SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design: New Name, New Innovations

At all SOLIDWORKS World conferences, we make many significant announcements and this year no different. Last year we announced SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual, our first design solution based on the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Today at the event we provided an update on our first conceptual design solution.

Based on feedback from our customers, SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual has proven to be very effective for much more than just mechanical design.  With that in mind, we have renamed SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual to SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design. This will also allow us to support a broader workflow.


Whether you are laying out an entire factory, designing a new robot cell, or validating ideas for a new mountain bike suspension, SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design provides a wide range of innovative design and collaboration tools, combined with the ease of use that SOLIDWORKS is known for.

New Name, New Innovations:

  • Dynamic Motion Simulation
  • Mechanism Synthesis
  • History Based Mates
  • Enhanced Interoperability

Dynamic Motion Simulation:

SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design now provides both kinematic and dynamic analysis capabilities. These expanded capabilities allow you to solve both 2D and 3D motion studies, and test the feasibility of your conceptual designs with minimal effort.

You can investigate range of motion, displacement, velocity and acceleration. Dynamic contact can also be simulated for both 2D and 3D studies.


Mechanism Synthesis:

With SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design you can now design multi-bar linkages easier and faster than ever before.  Simply layout the basic configuration of your links, assign the known dimensional parameters, and let SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design calculate the unknown values.

Many users prefer to think in terms of the end goal. Users new to mechanism design don’t have to perform detailed math operations to figure out the length links

For example:

In the open state the horizontal arm should be 35mm above the base pivot point and the closed state is should be perfectly horizontal. By simply specifying your start and end positions, the software tries to capture your thinking and calculate a solution based on your initial design. This greatly reduces the time wasted in iterating the mechanism to achieve your end goal.


History Based Mates:

Capturing design intent is one of the many ways SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design allows you to focus on solving design challenges, not the software.

By applying assembly mates between components one time, your design intent is captured for later re-use.  This can result in huge time savings when assembling previously mated components together.

Simply pick a part, point at an adjacent part and the previously used mating schemes are suggested.  Accept one of the options presented with a single click, and your components are mated in the correct position.

Additionally, SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design can suggest which components have been mated together previously.  No manual searching is required, just right mouse click on a component and the software will provide a list of previously mate components for you to choose from.


Enhanced Interoperability:

Using SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design together with SOLIDWORKS Desktop has never been easier!

Enhanced interoperability capabilities help you leverage your SOLIDWORKS Desktop designs when starting new projects in SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design.

You can now choose to read the mate information from your SOLIDWORKS assemblies when opening them in SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design.  This greatly improves the re-use of your legacy design information when exploring new concepts.

Sending your concept designs to SOLIDWORKS Desktop for further refinement or detailing has received similar attention.  We’ve added support for reading assembly mates, sketch entities and geometric and dimensional constraints from your concept designs to help you transition to your detailed design phase quickly and easily.

Of course, there are going to be situations where your legacy SOLIDWORKS Desktop design data needs to be modified to fit the needs of a new project.  In addition to the direct editing tools that have been enhanced in the 2015x release, we have also added a new ‘Edit in SOLIDWORKS’ command.  This allows you to directly open your legacy models in SOLIDWORKS Desktop for editing.  Simply save your changes and SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design will update the referenced component.


This latest version of SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design delivers many 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 Conceptual Design at: 

John Picinich

John Picinich

John is a Senior Product Portfolio Manager at Solidworks