Photo of Enhancing SOLIDWORKS: Exploring Must-Have Plugins and Add-Ons

SOLIDWORKS is a powerhouse in the world of 3D modeling software, known for its robust design capabilities and user-friendly interface. However, the real magic happens when you start integrating plugins and add-ons into your workflow. These supplementary tools can extend SOLIDWORKS’ functionality, making it even more versatile and efficient for various industries, from product design to engineering and beyond.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the must-have plugins and add-ons for SOLIDWORKS that can take your 3D modeling experience to the next level.


SOLIDWORKS Visualize is a powerful rendering and visualization tool. It allows you to transform your 3D models into stunning photorealistic images and animations. With Visualize, you can create marketing materials, product catalogs, or presentations that showcase your designs with unparalleled realism. It’s a game-changer for those looking to impress clients and stakeholders with visually appealing renderings.


KeyShot is another rendering software that seamlessly integrates with SOLIDWORKS. Known for its speed and ease of use, KeyShot simplifies the rendering process while maintaining high-quality results. It supports real-time rendering, which means you can make design changes in SOLIDWORKS and see them reflected instantly in KeyShot, making it a favorite among product designers.


SOLIDWORKS Simulation is an analysis toolset that helps engineers and designers evaluate their designs for structural integrity, thermal performance, and fluid dynamics. It allows users to simulate real-world conditions and assess how their products will behave in different environments. Whether you’re designing aerospace components or consumer electronics, SOLIDWORKS Simulation can save you time and resources by identifying potential issues early in the design process.


If you work extensively with sheet metal design in SOLIDWORKS, 3DQuickPress is a must-have. This plugin streamlines the design and manufacturing of sheet metal components. It offers a comprehensive set of tools for creating complex forms, creating punch patterns, and generating flat patterns. With 3DQuickPress, you can accelerate the production of sheet metal parts and reduce errors in the manufacturing process.


For those involved in CNC machining or 3D printing, CAMWorks is an invaluable add-on. It provides seamless integration between SOLIDWORKS and CNC machines, automating the generation of toolpaths for machining operations. CAMWorks supports 2.5-axis milling, 3-axis milling, and turning, making it suitable for a wide range of manufacturing processes. This integration can significantly improve machining efficiency and accuracy.


DriveWorks is a powerful design automation and configuration tool for SOLIDWORKS. It enables you to create customizable and configurable product designs quickly. Whether you’re designing furniture, industrial equipment, or custom machinery, DriveWorks can automate the process of creating variations of your designs, saving time and reducing errors.

SOLIDWORKS PDM (Product Data Management)

SOLIDWORKS PDM is not exactly a plugin, but it’s an essential add-on for managing your design data. It provides secure vaulting, revision control, and access management for your SOLIDWORKS files. This ensures that your team can collaborate efficiently while maintaining data integrity. PDM is especially valuable for larger organizations with complex design workflows.

SOLIDWORKS is a versatile and powerful 3D modeling software on its own, but when combined with the right plugins and add-ons, it becomes an even more indispensable tool. These add-ons enhance various aspects of the design and engineering process, from rendering and simulation to manufacturing and automation. By investing in these plugins, you can streamline your workflow, improve the quality of your designs, and ultimately stay competitive in the ever-evolving world of product design and engineering.

NTMA offers a comprehensive 80-hour training course for SOLIDWORKS Parametric 3D Modeling software, learn more here: or call us directly at 800-962-NTMA