Home » Best SolidWorks Add-Ins To Learn To Use

Solidworks add-ins are in-process applications that provide a high level of customization and excellent performance and user experience. Add-ins can be installed at start-up and integrated into the application, extending the Solidworks user interface and capabilities. In addition, the best SolidWorks add-ins to use offer enhanced features that can be beneficial. SolidWorks add-ins are classified into two types: native add-ins developed by SolidWorks and third-party add-ins developed by other firms. Third-party Solidworks add-ins can help engineering teams address issues with each development iteration, whether related to design, manufacturing, assembly, team communication, or project management.

The third-party add-in for SolidWorks is the Partner Program, which, in collaboration with over 500 top solution partners globally, provides you with direct access to goods and services that help you maximize productivity, create innovative products, and meet your product development objectives. These Partner Products include various tools and applications that will assist you in extending the power and utility of your Solidworks solutions. The best Solidworks Add-Ins to use are nothing more than a collection of necessary and valuable tools or plugins that make the software more usable; they provide the software with additional functions that the software does not have on its own.

The Best Solidworks Add Ins To Learn To Use


You can load compatible applications that meet specific needs into your Solidworks software for the current session, the next start-up, or both. Your PC must have the add-in software installed. Solidworks add-ins can be loaded via the CommandManager’s Solidworks Add-Ins tab. It will only load the add-in for the current session. To use other applications with Solidworks, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Select Add-Ins from the Tools menu.

Step 2: Select or remove programs from active add-ins or start-ups.

Selecting the Active Add-ins check box launches the program for the current session. Selecting the Start-Up check box loads the application for each session.

Step 3: Select “OK.”

Most add-in applications include extra user interface elements such as CommandManager tabs, Manager Pane tabs, Task Pane tabs, menus, and toolbars.

Solidworks add-ins are applications that provide extended functionalities for SolidWorks users, and the best Solidworks add-ins to use are explained below.

1. FeatureWorks

The Solidworks FeatureWorks add-in is a component document identification tool for SolidWorks that detects a restricted number of features on an imported solid. Solidworks FeatureWorks is a software program that converts input geometry into Solidworks features. 

It is an integrated geometry recognition module that allows files imported into SolidWorks from other CAD systems (Inventor, Pro/Engineer, CATIA, and so on) to be given a basic feature history instead of being left as an “imported” body. It comes in handy when working with other SolidWorks users using earlier versions of SolidWorks and where newer version files cannot be read or updated within the prior version of SolidWorks. Solidworks FeatureWorks is one of the best Solidworks add-ins to use. It generates a feature tree, which a SolidWorks user may utilize to conduct routine parametric model adjustments. While the FeatureWorks module may not recognize complex geometry or build the exact feature tree that the user desires, it is still a helpful tool for modifying designs.

2. Tolanalyst

TolAnalyst is a Solidworks add-in that performs tolerance analysis on parts and assemblies to help evaluate the impact of dimensions and tolerances. TolAnalyst can perform maximum and lowest tolerance stack-up analysis on components and assemblies.

When performing tolerance stack-up analysis, knowing how to use Solidworks Tolanalyst is critical. Designers and engineers do a Tolerance Stack-Up Analysis to determine whether a collection of parts will fit together and function properly.

TolAnalyst is a utility that is included with the SolidWorks application. It is one of the best Solidworks add-ins to use. Understanding how to utilize Solidworks’ Tolanalyst tool lets you evaluate the tolerances of assembly elements. The more parts in an assembly, the more tolerances can influence the assembly’s design and construction. The goal is to ensure that the tolerances of individual components at their extremes do not fail to function or prevent the final product from being assembled.

TolAnalyst enables you to create and run an assembly study to demonstrate the effects of manufacturing tolerances on a finished assembly. TolAnalyst works with you to optimize your components’ production tolerances to reduce manufacturing costs while retaining the part’s form, fit, and functionality. TolAnalyst studies allow you to detect worst-case tolerance stack-ups, identify tolerances that contribute to the stackup, and use the data to modify tolerances before sending components out for fabrication.

3. SimulationXpress

The SimulationXpress add-in is a simplified version of SolidWorks Simulation. Learning how to utilize SimulationXpress is a great way to conduct a comparative study to see if the strength of your design has risen or decreased and to make modifications toward a better plan. SimulationXpress is the industry’s first and only built-in design verification tool for quickly and easily testing part designs within 3D mechanical design software. SimulationXpress is one of the best Solidworks add-ins to use for stress analysis of simple parts, allowing you to model the effect of force or pressure loads on those parts. Once you have your stress results, it can generate HTML reports and create SolidWorks eDrawings files to document and communicate the analysis results.

The SimulationXpress wizard will guide you through establishing fixtures, loads, and material characteristics, analyzing the model, and displaying the results. When you complete a step, the data is automatically saved, appears in the SimulationXpress study tree, and is accessible even if SimulationXpress is closed and restarted without closing the component document. Of course, you must save the component documents to keep the simulation data.

4. Motion

SolidWorks Motion is the industry-standard kinematic and motion simulation add-in software for engineers and designers who want to understand how their assemblies work. Engineers can use SolidWorks motion to size motors and actuators, calculate power consumption, arrange linkages, develop cams, comprehend gear drives, size springs, and dampers, and establish how contacting parts behave. As a result, physical prototyping expenses are decreased quantitatively, as is product development time. SolidWorks Motion also provides qualitative benefits such as evaluating more designs, reducing risk, and accessing critical information early.

Motion add-ins use SolidWorks’ functionality- SolidWorks Motion, which is included with SolidWorks Premium, builds motion simulation studies using current SolidWorks assembly information. SolidWorks Motion, for example, will automatically map SolidWorks mates to derive motion joint conditions. In addition, it smoothly transmits loads into simulation for stress analysis. You may view stress and displacements on a component at a single time or for the whole simulation cycle with the smooth transfer of loads from SolidWorks Motion to SolidWorks Simulation.

Bottom Line

Solidworks add-ins are an essential part of the Solidworks workflow, and knowing the best Solidworks add-ins to use will help you enhance the quality of your design and speed up the design process.