Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Software

What is Simulation?

SOLIDWORKS Simulation is a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) program built into the familiar SOLIDWORKS CAD interface. Simulation provides designers and engineers the tools they need to quickly test their designs and intelligently iterate on them. Utilizing NAFEMS validated FEA solvers, SOLIDWORKS Simulation can provide accurate, reliable results for a wide range of study types from basic linear static analysis to more complex nonlinear and dynamic analysis. Speed up the iteration and prototyping phase of your design process with SOLIDWORKS Simulation.

How accurate are the results?

Accuracy and reliability is a common question of all Simulation tools. How do we know the results can be trusted? Fortunately, there is an independent group that handles this. The National Agency for Finite Element Methods and Standards (NAFEMS) tests simulation programs against benchmark studies with known results that have been validated mathematically and empirically. All study types available in SOLIDWORKS Simulation have been tested and validated by NAFEMS.

Still not convinced? SOLIDWORKS has included setup guides and the NAFEMS benchmark models in the Simulation software so users can run the analysis and compare the results themselves.


Analysis tools designed to optimize your testing.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Tools

Linear Static Analysis

Test designs using linear materials under steady-state load conditions to quickly analyze and iterate designs based on stress, strain, displacement, and Factor of Safety (FOS) results. The included Trend Tracker tool helps engineers to track the results of design changes automatically.

Motion (Kinematic) Analysis

Leverages user-defined constraints (mates) in assemblies and mechanical inputs (gravity, springs, dampers, forces, etc.) to accurately recreate the mechanical movement of the assembly and provide designers with reaction forces, position, acceleration, and velocities.

Fatigue Analysis

Used to test the life of designs due to fatigue failure, engineers can apply multiple load scenarios including varying and cyclic loads where peak stress is below material yield to understand the expected life-span of their designs.

Frequency Analysis

Also known as modal analysis, this test is used to determine both the modal shape and natural frequencies of both parts and assemblies. This is critical information for an Engineer to have when creating designs that will be subjected to vibration inputs or used in vibrating environments.

Thermal Analysis

This test gives engineers a method to study and understand the heat transfer, both steady-state and transient, through conduction between components as well as both radiation and convection into the surrounding environment. The results of this analysis can be used in a stress analysis to see how the thermal conditions will affect the stress and displacement in a part or assembly.

Topology Optimization

Rather than creating a design and validating it, this study allows engineers to specify the “bounding box”, stiffness, weight and frequency requirements of the component and allow the software to generate the ideal shape to meet those requirements while considering manufacturing constraints.

Parametric Optimization

Allows designers to rapidly test and optimize a design based on variables such as dimensions, and materials with given constraints and overall goals such as weight, strength, frequency, and even manufacturing cost.

Buckling Analysis

Used to analyze load-bearing structures that are placed under compressive forces to accurately test the Factor of Safety (FOS) against buckling failure of a design.

Drop Test

Provides an easy to use tool for simulating drop test impacts of components and assemblies. Drop test analysis gives full control on the impact surface, height, velocity, and angle of the drop to understand how a design will behave when subjected to a drop impact.

Nonlinear Analysis

Rubbers, plastics, Nitinol, and other nonlinear materials cannot be accurately tested with a linear solver. Nonlinear analysis allows engineers to use advanced material models to accurately analyze designs that incorporate these materials.

Composite Analysis

Used when designing with materials such as fiberglass or carbon fiber, this study allows engineers to specify fiber orientation and layup schedule for their designs. The results provide information on stresses at each layer as well as interlaminar stresses and composite specific results like Tsai Hill and Tsai Wu.

Dynamic Analysis

Allows designers to test Modal Time History, Harmonic Analysis, Random Vibration, and Response Spectrum of components and assemblies. Results such as transient response, peak response, stress, acceleration, and displacement can be provided by this type of analysis.

Get Pricing for SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard allows users to use connections such as bolts and pins to stress test their assemblies, simulate realistic assembly motion, and calculate joint forces.

