Say Hello to My Little Friend – The Design Assistant

Is artificial intelligence (AI) in design just a fad? Will machine learning replace designers? No and no. At SOLIDWORKS® we believe these technologies are here to stay and have the potential to make your design process much faster.

You are probably using machine learning and AI in our solutions as we speak. AI, for example, has been part of SOLIDWORKS for years, with its feature and character recognition capabilities. It’s also embedded in SOLIDWORKS CAM, SIMULIA brands, 3DEXPERIENCE® Works and more.

Today we continue to invest heavily in AI and machine learning in our 3DEXPERIENCE Works browser-based solutions, such as 3D Creator for parametric design and 3D Structure Creator for frame design.

Our machine learning technology is used to make predictions by identifying patterns like common user workflows. You can think of it similarly to the voice-activated digital assistant Siri on smartphones or Alexa, the virtual assistant that are powered by AI. The more they learn about you, the smarter they become, and the results they suggest becomes more tailored to your preferences.

What’s cool about our browser-based roles with AI is since they run in the cloud on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, it tracks and learns from your design processes to accelerate your design process. The more design you do in the system, the smarter its recommendations become as it’s continually evolving and learning from what you’ve done on previous models.

Therefore, our AI features use built-in machine learning algorithms that offer design guidance based on your workflows. Let’s look at some of these AI-powered tools.

Meet the Design Assistant

Let me introduce you to your new best friend, the AI-enabled Design Assistant.

One of many time-saving tools is the Design Assistant Selection Helper. Here’s how it works: when you make selections, the Design Assistant predicts what should be selected next, based on the work completed to this point and will make a suggestion. It’s also a great companion for picking edges, fillets or chamfers, as it will identify other edges that are similar or symmetrical, are of a comparable length or are located nearby, and predicts what other edges you are likely to select. If you add another manual selection, the prediction is refined. If you agree with the prediction, one tap gives the go-ahead, and it automatically picks all suggested edges. You always have the final say either way.

The Design Assistant Selection Helper uses AI and machine learning and offers suggestions for additional selections.


In addition to the Design Assistant Selection Helper, other handy helpers include:

  •         Design Assistant for Sketching – quickly duplicates selected sketch objects and entities to multiple locations that have similar surrounding characteristics.
  •         Design Assistant Mate Helper – duplicates revolute mates to multiple locations that have similar surrounding characteristics.
  •         Design Assistant Smart Mate – this tool is designed to help you create mates by dragging and holding a component in the position where you want it to mate with the surrounding components.


The Design Assistant Mate Helper can identify additional instances of duplicate components as shown here in yellow and will automatically suggest where they go once you’ve selected the first one.


The Design Assistant selection of tools is all about productivity. More importantly, they increase your daily productivity for specific workflows reducing time spent on tedious tasks. The time savings you’ll get can really add up at the end of the day.

Currently our Design Assistant features are centered around frequent and time-intensive processes. This technology is always evolving, and we’d love to hear what would make you more productive.

What features would you like the AI Design Assistant to assist for you? Feel free to add your comments below.

To see how to use some of the AI features in 3D Structure Creator see my blog here.  To see what’s new in the 3DEXPERIENCE Works browser-based design roles check out this blog.

To learn more about our browser-based roles check out the SOLIDWORKS Cloud Offer.





Daniel McGinn
Dan McGinn is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS. Dan has been working with CAD for 10 years and has experience with structure design, machine design, and robotics. When he’s not at work, you might find him out on the ski slopes or hiking and camping.