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What's New in SOLIDWORKS 2021?
Check Out New Features
SOLIDWORKS 2021 delivers new functionality and a huge range of tweaks and performance improvements across the software to deliver the most reliable and powerful release yet.
How can I upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2021?

SOLIDWORKS 2021 is available to everyone with an active SOLIDWORKS subscription, however before upgrading there are a number of considerations you may need to make depending on your products and team structure. View our upgrade FAQs here.

If you wish to discuss best practices for a SOLIDWORKS upgrade then please contact our support team.

Where can I download SOLIDWORKS 2021?

You can find the latest SOLIDWORKS downloads from within SOLIDWORKS by opening the Help menu and choosing "Check for Updates".

Alternatively you can access the SOLIDWORKS Download page here. This will require your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal details to access the downloads.

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2021 - Full Details

Looking to learn everything that's new about SOLIDWORKS 2021, or need to look up a specific new feature?

Check out the SOLIDWORKS online web help pages for the full details on What's New in SOLIDWORKS 2021.

1. User Interface

Often times customising your user interface is a balance between minimising clutter and having the right tools accessible when you need them. With SOLIDWORKS 2021 you no longer have to choose. The command manager can now be easily collapsed to provide maximum modelling space and there are smart new positions available for the quick access tools. Additionally shortcut menu customisations can now be achieved smoothly and easily, using the new search command, followed by simply dragging and dropping onto the relevant menu.

2. Sheet Metal & Weldments

SOLIDWORKS 2021 introduces a number of enhancements when working with parts, our favourites are the improvements to sheet metal and weldments. When working in sheet metal you now have the ability to add edge flanges to curved edges, such as those in a bend region, and weldments now allow you quickly achieve a Flush Miter between different member types, with no requirement to trim afterwards.

Custom properties for parts and weldment cut-lists are more customisable than ever as they now support equations.

3. Assembly Improvements

When working in the assembly environment in SOLIDWORKS 2021 you'll find more streamlined tools to help you assemble, pattern and analyze your assemblies. Two notable improvements are the new options when using configurable parts within assembly patterns, and the option to export a spreadsheet of interference when running an assembly interference check.

Graphics improvements have also been made so that SOLIDWORKS can now take better advantage of your GPU for quicker transitions, and smoother overall performance.

4. eDrawings

eDrawings excels at allowing you to share your 3D concepts while protecting your intellectual property. eDrawings 2021 gives you more options to make communicating your ideas easier than ever. You can now view Custom and Configuration specific properties right inside the eDrawings viewer.

Commands like measure have been improved as well. Finding the center-to-center distance of two circular or cylindrical objects has always been available but now, with eDrawings 2021, you can choose to view the minimum and maximum distances. Finally there are new options to move and rotate bodies, making it easier than ever to interrogate large projects.


SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021 provides new ways to manage your projects, edit your Bills of Material, and interact with suppliers, increasing your design management efficiency and collaboration like never before. Enhancements in this latest release include project lists, task visualization, support for the preview of SOLIDWORKS CAD data using the Web2 interface, and the ability to share information with clients using a unique protected link.


With SOLIDWORKS PDM 2021 you can configure a more tailored and personal view of the vault than before and explore and document file references more intuitively via the Treehouse View that is now integrated within both Contains and Where Used. The library of Workflow Icons have been redesigned to help better illustrates the steps of your workflows, these help build visual cues that create an instant awareness of your processes across the team. Bills of Materials in SOLIDWORKS PDM now support even more of your CAD workflows including the use of weldments and derived parts, in order to streamline your processes further. Lastly, PDM has received a number of under-the-hood performance enhancements to ensure that your everyday PDM operations are faster than ever.

7. SOLIDWORKS Visualize

In 2021, the integration between SOLIDWORKS CAD design and Visualize is even better than before. With previous versions, you could only access the last saved configuration when importing a model, wheras in Visualize 2021, all configurations are now accessible from a drop-down menu.

New options have also been added within displacement maps, section cuts and camera filters to help you achieve the exact look and feel needed for your renders.

8. Drawings

Performance improvements in drawings allow you to pan, zoom and scroll more smoothly, with noticeably less latency.

Last year detailing mode was a major addition to SOLIDWORKS Drawings and this year it has been expanded to support the addition and editing of all annotation types, including ordinate dimensions, hole callouts and tolerance and precisions. Detailing mode also supports additional view types including, broken views, cropped views and even detail views can also be


9. SOLIDWORKS Simulation

In SOLIDWORKS 2021 the set-up, meshing and running of simulation studies is quicker than ever with a host of new and improved tools. Troubleshooting is simpler than before with new diagnostics tool to help isolate poor quality mesh areas and new Mesh Helper to automate the mesh refinement.

The default solver choice has also been optimised and improvements have been made to many of the solvers to give faster and more accurate results.


The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a cloud based tool that brings together all areas of your business. With tools to enable the sharing, review and collaboration of your SOLIDWORKS data as well as dedicated web based apps for design, simulation, rendering and data management.

Learn more about the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform here.

Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to upgrade to a new version of SOLIDWORKS?
The cost to upgrade SOLIDWORKS to the latest version is included in the subscription cost for the support of the software.

If subscription has lapsed, please contact your regional sales manager for the best option to proceed. If you do not know who your regional sales manager is, please use the enquiry form.
Where can I download the latest version of SOLIDWORKS?
To ensure you have the latest version of SOLIDWORKS installed, you can accesses the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal and download the latest major version and subsequent service packs.
How can I request new functionality for SOLIDWORKS?
SOLIDWORKS new functionality is driven by the users of the software. To have your input you can submit an enhancement request on the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal. It is best to search to see if the enhancement request already exists and if so vote for this enhancement as it adds weighting to the ticket.

Go to SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal -> My Support section -> Enhancement Requests
Can I get a summary of just the new features that are relevant to my team?
Our CAD Management services has a team development section, that is designed to upskill your team ensuring they have the knowledge and skills required to stay at their best. Here we offer a What’s New presentation with a certified application engineer who will deliver bespoke content relevant to your industry.
What are the main technical considerations when updating to a new version?
  • Hardware – Check your computer meets the system requirements.
  • Standardisation – Ensure the whole company is installing the same version and all customised materials are in unique file structure outside the default SOLIDWORKS installation locations.
  • Back up – SOLIDWORKS files are not backwards compatible, so newer files cannot be edited in previous major versions.
  • Download – Have the download/source files downloaded before starting, this will minimise down time. You can perform a full download so the media can be shared regardless of package and add-ins.
  • Standalone – If moving machine, ensure you deactivate the licenses before installing on a new system.
  • SolidNetwork License Manager – Both the individual machine and the license manager on the server need upgrading. Upgrade server first to minimise downtime.
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM – If SOLIDWORKS PDM is being used this needs to be upgraded first.
  • Graphic driver – Once installed it is important to match your graphics driver to the new version of the software for better performance. Check graphics card driver
  • Ask – If you are not sure about any part of the process please Contact Us and we can assist.
Contact Us

If you would like to speak to someone about upgrading, call 01926 333777 or complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.
If it is a technical query please use our support team.

 Solid Solutions | Trimech Group