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The Ultimate Guide to Downloading SolidWorks for Free

SolidWorks Download for Free: Is It Possible and What Are the Alternatives?

SolidWorks is one of the most widely used CAD software in the world, with over six million users across various industries. It is a powerful and versatile tool that allows you to design, simulate, and manufacture products in 2D and 3D. But how can you get SolidWorks for free? Is it legal and safe? And what are some other options if you don't want to pay for it? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.

SolidWorks Download for Free

What is SolidWorks and why is it popular?

SolidWorks is a solid modeling computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) software that was developed by Dassault Systèmes in 1995. It is part of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which offers a range of solutions for product development, data management, cloud collaboration, and more.

SolidWorks features and benefits

Some of the main features and benefits of SolidWorks are:

  • It provides a user-friendly interface that is easy to learn and use.

  • It supports parametric and direct modeling, as well as synchronous technology, which allows you to edit models without losing design intent.

  • It integrates with various simulation tools, such as finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), motion analysis, and optimization.

  • It enables you to create photorealistic renderings, animations, and virtual reality (VR) experiences of your designs.

  • It offers a comprehensive data management system that helps you organize, share, and protect your design data.

  • It connects with other applications and services on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, such as DraftSight, DELMIAWORKS, SIMULIA, and more.

SolidWorks pricing and licensing options

SolidWorks is not a cheap software. A full standalone license costs around $4K, and there are different packages available depending on your needs. For example, SolidWorks Standard includes basic CAD features, SolidWorks Professional adds data management and collaboration tools, and SolidWorks Premium adds advanced simulation and design validation capabilities. You can also purchase add-ons for specific functions, such as electrical design, sheet metal design, or piping design.

There are different ways to purchase SolidWorks licenses. You can buy them outright or rent them on a term basis. You can also choose between perpetual licenses or subscription licenses. Perpetual licenses give you permanent access to the software version you buy, but you have to pay extra for maintenance and upgrades. Subscription licenses give you access to the latest software version and updates, as well as technical support and online resources.

How to download SolidWorks for free legally?

If you want to use SolidWorks for free legally, there are some options available. However, they are not suitable for everyone. Here are some of the ways you can download SolidWorks for free:

SolidWorks free trial version

If you are not sure whether SolidWorks is the right software for you, you can try it out for free for 15 days. You can choose between downloading the software locally or accessing it online at The online version does not require installation or registration, but it has some limitations in terms of functionality and performance. The trial version gives you access to the premium features of SolidWorks, but you cannot save or export your files.

SolidWorks student version

If you are a student or an educator, you can get a discounted version of SolidWorks for between $60 and $ 150 per year. The student version is similar to the professional version, but it has some restrictions, such as a watermark on the files, limited file compatibility, and no access to online services. You need to provide proof of your academic status to qualify for the student version.

SolidWorks online version

If you don't want to install anything on your computer, you can use SolidWorks online at This is a cloud-based version of SolidWorks that runs on your web browser. You can create, edit, and view 3D models, as well as collaborate with other users. However, the online version has some drawbacks, such as limited functionality, lower performance, and dependency on internet connection. You need to have a valid SolidWorks ID to use the online version.

What are the best alternatives to SolidWorks?

If you are looking for a free or cheaper alternative to SolidWorks, there are some options available. However, they may not have all the features and capabilities of SolidWorks, and they may have different user interfaces and workflows. Here are some of the best alternatives to SolidWorks:

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD/CAM/CAE software that is developed by Autodesk. It is similar to SolidWorks in terms of functionality and versatility, but it has some advantages, such as:

  • It is free for students, educators, hobbyists, and startups.

  • It has a modern and intuitive user interface that is easy to learn and use.

  • It supports various design methods, such as parametric, direct, freeform, and generative.

  • It integrates with various cloud services, such as simulation, rendering, manufacturing, and collaboration.

  • It has a large and active community of users and experts who can help you with your projects.


Onshape is another cloud-based CAD software that is similar to SolidWorks. It was founded by some of the original creators of SolidWorks in 2012. It has some advantages over SolidWorks, such as:

  • It is free for students and educators.

  • It runs on any device with a web browser, including tablets and smartphones.

  • It allows you to work on multiple documents simultaneously and collaborate with other users in real-time.

  • It has a built-in version control system that tracks every change you make to your designs.

  • It has a rich ecosystem of third-party apps and integrations that extend its functionality.


SketchUp is a 3D modeling software that is popular among architects, designers, and hobbyists. It is known for its simplicity and ease of use. It has some advantages over SolidWorks, such as:

  • It has a free web-based version that you can use without downloading anything.

  • It has a user-friendly interface that lets you create 3D models quickly and intuitively.

  • It has a large library of pre-made models and components that you can use in your designs.

  • It has a powerful extension system that allows you to add new features and tools to the software.

  • It has a vibrant community of users and developers who can help you with your projects.


LibreCAD is a free and open-source 2D CAD software that is suitable for basic design tasks. It is based on the QCAD project and has some advantages over SolidWorks, such as:

  • It is completely free and does not require any registration or license.

  • It runs on multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

  • It supports various file formats, such as DXF, DWG, SVG, PDF, and more.

  • It has a simple and familiar user interface that resembles AutoCAD.

  • It has a loyal and supportive community of users and developers who can help you with your projects.


SolidWorks is a great CAD software that offers many features and benefits for product design and engineering. However, it is not cheap and may not be accessible for everyone. Fortunately, there are some ways to download SolidWorks for free legally or use some alternatives that are free or cheaper. In this article, we have discussed some of these options and their pros and cons. We hope this article has helped you find the best solution for your needs.


Here are some of the frequently asked questions about SolidWorks download for free and its alternatives:

Q: Is SolidWorks free for personal use?

A: No, SolidWorks is not free for personal use. You need to purchase a license or a subscription to use it legally. However, you can use the free trial version or the online version for a limited time.

Q: Can I use SolidWorks on Mac?

A: No, SolidWorks does not run natively on Mac OS X. You need to use a Windows emulator or a virtual machine to run it on Mac. Alternatively, you can use some of the cloud-based alternatives, such as Fusion 360 or Onshape, that run on any web browser.

Q: How can I learn SolidWorks for free?

A: There are many resources available online that can help you learn SolidWorks for free. Some of them are:

  • The official SolidWorks website, which offers tutorials, videos, webinars, and more.

  • The website, which offers online courses, certification exams, and more.

  • The YouTube channel of SolidWorks, which offers tips, tricks, and demos.

  • The various blogs, forums, and communities of SolidWorks users and experts, such as SolidWorks Forum, Reddit, Quora, and more.

Q: What are the system requirements for SolidWorks?

A: The minimum system requirements for SolidWorks are:

  • Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit

  • Processor: 3.3 GHz or higher

  • Memory: 16 GB or more

  • Graphics card: Certified cards and drivers

  • Hard disk space: 20 GB or more

  • Internet connection: Required for installation, activation, and online services

Q: What is the difference between SolidWorks and AutoCAD?

A: SolidWorks and AutoCAD are both CAD software, but they have some differences. Some of them are:

  • SolidWorks is mainly used for 3D modeling and engineering, while AutoCAD is mainly used for 2D drafting and design.

  • SolidWorks is more suitable for product design and manufacturing, while AutoCAD is more suitable for architecture and construction.

  • SolidWorks uses parametric modeling and feature-based design, while AutoCAD uses direct modeling and command-based design.

  • SolidWorks is more expensive than AutoCAD, but it offers more features and capabilities.



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