Validation Solution

Which Simulation Package is Right for You?

For those looking to run very basic structural analyses, there is a light version of Simulation included in every seat of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD called SimulationXpress, which allows users to run simulations on single-body parts. However, the Premium level of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD unlocks even more capabilities by allowing the user to run simulations on multi-body parts and assemblies.

For those looking for more robust design analysis capabilities, SOLIDWORKS Simulation add-in licenses are offered in a tiered system of Standard, Professional, and Premium. As you move up to Professional and Premium levels, you gain additional capabilities as well as additional license and support costs  

Here is an overview of the Simulation capabilities and modules in which they are included to help you choose the right package for you:

SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD (All Packages)
If your simulation needs require only the static analyses of individual parts, the SimulationXpress tool may be best for you. SimulationXpress is available for free in every seat of SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional, and Premium.

SOLIDWORKS Premium includes SimulationXpress, but takes it a step further to give you access to a light version of the Simulation add-n, which provides time-based motion and linear static simulation capabilities for assemblies in addition to parts.

Abaqus is meant to accurately simulate whatever mechanical scenario you can throw at it, and in being so open-ended, may require more user training and knowledge. It makes up for this in sheer efficiency and capability. Abaqus simulations scale very well and provide trustworthy results even under extreme loading conditions. It is used from the earliest design phases up through physical prototyping, and even into correlating and rectifying product failures in the field.

3D EXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL is a structural FEA tool on the 3D EXPERIENCE integrated CAD-CAE-CAM-PLM platform.  It's powered by the Abaqus solvers with cloud compute capabilities.

It comes with a new pre-/post-processor with setup wizard, new FE modeling capabilities, a browser-based results viewer, a new job launching interface, and design study tools.


SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard
The Simulation Standard add-in builds on top of the capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Premium giving you two more major tools like the Fatigue Study and the Trend Tracker.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional
The Simulation Professional add-in includes all the tools and capabilities included in Simulation Standard and adds multiple productivity tools to decrease set-up time, including optimization, 2D simplification, edge weld connectors, toolbox automation, submodeling, material web portal, load case manager, and contact visualization. Additional failure modes/study types include frequency, buckling, thermal, drop test, and pressure vessel simulations.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium
The Simulation Premium add-in includes all the tools and capabilities included in Simulation Professional and Standard. Additionally, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium adds in two new studies including dynamic and nonlinear studies.


How to Buy SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Contact Your SOLIDWORKS Reseller

In order to purchase and use a SOLIDWORKS Simulation add-in package, you must first have a SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD license. SOLIDWORKS Simulation add-ins are purchased through your certified reseller.


No, you cannot run a Simulation without having your primary SOLIDWORKS license open and running.  If, for example, you are using SOLIDWORKS Professional to perform the simulation then that entire license is considered in use and unavailable to another user while the simulation runs. 

Can I Run Simulations on Non-Native SOLIDWORKS Models?

Yes, you can run simulations on any CAD model that SOLIDWORKS is able to open and view, including models from other CAD systems and neutral CAD formats such as STEP and IGES.


If you need to purchase a SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD license first, we recommend starting with our Guide to Buying SOLIDWORKS with answers to common questions like:

  • Where to buy SOLIDWORKS?
  • How to buy SOLIDWORKS?
  • Types of SOLIDWORKS licenses?
  • Benefits of SOLIDWORKS Subscription?
  • Options to rent vs. buy SOLIDWORKS


What is the Price of SOLIDWORKS Simulation?

How Much Does SOLIDWORKS Simulation Cost?

The list price of a license of SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard is $4,195. The annual subscription service, which covers technical support, upgrades, and much more for one year, is $995. You also have the option to network your license so multiple people can take advantage of the functionality.


To try the advanced Simulation tools included in SOLIDWORKS Premium, simply register for the online trial. Get access to the latest capabilities within minutes with zero commitments, no install, or download required.

Next Steps After Your Free Online Trial?

If you’ve tried an online trial and you think it fits your needs, you may be ready for either an extended product trial or software demonstration.

Extend your Simulation Trial

SOLIDWORKS Simulation product trials are available for 7 days and can be requested by GoEngineer.

Request a Software Demonstration

Another option, is to request a demonstration of the simulation software by our certified application engineers. This ensures that the features and functionality in the product cover the type of analysis or optimization needed.

Top DEsign Analysis Resources

Browse our recommended resources below to learn more about adding a virtual testing environment to your product development process. See how you can analyze your design, evaluate its performance, and make decisions to improve product quality.

Simulation Resource Library

Access all of our SOLIDWORKS Simulation resources in one place, including blog posts, technical articles, videos and much more.


For the most current SOLIDWORKS Simulation discounts and promotions available. 


Utilize GoEngineer's expert SOLIDWORKS Simulation instructors to help you become efficient with design analysis. 


Compare SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard, Professional, and Premium packages with these video tool comparison videos.


Still Have Questions About SOLIDWORKS Simulation?

Reach out to GoEngineer and a SOLIDWORKS Simulation   expert will follow up with you.


Additional Resources

Take Advantage of GoEngineer’s Extensive Knowledge Base and Resources

GoEngineer Knowledge Base and website search

Find a Solution

Our robust Knowledge Base contains over 12,000 resources to help answer your product design questions. From basic CAD questions to in-depth guides and tutorials, find your solution here. Find a Solution

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