A New Way to Capture Concept Ideas Quickly

Every great product began as a design concept, right? Well, maybe not every product… So, how do we begin the process of capturing design ideas and sharing them with a team? With SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer on the 3DExperience Platform, ideas can be captured quickly, and shared with other team members to help guide the design process from its infancy.

Often, industrial designers begin the ideation process with a concept sketch, using either a whiteboard, pencil and paper, or a digital 2D sketching application (Photoshop, Illustrator, SketchBook Pro, etc). Now, using the new Concept Sketch functionality in SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer, users can “freehand” sketch using a stylus input device to digitally capture concept sketches in a 3D environment.

Let’s say you are tasked with developing a new handle design for an apple slicer. The blade assembly is something that one could easily create in SOLIDWORKS, but the organically shaped handle may take some ideation before settling on a great aesthetic and functional design. Using the Concept Sketch tool, ideas can be sketched right in the 3D workspace.


With an intuitive set of functionality, users can change the color of the pen tool and increase/decrease the pen tip size. There is also an option for sketch “smoothing,” which interpolates a freehand sketch into a mathematically accurate spline. This functionality helps to automatically clean up and refine rough sketches.


Using the reflect command, scribbling over the sketch with the stylus ‘selects’ the sketch entities, and then choosing a reflection plane will mirror the sketch.


Since you’re always sketching in 3D, an additional elevation view is easy to add just by activating another plane. All the views are captured in one sketch. Multiple sketches can be used like layers, enabling users to quickly iterate design concepts.



At this early stage of the design process, 3D design information has already been created and is easily shareable on the 3DExperience Platform. Simply create a new blog post on your private community, and share a screen grab of your design to get comments and feedback from other designers or stakeholders who have been given access to view the blog.


Concept Sketching in SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer offers an intuitive and collaborative environment to capture concept ideas quickly and easily.

You can learn more about SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE solutions on the SOLIDWORKS website.


Andrew Gross

Andrew Gross

Andrew is a Senior Territory Technical Manager at SOLIDWORKS, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He has years of experience working with resellers and customers, and has a strong background in Engineering Simulation and Design Validation. More recently, Andrew has expanded his interest and passion into Industrial Design. Andrew holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA.