The current version of SOLIDWORKS includes SOLIDWORKS Simulation, Composer, and Flow Simulation . "A complete 3D MCAD product design solution, providing your product design team with all the mechanical design, verification, motion simulation, data management, and communication tools that they need in one package."

Online Tutorials

  • The Help menu in SOLIDWORKS offers great "Getting Started" tutorials
  • LinkedIn Learning @ Dartmouth also has excellent SOLIDWORKS tutorials. (search for SOLIDWORKS)


SOLIDWORKS is available from our "Virtual Computer Lab", the MacLean M210 Windows lab, and Cummings G13 (aka CAD Lab). It is also available on the PC Loaner Laptops.

Using on Thayer Virtual Lab (Mac and Windows)

Install by instructions for Virtual Computer Lab

Connect and run!


There are a number of Add-ins available, to activate an add in:

  1. start SOLIDWORKS
  2. select "Tools->Add-Ins..."
  3. in the first column check all the add-ins you need to activate
  4. in the second check box you can specify add-ins you always want to load when SOLIDWORKS is started

Missing Plug-In Features

If Add-ins are not behaving properly, make sure they are configured to load at startup, then restart SOLIDWORKS


Installation on a Windows Personal Computer

We support installing SOLIDWORKS on Thayer faculty/staff/student machines. Installation requirements (

  • 64-bit Windows 10, or later
  • 20 GB of disk space for all licensed features
  • Min. 16GB RAM
  • A certified OpenGL workstation graphics card and driver.
  • Active connection to the Dartmouth network

To install:

  1. (If Off Campus) Connect to Dartmouth VPN
  2. Connect to thayerfs and Go to the software folder on the courses volume (P:\software)
  3. Copy "SOLIDWORKS diy" (Download it yourself) to your machine.
  4. Choose one of the following license options:
    1. Installing using the campus licenses (sub-folder Option1):
      1. "SOLIDWORKS_Option1_Info.txt" has the serial number and license server you need to run the installer.
      2. setup.exe will download and install the files you need to install from
    2. Or Install using the "SOLIDWORKS Student Access" edition (sub-folder Option2, the SSA edition can run without internet access):
      1. Use the SOLIDWORKS SSA link to sign in and download the SOLIDWORKS installer
      2. "SOLIDWORKS_Option2_SE_Info.txt" has the serial number and license server you need to run the installer.
  5. One the first Setup screen
    1. Select "Individual (on this computer)"
    2. Use the Serial number contained in the SOLIDWORKS_Option1_Info.txt or SOLIDWORKS_Option2_SE_Info.txt file
    3. For Products click CHANGE (see below)
      1. Deselect "SolidWorks Electric" unless you absolutely need it (having it installed makes updates very difficult to update).
    4. Accept the license terms
    5. Click Install, then set "Port@server" = (not needed for SOLIDWORKS Student Access)

Configuring SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal Access

For Student, Faculty or Staff, to gain access to the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal (which includes their excellent Knowledge Base) you will need to start at the following URL:

  • SOLIDWORKS login - Click on "Create a SOLIDWORKS ID"
  • Create a SOLIDWORKS Online Account:
    1. Enter your Dartmouth e-mail address, e.g.
    2. Select "I am not a Customer or I do not ..."
  • Company or Institution - It should be set as "Dartmouth College"
  • Profile Questions - Fill in the boxes next to the red asterisks:
    First Name
    Last Name
    Phone Number
  • Check Email Address
  • Export Eligibility Requirements - Click "Accept Agreement"
  • Once you receive the confirmation e-mail, go to the link provided in it to verify your address.
  • After verifying your address you need to register the serial number from "SOLIDWORKS_Option2_SE_Info.txt" (in the previous section).