What’s New 2020: Performance Improvements

Getting your job done faster is what improved performance is all about, so the new performance enhancements in SOLIDWORKS® 2020 are worth talking about.

Detailing Mode and Graphics Acceleration

Anybody who knows the pain of waiting for a large assembly drawing to come up on the screen so they can start detailing it will appreciate this enhancement.

Click on the image to watch a video about the the Detailing mode in SOLIDWORKS.


The new Detailing mode (shown above) lets you open a drawing in a matter of seconds while maintaining the ability to add and edit annotations within the drawing. Detailing mode is especially useful if you need to make minor edits to drawings of large assemblies or drawings with many sheets, configurations, or resource-intensive views.

Basically, the software allows you to bring that drawing up very quickly without bringing up all the 3D models in the background. It’s like you’re looking at a JPEG image and BOOM it comes up just like that and you can start working right away.

Part of the increased speed equation is that SOLIDWORKS also now fully supports high-end graphics cards for drawings. By taking advantage of modern OpenGL (4.5) and hardware-accelerated rendering, SOLIDWORKS provides more responsive real-time display for large drawings, which means a high level of detail and faster frame rate when you pan or zoom.

Envelope Publisher

The new Envelope Publisher helps you improve design speed by enabling you to include components from a top-level assembly as envelopes in a subassembly.

Click on the image to see a video that explains the Envelope Publisher.


Let’s say you bring up a large machine assembly. It used to be that if you referenced something else in the assembly in another location or a subassembly, they existed together only at the top-level assembly.

In other words, you had to have the whole assembly up on the screen with all the parts included.

You can push or “publish” components from any higher-level assembly as envelopes into the subassembly you want to work on. Now anytime you want to work on that subassembly you can just open it without the need to open the entire top-level assembly.

This dramatically reduces the number of components that need to be opened thereby shortening open times with the added benefit of minimizing clutter on the screen.

­Hybrid Simulation Mesh

When you want to run a linear static analysis, you can now create a hybrid mesh which includes both draft-quality and high-quality items in your mesh within the same simulation study.

Draft-quality mesh is faster in solution time, while high-quality mesh provides more precision when needed. The result is quicker overall solving time.

Large Design Review Editing

In SOLIDWORKS 2019 we developed a much faster way of designing large assemblies by allowing you to edit your assembly while in Large Design Review (LDR).

Just to review, LDR mode is the fastest way to open, view, measure, and now edit your assembly in SOLIDWORKS without having to do upfront work like create configurations or use other techniques.

You can work with your design without having to bring up all the heavy component information; it brings up just the info needed to be able to view, measure, and edit the assembly—making it very fast.

And now in SOLIDWORKS 2020, we have provided two more key capabilities when editing in LDR mode.

First, LDR now supports mating to the reference geometry of components. Of course, this means you can also view these reference features in the FeatureManager® as well as Hide/Show them. Reference features include standard planes, origin, reference planes, axes, reference points, and coordinate systems. And second, you can create and edit linear and circular component patterns when you edit an assembly in LDR mode.

All these performance enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2020 were created because we know you want your CAD software to work faster, letting you be more productive. Please keep sending us your user enhancement requests, and we will keep responding with improvements to our portfolio.

What do you think of these enhancements? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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.