The Growing SOLIDWORKS Nation

As a former tech journalist who’s been covering the CAD industry since 1992, I can say that I’ve seen my fair share of CAD demos and attended more trade shows and industry media events over the years than I even care to remember. Something about attending SOLIDWORKS events always struck me as being different from those put on by other CAD vendors. Now working for SOLIDWORKS and seeing all the dedicated people working tirelessly behind the scenes daily to create and support the SOLIDWORKS brand of products, I have an inside track on what makes this company different. And, it’s the same thing that you witness when immersed in its huge user community: passion.

SOLIDWORKS employees are passionate about our users. Daily we see the amazingly innovative products our customers are creating with SOLIDWORKS tools. Attend any SOLIDWORKS World and you’ll witness firsthand the enthusiasm of our attendees as they literally run to secure the best seats for the General Sessions. Our users care passionately about our tools and share their opinions annually on how they can influence the future of SOLIDWORKS in the SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List. And, we listen. Every year each new release of SOLIDWORKS includes up to 90 percent of enhancements that are directly a result of customer requests.

So all this begs the question: what makes our users so passionate? What is it about SOLIDWORKS that makes it unique? To find the answer to that question, I set upon the quest of gathering facts and stats about where the company—and its ever-expanding portfolio of solutions— are today. In doing so, it seemed apparent that things are indeed different here. Let’s take a look at some of the ways SOLIDWORKS is different from other CAD companies.

The SOLIDWORKS Population. Back when the company started, the number of users was obviously quite small. Today, there are over 2.3 million active users at over 234,800 companies in 80 countries, and that number continues to grow. In fact, by the end of this year there will be an estimated 5.2 million DraftSight and SOLIDWORKS users combined. In addition, there are 247 groups in the SOLIDWORKS User Group Network (SWUGN) located throughout the world so finding an answer to your SOLIDWORKS questions is never far away.

The Deepest Talent Pool. One of the challenges you often hear about is the difficulty of hiring and retaining engineering talent. Perhaps the best thing you can do as an engineering manager or executive at a manufacturing company to overcome these challenges is to standardize on SOLIDWORKS. According to, this year of the 13,592 postings for companies seeking applicants with 3D CAD skills, 40 percent of those were for SOLIDWORKS users, which represent an 18 percent increase over last year.

Growing Presence in the Classroom. One of the reasons there are so many SOLIDWORKS users is the fact that SOLIDWORKS and engineering education go together like peanut butter and jelly. Every day more than two million students use SOLIDWORKS at 31,000 schools throughout the world so if you’re looking for an entry-level engineer, odds are they will be well-versed in SOLIDWORKS.

An engaged online network. Don’t waste time re-creating or searching for supplier parts online. With 3D Content Central you can download over 330,000 supplier-provided 2D or 3D models directly. This active online platform has over 1.3 million users who download 3,500 parts a month.

Ever-expanding ecosystem of solutions. What started out as 3D CAD software 1998 has evolved into a full ecosystem of solutions that supports the entire enterprise, from building best-in-class connected products to supporting downstream disciplines that keep designs flowing through development and into production faster than ever before. Each new release of SOLIDWORKS includes hundreds of new enhancements, 90 percent of which are user-requested.


Learn more about how SOLIDWORKS is different from other CAD tools and how the growing SOLIDWORKS network of users can help your company compete better by viewing “The Growing SOLIDWORKS Nation” infographic and catching up on all the resources (case studies, blogs, webinars, white papers) here.



Barb Schmitz

Barb Schmitz

Senior Marketing Communications Manager at SolidWorks
Barb Schmitz is a Senior Manager in Marketing Communications with BA in Journalism and over 30 years of experience in the CAD software industry. She started her career as a journalist covering technology and served as an editor for several leading industry publications for over 20 years. Besides being a sleuth of tech, she is a loyal dog owner, travel bum, mom, lover of hoppy IPAs, red wine, and alternative music lover living in the great city of Chicago.