SolidWorks is a 3D CAD program designed for Windows. It is made by Dassault Systèmes and has been in the 3D modelling circle since 1995.The latest version SolidWorks 2013 SP0.0 is quite a bit different from when SolidWorks was first released. SolidWorks is available in both 64 (x64) and 32 (x86) bit operating systems. According to wikipedia it is used by over 2 million engineers and designers at more than 165,000 companies worldwide.

SolidWorks is so popular because it is very user friendly and easy to learn. Another great thing about SolidWorks is that almost all of their improvements between releases come from the comments and suggestions from its users. As well as being user friendly SolidWorks is also very powerful in the fact that it has many bolt-ons from FEA (Finite Element Analysis) to libraries of common parts, bolts, nuts, piping, steel sections, as well as fluid flow analysis and thermo analysis.

 

SolidWorks Simulation (formerly COSMOS) brings the benefits of FEA to more people due to its ease of use and tool-tip guidance along the way. Previously FEA was a specialist field which required years of experience, now any engineer can run FEA and find weaknesses in their design before even making a prototype.

If you would like to give SolidWorks a go, a free trial can be downloaded from their website. and you can use the guide to getting started on SolidWorks created by 3dmodelling.com.au.