June 13, 2022

Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS has numerous add-on packages such as simulations, SOLIDCAM etc. but the main license which is called SOLIDWORKS Essentials 2022, comes in three different packages each with their own limitations and abilities in three different price categories. There is a fourth category that we call the student edition and we will discuss all four license types in this post. I will also share a few ways with you to get access to a license through an institute much cheaper than the prices you are going to read in this blog.


The Standard edition is the cheapest license SOLIDWORKS Essentials comes in and it is the most basic version. Its price varies from reseller to reseller, but the rough number is see-sawing around the $6000 mark i.e. the price for life-time.

This license has the minimum abilities you need to model parts, assemble parts and even create 2D technical drawings. Although, some special tools that you can get in the higher licenses like the professional and the premium are locked in this one. And, they should matter to you only if you are an upper intermediate user or above, otherwise you shouldn’t put too much value on the options you don’t get, and put your focus on the options and tools you do get. In another word, if you are an intermediate or a beginner, the Standard edition is good enough for you.

Needless to say, the typical add-ons modules that SOLIDWORKS offers, such as sheet metal, weldments, surface modeling, etc. are all included in the Standard version too. However, the limited options and tools, affects them too.


As mentioned above, if you are going for SOLIDWORKS professional, you should at least be in the upper intermediate level or above to take advantage of the differences that you wouldn’t get in the Standard edition. Because, for this license you have to set about $8000 give or take aside and if you just want to do the same thing you could do by the Standard edition, you shouldn’t go for this edition. The professional license for SOLIDWORKS offers you more tools and hence, you have more flexibility in design.

Do not forget that in this license there are some tools that you wouldn’t get in the Standard edition but there are a few that you don’t get as well. Those are the tools that are only included in the Premium edition.


This is the highest end of SOLIDWORKS licenses that have all the tools and features unlocked. I use this version myself. There are a few tools such as Flatten Surface that allows you design a bent surface and flatten it and save it as DXF for the CNC machine. Another example is the fact that you can save your bent model after running an FEA on your model as a separate model and open it in a different window. However, this license costs you north of $10,000 and you should only get it if you are truly a professional user or higher.


The fourth SOLIDWORKS LICENSE is called the Student version and it is for students only. It is the equivalent of the Premium version with all the features unlocked but it is limited to one year and cannot be used commercially. The price is $99 per year and students or the members of certain institutions e.g. EAA, SCP or etc. can get it at this price.

Below is a table of comparison for the licenses to see which one suits your needs best.

Check the top 8 new changes and features in SOLIDWORKS 2022
How to get a license cheap

While the prices are not negotiable, there are a few institutes that have deals with SOLIDWORKS, allowing their members/students to be officially registered as a valid student and therefore, purchase a student license for $99 for the period of one year.  One of them is SOLIDWORKS Course Pro (SCP) that offers this as a bonus included in their full course package. The course is 20 hours of content in video format for beginners and comes with a variety of bonuses including this one. To check all the bonuses, check SCP's landing page.

Where or how to purchase a SOLIDWORKS license?

SOLIDWORKS licenses are sold through the official resellers called "SOLIDWORKS LOCAL RESELLERS" and you can find your local reseller through their directory of local resellers here. Each reseller offers the license at slightly a different price based on your location, needs and number of licenses for your company. So expect some fluctuations from the aforementioned prices above.

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