Get Pricing for SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional offers a comprehensive toolset for improved assembly simulation. Functionality includes calculation of modal vibration, transient thermal temperature loading, DoE and topology optimization, and more!

Get Pricing for SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium allows users to perform high-level non-linear simulations for exotic materials, complex load cases, and large deformation problems. Simulate advanced vibration for harmonic, random vibration, and shock loading.



SOLIDWORKS Simulation Nonlinear Materials

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Non-Linear Beyond Yield

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Composite Analysis

SOLIDWORKS Simulation  Dynamic Analysis


SOLIDWORKS Simulation Nonlinear Materials

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Buckling Analysis

SOLIDWORKS Simulation load case maanger

SOLIDWORKS Simulation non-linear beyond yield

SOLIDWORKS Simulation drop test analysis

SOLIDWORKS Simulation motion even-based

SOLIDWORKS Simulation composite analysis

SOLIDWORKS Simulation thermal analysis

SOLIDWORKS Simulation topology optimization

SOLIDWORKS Simulation dynamic analysis

SOLIDWORKS Simulation parametric optimization

SOLIDWORKS Simulation frequency analysis


SIMULATION Professional

Fully Embedded Analysis*


Static Stress Analysis*

Fatigue Studies

Kinematic Motion (Time-Based)*

Trend Tracker

Detecting Unconstrained Bodies

Kinematic Motion (Event-Based)


2D Simplification


Thermal Analysis^


Buckling Analysis


Frequency Analysis


Drop Test Analysis


Pressure Vessel Analysis


Topology Study


Load Case Manager


Nonlinear Analysis


Plastic Deformation/Residual Stress


Composite Material Analysis



Dynamic Analysis



Forced Vibration Analysis



Offloaded Solving



SOLIDWORKS Simulation functions as an add-in for SOLIDWORKS CAD. The workflow and commands closely mirror that of the SOLIDWORKS design process, so most users find that learning SOLIDWORKS Simulation is a fairly intuitive process. With that said, the results that SOLIDWORKS Simulation provides still need to be interpreted and understood by someone with the knowledge of material properties and engineering principles in order to make good design decisions.

As with all SOLIDWORKS tools, GoEngineer offers in-person and online training for all packages of SOLIDWORKS Simulation.
Yes. Just like SOLIDWORKS CAD, SOLIDWORKS Simulation is available as a standalone license and a shared network license.
All tiers of SOLIDWORKS Simulation can be used with all tiers of SOLIDWORKS CAD. Because SOLIDWORKS Simulation is an add-in for SOLIDWORKS CAD, Simulation will function as whichever version of SOLIDWORKS CAD is utilized.

Example: If you are running SOLIDWORKS 2019, then SOLIDWORKS Simulation will also have to be 2019.
Yes. As with all SOLIDWORKS tools that have tiers, there are upgrade paths available when you need to add functionality.
SOLIDWORKS Simulation is specifically an FEA program, designed for analyzing structural and kinematic systems. SOLIDWORKS Flow is a validated and certified CFD program from SOLIDWORKS. Ideal for fluid dynamic analysis and heat transfer, SOLIDWORKS Flow acts as a SOLIDWORKS add-in as well. If you’d like to learn more about SOLIDWORKS Flow, fill out the request form and write “Flow” in the comments section.
Processor:  3.3GHz or faster, Intel® Core i7, Xeon or equivalent AMD®
Operating System : Windows® 10 and 7  (2020 is the last year for Windows 7 support)
Memory :   16GB or more as required
Hard Drive:   Solid State Drive (SSD) > 250GB, keeping 10% drive capacity free space
Graphics Cards:  NVIDIA® Quadro®  RTX 4000
Yes, with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium, longer calculations can be offloaded to another computer that has the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent (included with Simulation Premium) installed. This allows users to create and set up an analysis on their computer and offload the calculation to another computer, freeing their hardware up to work on other tasks.


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