How to download full SolidWorks student version

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of downloading and installing the student version of SolidWorks. Whether you are a student or a teacher, you’ll discover how to access the full version of the software without paying regular fees.

SolidWorks is a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) type of software that is used for modeling and developing mechatronics systems. The development of the software started over two decades ago in 1995. by Dassault Systèmes. Sophisticated 3D models and simulations are what set SolidWorks apart from other CAD software such as AutoCAD, which is more suited for general 2D and 3D drafting. Due to its user-friendly GUI, design capabilities and shorter learning curve compared to other CAD programs, it is used by over 2 million designers and engineers across over 165.000 companies worldwide.

SolidWorks is mostly used by designers and engineers for planning, visualizing and prototyping electrical, mechanical and software elements. It has become the industry standard for engineering and design, so there is no wonder why this skill is in great demand and will help you jumpstart your career.

Currently, there are two student packages available:

  • 3DExperience SOLIDWORKS for students (recommended)
  • SOLIDWORKS student edition

Unfortunately, there is no free version of this software. However, the student options are greatly discounted compared to the price of the regular license.

The recommended 3DExperience package costs $60 annually, while the other is $99 per year. Although, there is a workaround to get an older version of the software for even less, or maybe for free. We will cover this later in the article.

What is 3DEXPERIENCE Platform?

It is a noncommercial cloud-based student edition of the software that includes 3D CAD design technology powered by AI without downloading the program. You can access all the apps in the cloud on any device. Included apps: xDesign, xShape, xSheetMetal, xFrame, xMold, xDocument, and more. Also, freeform design capabilities are included that will let you create complex surfaces and organic shapes, as well as data management, collaboration features and a render engine to create realistic photos. Besides that, you’ll get access to training, communities and certification program.

The platform is eligible only to students enrolled in an academic institution in the following countries: Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States. This version can not be used for classroom purposes and teaching, nor for commercial projects, only for personal use.

During the registration process, you will be required to prove that you are enrolled in an academic institution in one of the listed countries.

Compare the student plans and purchase the software here.

System requirements

Here are the recommended harder and software configurations for the desktop version of SolidWorks 2022 and 2023.

Operating system – 64-bit Windows 10 or 11 ; MacOS Monterey (12.0) or Big Sur (11.0)
MS SQL – 2016, 2017, 2019
CPU – 3.3 GHz or higher
RAM – 16 GB or more
Graphic cardList of certified hardware
Hard disk – 500GB SSD drive
Virtual environments (hypervisors) – VMware vSphere ESXi 7.0 U3c ; VMware Workstation 16.2.3 ; Microsoft Hyper-V 2019 ; Parallels Desktop (50% OFF for students), Mac 17.1.2 ; Citrix XenServer 8.2 CU1

Download SolidWorks Student Edition

Here are the steps to access the software if you are an eligible educator, student, military, or sponsored organization. Please keep in mind that your education institution has to be from one of the countries listed above and you have School License ID, SDK-ID or SEK-ID. If yes, then:

  1. Head over to https://www.solidworks.com/SEK
  2. Fill out the form by entering your contact details and SDK-ID (that you got from your teacher or school) or trial code or SEK-ID from your school. In case you have a serial number that starts with 9020, you will have to enter the serial number during the installation process to activate the product
  3. Select the academic version that you want to download
  4. Click on the “Request Download” button
  5. You will receive an email confirmation with a link to download the software and license serial number

How to install the software

Whether you have obtained the software from a download link sent to your email address or you have a DVD, follow these steps to install it on your device:

  1. If you have the software on DVD, put it inside your computer and run the setup.exe file. Otherwise, request a downloading link by following the steps outlined above
  2. Once the installation begins, select “Individual (on this computer)” and click on the “Next” button
  3. On the next page, enter the serial number of the product that you want to install and click on the “Next” button
  4. Select the products that you want to install and for which you have serial numbers
  5. The installation manager will now check the configuration of your device to see if it is capable of running the software
  6. The next screen will display the summary of all the products you are about to install
  7. On the next page, you will have to check the box to agree with the terms and conditions and click on “Install” button. Keep in mind that if you are running the installation from DVD it will begin immediately. Otherwise, it will have to download from the internet before starting. That’s why you must be connected to the internet.
  8. Once the installation is completed, click on “Finish” and you are ready to go.
Alexei Miron
Lead content writer and tech enthusiast bringing a decade of experience in the software industry to students. Father of two little princesses and a passionate table tennis player.