Exploring the Benefits of the SOLIDWORKS Design-to-Manufacturing Ecosystem

Great designs get built! SOLIDWORKS, combined with integrated applications from our more than 60 Gold Partners, provides a broad range of solutions giving you a complete “art-to-part” solution for your company – all without ever having to leave your familiar SOLIDWORKS CAD environment. This Manufacturing Ecosystem of products allows companies to go from concept design to manufactured parts faster than ever before. This is made possible by enabling engineering and manufacturing teams to work concurrently without having to export and import data from one system to another. Thousands of companies have been taking advantage of this Manufacturing Ecosystem for years, and, as a result, have become leaders in their respective markets.

We recently launched the SOLIDWORKS Model-Based Definition (MBD) product. Since its launch, hundreds of companies, like Waters, Sparton and GE Lighting, have successfully implemented SOLIDWORKS MBD to fast-track their design to manufacturing. SOLIDWORKS MBD allows you to create 3D drawings and to define, organize and publish manufacturing specifications directly in 3D parts and assemblies to eliminate ambiguity and streamline manufacturing. You can create 3D dimensions and tolerances and capture 3D Views similar to a drawing, including different orientations, zoom factors, configurations, and display states. With SOLIDWORKS MBD, you can publish 3D PDF files that are easily read with Adobe Reader and pan, zoom and rotate your model just like in SOLIDWORKS. You can also quickly switch between exploded and detailed views, and even cross-highlight between a 3D model and its BOM table.
Another partner taking advantage of SOLIDWORKS MBD is CAMWorks. By interpreting 3D dimensions and tolerances, CAMWorks can automatically make decisions about which manufacturing operations to choose. This provides an MBM, or Model-Based Manufacturing, piece to the Manufacturing Ecosystem. With SOLIDWORKS MBD and CAMWorks, users get intelligent manufacturing based on tolerances, with additional tools and operations automatically generated with dimensional and tolerance changes.

The combination of SOLIDWORKS MBD and CAMWorks allows the design and manufacturing models to become one-in-the-same and eliminates the need to send a critical dimensioned drawing or any other documentation along to manufacturing. Not only are the critical dimensions shown during CAM programming, but now those dimensions and tolerances can actually drive the selection of the manufacturing processes.


Another partner Origin has developed applications for programming Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) and checking CMM inspection results and 3D point cloud “scan data” against the original 3D CAD model. Origins’ CheckMate is fully integrated with SOLIDWORKS MBD and provides a Model-Based Inspection (MBI) capability for CMM programming. It reads SOLIDWORKS MBD models, GD&T, and associated coordinate systems to automatically program CMM code per your MBD specifications. CMM programming time can now be cut from hours down to minutes, and it also greatly reduces human errors. After a quick CMM simulation, the program can be loaded to all CMM machines with no manual edits required. Finally, CheckMate automatically generates reports by comparing the ideal design model against CMM-sampled coordinates or 3D-scanned point clouds.


Since releasing SOLIDWORKS Inspection two years ago, it has helped thousands of customers leverage their existing 2D data, both SOLIDWORKS drawings and PDF files, to automate the creation of their inspection documents and improve their quality control processes. Hawle, a SOLIDWORKS customer in Germany, takes pride in designing, manufacturing and distributing innovative and high-quality valves and fittings for water and sewage piping systems. For them, the focus is always on Quality. They use SOLIDWORKS Inspection and SOLIDWORKS Composer to create interactive inspection and control documents in which detailed views clearly indicate to quality inspectors what to measure and how to measure each characteristic of the part. Measurements can be entered by hand or using a digital caliper and colors also provide instant feedback to determine the conformity of the part and avoid costly mistakes.


SOLIDWORKS Costing is now used by designers, manufacturers and quoting departments to automatically estimate manufacturing costs directly from 3D models. Manufacturing operations are automatically recognized, and the cost of each part can be rolled-up for total cost of your assembly. It helps engineers and designers make real-time design decisions based on cost; helps executives and manager to keep product costs on budget; and enables manufacturing personnel to instantly quote 3D parts and assemblies.



To conclude, Great designs get built! And, SOLIDWORKS, combined with integrated applications from our over 60 Gold Partners, provides a broad range of solutions giving you a complete “art-to-part” solution for your company – all without ever having to leave your familiar SOLIDWORKS CAD environment.

Learn how SOLIDWORKS design solutions help engineers and designers achieve results in an easy-to-use, intuitive environment. Watch this video to see SOLIDWORKS solutions in action.

Craig Therrien

Craig Therrien

Craig Therrien is a 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS Senior Portfolio Manager with over 30 years of CAD and industry experience - engineer, consultant, CAD product manager, CAD company co-founder. Currently, serving as Senior Product Manager for SOLIDWORKS and 3D Mold Creator. Craig has a B.S.M.E. from WPI and is a Graduate of General Electric's Manufacturing Development Program.