So, you have SOLIDWORKS…that’s awesome! Regardless of which version you own, it came pre-loaded with SOLIDWORKS SIMULATIONXPRESS. But what is that, and what is it capable of? Additionally, if you need to simulate, analyze, and test your designs, is Xpress going to be enough, or will you need to purchase a full SOLIDWORKS Simulation license?

We’re discussing all that right here. Read on for the details!


Simply put, the SOLIDWORKS SimulationXpress function is much like a light version of a full Simulation license. It’s a quick way to do some basic analysis of your design in a simulation environment. It’s a free functionality that’s included in your SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional, or Premium software purchase.

Where Can I Find SimulationXpress?

To access the Xpress feature, open your CommandManager, and go the Evaluate tab. The first time you access the tool, you’ll be prompted to activate it, and you’ll be guided through the process to do so easily. The tool will launch and run directly in the Task Pane once it’s been activated.

Because it is a free, light version of a Simulation license, there are some limitations to SimulationXpress. However, if you’re looking for basic analysis–this might be for you! Let’s dig in a little bit more.

A Closer Look: Key Features and Some Limitations of SimulationXpress

As with other SOLIDWORKS products and applications, the SimulationXpress wizard is packed with helpful features. It works great for static stress tests and single-part sims. With a simple, easy-to-follow process, Xpress guides you through fixed geometry (fixed faces) simulation with loads represented by either pressure or force.

However, if you need more advanced analysis—like dynamic, buckling, or fatigue testing—or if you’re dealing with complex parts or assemblies, you’ll want to extend your SOLIDWORKS functionality with a full fledged Simulation license. Similarly, if your design includes more variable fixtures, like rollers or hinges, or load requirements, like bearing or temperature, the full license will work best for you.

While it’s great for simpler parts, Xpress has its restraints. A Simulation license is the only place you can simulate load conditions like torque, pressure, gravity, and centrifugal force. Interested in Flow Simulation? Before committing to one of those licenses, you can also try the included FloXpress tool, which is found in the same location as SimulationXpress!

With SimulationXpress, you’ll have a chance to make limited changes to the mesh used in your finite analysis. And once your simulation is complete, you’ll also have the opportunity to see and export the results (to either Word or eDrawings file formats). You’ll find full-color charts complete with an animation feature, but naturally, there are limited options to help you interpret the data provided in the report.

Of course, you’ll find many more in-depth options in a Simulation license, like section clipping and mesh sectioning, as well as additional chart elements to help you make sense of your data. If you’re looking for more robust reporting and the ability to manipulate your simulation results, going with the full license is your best bet.

Which SOLIDWORKS Version to Choose?

With each enhanced level of SOLIDWORKS—Standard, Professional, and Premium—you’ll find additional features, options, and functionality to take your design and simulation experience to the next level.

The parameters of your design (like complexity and elasticity), along with the capability in your simulation software, will help you determine if the Xpress is enough or if a full Simulation license is necessary for you.

Transforming Your Simulation Efforts with DesignPoint

When you just need a quick, static, single-part simulation and simple analysis, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATIONXPRESS has you covered! However, if you’re ready to level up your project, contact us. If you often work on more complex and dynamic designs, upgrading to a Simulation license (or to the next level of SOLIDWORKS) may be the way to go. Either way, DesignPoint is here to help you optimize and transform your simulation efforts.

We are truly passionate about “building solutions that help product design, engineering, and manufacturing companies maximize their potential”. At DesignPoint, we work hard, right alongside you. We bring a personal touch to your 3D software needs, with SOLIDWORKS products and beyond. Our passion meets your purpose in producing innovative, top-quality results.