SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual: The New Way to Tackle Concept Design Problems

Today at SolidWorks World 2014, the world got their first detailed look at SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual.  Tasked with enabling and streamlining the concept design phase for mechanical design SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual is more than just a CAD tool, it delivers a truly collaborative design environment that enables design teams, customers, and suppliers to communicate, work together (interact), and develop products whenever they want and where ever they are located.

Creating new concept designs is the lifeblood of successful product development, but it requires its own set of tool to solve the unique challenges of concept design.  Engineers tasked with creating concept designs need to rapidly capture their ideas, send them to their peers and collaborators to obtain feedback before iterating a few designs and then finally selecting the best solution.  The traditional method of pen and paper is good at capturing ideas but unless you are in the room with the paper it is not the best method for collecting design feedback.  With today’s dispersed design teams a new solution is needed.

To maximize the effectiveness of conceptual design efforts, designers require a modeling platform that supports different needs, challenges, and objectives. SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual makes conceptual design workflows more instinctive, less constraining, and more productive, enabling manufacturers to effectively spark the development of innovative product concepts.

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual is built upon four pillars, which are closely related to the challenges of mechanical concept design.


A key property for a concept design tool is the ability for designers to easily create, manage and rapidly evolve multiple design concepts simultaneously.  All designs ‘work’ on paper but SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual allows you to see how the design would move and interact in a dynamic way, giving a much deeper level of insight than a static sketch. Most concepts start as 2D sketches, involving multiple parts in one sketch, SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual minimizes rework with intuitive 2D to 3D tools that feature automatic mapping of sketch relations into assembly mates and motion drivers.

A major headache in the concept design phase is managing all of the ideas;  which one is best and how do you go back to an earlier idea that now looks promising?  With SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual your ideas are automatically captured and retain each of your concepts as they are developed so you never lose a valuable idea and can easily retrieve and work with any concept version.

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The concept design is a very involved process and although you rarely know how the final design product structure will be at the start of the process,  you may know the overall form of the design.  SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual allows you to design the way you think with agile, instinctive design tools in a structure-less modeling environment. Create the way you want – top down, bottom up, layout sketch, master model – without needing to pre-plan product structure.  You can focus on ideas with a flexible lifelike design process that combines the benefits of parametric and history-free modeling, deforming any 3D geometry in an instinctive and unique way.

Instinctive_3_Deformable Components


Just as “no man is an island”, no designer works in a vacuum. SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual uses familiar social collaboration tools in an interactive environment to harness the collective intelligence of your company, customers, and vendors. By creating online communities you can assemble the complete design story in one location — design requirements, concepts, and decisions from all key stakeholders —  capturing the collective intelligence of your entire community to improve your design. From within SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual design tool you can access all design community features– add posts, screenshots, 3D models, and review and reply to comments and discussions the or via standard web tools so the community is available to any designated user, at any time, on any device.

Social_3_Any Device2


Collaboration and communication enhance the concept design process and for design engineers this can pose specific problems to overcome.  SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual enhances collaboration by automatically saving design iterations to keep data safe and up-to-date. You design data is saved to a secure online collaborative space allowing you to connect, access and work on concepts anywhere at any time. With SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual you can connect instantly to collaborate with other SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual users through chat, screen capture, and on-screen annotation.


Part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform from Dassault Systèmes, SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual allows users to access a wide range of Dassault Systèmes tools easily and simply within a single user experience. The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform enables customers to design their products, virtually test them, create the manufacturing data, and communicate the technical information all within a single environment in one common format. 

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual is and has been used in a production environment by a select group of customers, and we are grateful for their partnership in making SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual a better product.  Tools that work in the R&D offices have to be proven out in the field, and through the participation of these customers, we know that SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual delivers unique advantages to the concept design process. With its flexible, intuitive, powerful modeling environment, every challenge of conceptual design turns into your business advantage.

You can learn more about SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual on the SolidWorks website.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.