By Matt Kokowski on November 15, 2021

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE gives users the opportunity to use advanced designing and collaboration features that positively change the way we create and build. If you are currently a SOLIDWORKS desktop user and considering a move to the cloud, there are differences that you should be aware of. Below we will review some of those differences as well as take a look at the process involved when making the switch.

SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE Software are the Same

Aside from a few minor differences which we will cover below, the first thing to point out is that SOLIDWORKS is the same between the two software versions. The software for both versions will still be installed locally on your machine and get all the benefits and power of a CAD workstation.

The same tools are available in both versions: Sweeps, Lofts, Surfacing, Sheet Metal, Weldments, Assembly Tools, Drawings, etc. If you can model parts in desktop SOLIDWORKS, you can model the same parts in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS. File types are the same as well, so communication with outside vendors will continue uninterrupted.

Two Save and Open Options

A key difference between desktop SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPEREINCE SOLIDWORKS is when you’re opening and saving files.

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is cloud-connected from the ground up. Everything about it is designed to work with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and connect your data to the cloud. This is apparent when saving and opening files. Let’s look at saving files.

This platform is designed to let you work at your own pace with regard to cloud storage. It allows users to save and work locally, or in the cloud. Both of these options are provided in the Save dialog and the File pull-down menu. The Save dialog conveniently toggles back and forth between the cloud and local storage. This allows users to work locally until they are ready to move the file to the cloud.

Once in the cloud, 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS seamlessly manages the local cache storage of cloud files. The Open dialog provides the same toggle between local and cloud files. Simply toggling the dialog allows you to browse your local machine or sort by 6WTags on the platform. This makes working with data in the cloud easy and straightforward.

>> Understanding 6W Tags on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform


Another differentiating factor is how the software updates. 3DEXPREIENCE SOLIDWORKS is always on the latest version of SOLIDWORKS. Updates are handled through a dropdown in the list of apps. There is no need to browse for executables and store them somewhere. You simply launch the installer and update the software. Email notifications are sent out on a regular basis notifying users of pending updates allowing them to plan accordingly.



3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS licenses are assigned per user for either a three-month or a one-year subscription. Since they are assigned to a unique user, the user is able to use the software on any machine to which they have access. This is a great alternative to the online licensing that was discontinued. You can run SOLIDWORKS on any machine that meets SOLIDWORKS system requirements. This license also allows a user to access the data anywhere from any device. You can log into a web browser on a tablet and view the data for design reviews.

>> 5 Advantages of 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS over Online Licensing


Making the move is simple. You start by uninstalling desktop SOLIDWORKS from Add/Remove Programs in the control panel. There are a lot of uninstalling options through the installation manager, but for this move, a complete uninstall is the best option. Once SOLIDWORKS is removed from the machine, we can start the process of installing 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS. The first step is to log in to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The dashboard list in the upper left corner allows for toggling between our dashboards or area of focus. We want to start in the Platform Management dashboard and make sure we have the proper roles assigned.

SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Platform ManagerClick on the “Information” icon next to the username and make sure you have 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS selected. This assigns the user a license of SOLIDWORKS. We can now switch to the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS dashboard and start the installation.


We access the apps in the compass located in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. From the SOLIDWORKS Connected application, we can now start the installation. Detailed instructions on how to install the software are provided in the below video.

Now that the software is installed, you can launch SOLIDWORKS from the compass and work on all of your existing files just like before.

3DEXPERIENCE Compass Guide

If the above seems a little daunting, there are a few avenues at TriMech that can assist. First, a Platform Admin class teaches the essentials of setting up users and configuring roles. TriMech support can help uninstall SOLIDWORKS and any issues or concerns with accomplishing that. Finally, client care visits can be used to cover the basics of what is new in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS.

Related Products

Browse the TriMech web store for SOLIDWORKS software to design, analyze and manufacture your products on your desktop.

Matt Kokowski

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