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  • Documentation

    How to Install the SolidWorks Add-In for CAD Export to SimScale?

    This knowledge base article answers the following two questions:

    1. How to install the SolidWorks add-in from SimScale?
    2. How to use the add-in to export CAD models from SolidWorks to SimScale?

    Installation of the SolidWorks Add-in

    The successful installation of the SolidWorks add-in adds a button to the user’s SolidWorks UI which enables the export of the CAD model geometry directly into the SimScale Workbench.


    The SolidWorks add-in is supported for versions 2018-2022

    The installation requires the following steps:

    1. The user needs to download the .MSI installer package provided by SimScale and start the installation setup.
    2. A SolidWorks app specific API key will be provided by the SimScale support team.
    3. The user needs to toggle on ‘Allow API access’ while setting up the project description on SimScale dashboard to use this functionality. To use the SolidWorks app with a project that already exists, make sure that API access is enabled for the project of interest – see the steps here.


    For the existing projects in SimScale the user needs to toggle on ‘Allow API access’ while setting up the project description on SimScale dashboard to use this functionality.

    allow api access
    Figure 1: Allow API access for the existing projects to use this functionality.

    Shown below, are screenshots, walking through the installation of the add-in:

    solidworks plugin installation simscale
    Figure 2: Steps to install the add-in

    Exporting the CAD Model Using the Add-In

    Once the add-in package has been successfully installed it will appear in SolidWorks as shown below. The steps to creating a project in SimScale and exporting one or more CAD models are also detailed below:

    1. The SolidWorks add-in for SimScale should be visible in the toolbar.
    solidworks plugin simscale Displayed
    Figure 3: SolidWorks Add-In for CAD export to SimScale
    1. The Plugin settings shows your license key (this is the API key you previously added).
    solidworks plugin simscale Api key setting
    Figure 4: Enter/Check API license Key under Plugin settings.
    1. Close the Plugin settings and click on ‘Export’. This will open up the Export to SimScale settings panel. Here you will find the different items to define your SimScale project within SolidWorks and the geometry to be exported to the SimScale Workbench.
    2. The name of the CAD part/assembly to be exported appears under Geometry name, however, you can edit the name.
    solidworks plugin simscale Gemoetry name
    Figure 5: The name of the geometry to be exported should appear here. The name can be edited.
    1. Select an existing SimScale project or create a new one. Give a relevant project title, description and the unit system. Press ‘OK’. You can press Open in SimScale to verify the creation of the new project.
    Solidworks add-in SimScale
    Figure 6: Creating a new SimScale project within SolidWorks itself
    1. It is recommended to tick all the export options for a avoid any CAD related simulation issues. Hit ‘Export to SimScale’. The status of your export will be visible and soon a pop-up will confirm the successful completion of the export operation.
    export settings
    Figure 7: Make sure the export options are checked.
    1. Press ‘Open in SimScale’ to open the SimScale project. You should see the geometry already imported to the Workbench.
    export confirmation
    Figure 8: Open SimScale directly from SolidWorks.
    dashboard view
    Figure 9: SimScale dashboard with a project created from SolidWorks
    1. You can export as many geometries to the same project as you like.

    CAD Associativity

    Note that by using SolidWorks Add In users would get better CAD associativity, i.e. more entities should be preserved during CAD swapping.


    Last updated: August 2nd, 2022