When it comes to your business, time is money. For many people using SolidWorks, you could be wasting time without realizing it. Modeling, sketching, assembling, and simulating can all be expedited using the right methods.

In an effort to speed up your SolidWorks modeling, we put together this guide. We’ll review 15 great ways to speed up your SolidWorks modeling, regardless of your application or industry.

Why Faster SolidWorks Modeling Is Good for Your Business

In the competitive world of design and manufacturing, the speed at which you can deliver quality designs matters. Working faster with SolidWorks can offer a lot of benefits.

Faster Time to Market

Every product has to go through a prototyping and design phase before it can hit the market. If you’re faster on SolidWorks, then both of these phases can be completed quicker. As a result, your part can be brought to market even sooner.

This could mean beating your competitors to market as you stay up-to-date on new trends.

Less Money Spent on Projects

By reducing the time spent on each design, you decrease the man-hours billed to each project, saving your business money. Proficiency in SolidWorks also leads to fewer design mistakes, which translates to less money wasted on each project.

More Time to Focus on Other Business Operations

A streamlined modeling process leaves you more time to invest in other critical areas of your business, such as marketing, sales, or customer service. Or you can turn your attention to a new project after finishing your modeling.

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15 Ways to Speed Up Your SolidWorks Modeling

Here are 15 ways that our SolidWorks experts speed up our in-house modeling projects. None of these will sacrifice the quality of your models, they are simply expert-level tips that will offer shortcuts to get the same results in less time.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts allow you to access commands much faster than clicking through menus. For example, the shortcut “S” pulls up a customizable shortcut toolbar at your cursor’s location.

Once you learn the program better, you can set up your own keyboard shortcuts to expedite every click. This beats looking around for the right button to click on your screen.

Customize Your Mouse Gestures

You can customize mouse gestures to quickly access frequently used commands. For instance, right-clicking and dragging can initiate specific tools, like the Smart Dimension tool.

Set your commonly used features as these gestures to save more time each day.

Use FeatureWorks for Geometry Recognition

If you import non-native SolidWorks files, FeatureWorks can recognize and recreate features, eliminating the need to rebuild models manually. This is a huge time-saver for people who collaborate with other companies, pull models from online, or get 3D models from vendors.

The FeatureWorks command will make the imported file compatible with your existing work.

Use the Copy with Mates Command

The Copy with Mates command allows you to replicate parts and their mates quickly. For example, screws or bolts that are repeatedly used can be duplicated effortlessly.

This is the best option for inserting repeated parts into an assembly. Without this command, your engineers would have to set all of the constraints and mates for each bolt they put in. For assemblies with dozens of bolts, this could save you hours.

Utilize Defeature

The Defeature tool simplifies complex models by removing details, which speeds up processing and avoids revealing proprietary information when sharing files. Defeature is a good option for designers who work on massive files or have an underpowered computer. This cuts out a lot of the lag without ruining your models.

Use SpeedPak

For complex assemblies, SpeedPak creates a simplified configuration that includes only the necessary faces and bodies, reducing the computational load on your system.

This is a lot like the Defeature command in theory, but it doesn’t remove any information from your model. You might use SpeedPak to remove sketches that have a lot of overlapping lines that are unnecessary.

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Implement Instant3D and Instant2D

Instant3D and Instant2D allow for easy drag-and-drop modifications of dimensions, streamlining the design process.

For anyone dealing with iterative design, this command should be used on a daily basis. You can immediately change a dimension without tracking down the sketch, opening it, and changing it there.

Leverage Equations

Equations allow you to control dimensions and relations by mathematical expressions, maintaining the proportional accuracy of your designs without the tediousness of manual adjustments.

Let’s say you need to add 2 inches of width to your bracket. You can use an equation to add 2 inches to every other part that also needs to be adjusted. Later, you can go back to the equation to remember how much was added and adjust the 2 inches as needed.

Optimize Your System Settings

Using a slow computer will slow down everything you do on SolidWorks. Unfortunately, SolidWorks is really taxing on your computer and requires some expensive PC hardware to run smoothly.

Instead of spending thousands on a new PC, just optimize your system settings in SolidWorks. You can turn down the quality on everything and optimize the performance, not the graphics.

If this isn’t working, then look into your computer settings to see if your CPU, GPU, RAM, or a combination of the three are falling short. If so, you can replace just those components to speed up your computer’s performance (you might need some IT help for this).

Use SolidWorks Rx

SolidWorks Rx tool provides system checks and diagnostic reports to ensure your software is running optimally. This goes hand-in-hand with tip #9 to speed up your computer.

Enable Automatic Solve Order

This feature optimizes the rebuild process of complex models by arranging features in the most efficient sequence. This is a tip for more advanced modeling when you’re dealing with parametric equations driving a full assembly.

Apply Selection Filters

Selection Filters help you pick specific elements of your model quickly and accurately, reducing the time wasted on manual selection. You can use this command to pick a specific face, part, or line without needing to zoom in a ton and click.

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Implement Design Tables

Design Tables enable you to create multiple configurations of a part or assembly within a single document, reducing modeling and editing time.

This tip cannot be stressed enough for companies that have multiple setups for a single SKU. If your turbo blower comes in a dozen different sizes, you can use a single Design Table to create all 12 at once.

Use Library Features

SolidWorks has a Design Library that lets you add components into an easy-to-access library. From there, you can automatically pull up and add parts into future assemblies.

Depending on your SolidWorks license, you might have some default parts in your current library. You can utilize these parts and add your own high-use parts to speed up future projects.

Leverage the Power Trim Tool

The Power Trim tool lets you quickly trim lines by simply dragging your mouse across them, thus saving you time when adjusting sketches.
This is much faster than using the standard Trim command that can only handle one line or feature at a time.


As 3D modeling becomes the best practice and unavoidable for most industries, staying ahead of the curve is key. Try adopting these tips to speed up your SolidWorks modeling workflow. Doing so can save you a ton of time and money on every project.

If you want even faster results, then trust our team at CAD/CAM Services. We are a full-service outsourced team of over 100 engineers and draftsmen who work 24/7 to deliver CAD Perfect results. We have plenty of SolidWorks experts who can quickly create 3D CAD models for you in no time. Get a free quote today.

This article was last Updated on June 14, 2023

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