Introducing SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual, a new way to jumpstart your design process

SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Designer | Mechanical Conceptual

As trustees of your SOLIDWORKS investment, we believe it’s our job to help you solve the real engineering challenges that you face every day, and those can’t always be solved with an enhancement request. It’s our job to think about the tools and capabilities you will need five, ten, even fifteen years down the road to keep you competitive. We owe that to you.

To make that happen, our plan is to leverage the strength and capabilities of the Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience Platform and build a new experience that is as intuitive and easy to use as the SOLIDWORKS tools you use today. Today, I want to share the first example of this new approach, which we are calling SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Designer.  Also referred to as Mechanical Conceptual.

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual is a tool for conceptual mechanical design that is complementary to the products you use today. It allows you to capture ideas digitally, quickly create 3D concept models, get feedback from internal and external stakeholders, and easily manage multiple concepts before committing engineering time to build.

Why Conceptual?

  • 31% of project time is spent on conceptual mechanical design
  • 3 out of 4 engineers are engaged in conceptual mechanical design
  • On average there are six conceptual and four design iterations in a typical project
  • There can be more than three internal and two external stakeholder groups involved in the concept phase

Today, SOLIDWORKS is the best solution for detail design, but it limits your creativity for this key conceptual step.  SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual fills in these gaps and allows you to:

  • Capture ideas digitally
  • Manage multiple concepts
  • Collaborate and communicate

Instinctive Design

Evolving a concept is where SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual really begins to speed the design time.  Most systems force you to think about product structure in order to capture ideas. Our single modeling environment is about ease of use, creativity, and ease of change – with amazing flexibility. Capturing concepts digitally is quick and easy with familiar tools and concepts so the focus is on ideas — not on the software.

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual merges the benefits of history, parametrics, and direct editing into a single interface.  As a concept evolves, you can make any change necessary to a design while respecting the design intent you previously created. The Single Modeling Environment allows you to evolve from layout sketches to 3D geometry, to separate parts and assemblies, without taking product structure into consideration.

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual lets you evolve your design’s organizational structure as you evolve the idea and have a better understanding of where the design will go.  This eliminates wasted time because you never have to start over or drastically rework designs to make an underlying change.

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual

In our single modeling environment, as we evolve our product structure into assemblies we have familiar tools and intelligence that improves with use as components learn how they were used previously. You can also automatically apply previous intent to new designs. And SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual always saves the design, as well as various iterations, so it’s very easy to get back to a previous idea and develop it further.

As we get to more of a 3D concept, we can use motion simulation to better understand the real world interaction of parts and identify key concerns early on, before getting to detail design.

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual

Social Innovation

When you feel that sufficient concepts have been captured, then it’s key to be able to engage stakeholders (both internal to the organization as well as with customers and vendors) to get feedback on the best path forward.

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual has social innovation capabilities built into its foundation.  At any point, the designer can engage stakeholders by posting concepts to their private communities. Stakeholders are notified that there is a concept to review and can provide feedback using simple and familiar Web concepts.   The world is becoming more social every day, and at SOLIDWORKS we believe in collective intelligence. SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual truly brings these capabilities to concept design.  This type of participation will allow you to better engage with your customers and differentiate yourself from the competition.  After stakeholders are done, the designer is automatically notified and can continue to evolve the concept with this feedback.


SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual is always connected to the design database and to other users.  This gives us the ability to secure your data, prevent data loss from any crashes, and automatically save iterations of each concept.

You are also connected to other users both working on your project and also in the wider SOLIDWORKS community.  You can participate in live chats with other users to get feedback on a question or a design challenge.  Users are always working together on the same design so that there is no time wasted, or confusion as to what is the latest version.  When a team member makes a change, all users are updated in real time with the latest version so the concepts will always progress forward.

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual

SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual

Being connected provides access anywhere at any time to your concepts.  SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual even allows users to take designs on the go for design reviews, or even for sales and marketing using mobile applications.

We are very excited about the progress we have made with SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual.  This product will be a great complement to companies using SOLIDWORKS today.  We believe the product delivers on a new approach to conceptual design by incorporating the flexibility of a single modeling environment, social innovation, and the benefits of being connected online.

In May of this year, we will be working with select customers to validate these principles of conceptual design in their production environments.  Once we are confident in the benefits these customers are seeing we expect to make SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual available to all users in the Fall of 2013.

Original Blog Post >>



  • Share this
Find Your Design Solution in the CATI Store.
Browse Products