Unique Advantages
of Solid Edge over SolidWorks

SolidWorks Compatible Alternative, does more, costs less

SolidWorks is built on the Parasolid© graphics kernel that is licensed from Siemens and is also the heart of NX and Solid Edge. Both of these Siemen’s programs do an exceptional job of importing native SolidWorks sldprt & sldasm files with the ability to make significant changes to parts and assemblies.

Solid Edge was birthed in Huntsville, Alabama by a group of guidance software engineers for the Saturn (Apollo) rocket in 1969 and became Intergraph in 1980 and then part of Siemens in 2007. Solid Edge continues to be developed in Huntsville.
Direct modeling & Synchronous mode. Modifications without history tree faults

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Generative Design use for aesthetics and lightweighting. Built into SE-Classic & Premium

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Reverse engineering from 3D scanner’s STL files. Cost-effective alternative to Geomagic©. Built into SE-Classic & Premium

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Built-in Data Management with check-in/check-out, file version control, Search, & more. Peer-to-peer, or file server. No costly implementation required.

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Time saving tools like the “steering wheel” to create reference geometry on the fly.

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Common parts libraries sharable by all users. Built into all versions

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Sheet-metal functionality provides a flexible marriage of 2D & 3D not found in other systems

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Proven stability – crash resistant
Solid Edge CAM Pro 2.5 axis (same as NX-CAM 2.5 axis) built into Foundation, Classic, and Premium

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Proven large assembly performance handles more than a million parts. Pan and zoom painlessly

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Modifying imported native CAD files (sldprt, sldasm, ipt, iam, prt, asm, & more) in all versions.

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IFC import/Export support for BIM is built into all versions.

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Integrated Sub-Division modeling. Not an external program. Built into SE-Classic & Premium

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Conveying PMI or MBD information. Built into all versions

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Solid Edge is built to work with Siemens NX solutions: Teamcenter, NX- CAM, Tecnomatix, Mentor/PADS PCB, Capital Electrical, Madymo Ergonomics, Process Simulate Human, and more.

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An easy path from SolidWorks to Solid Edge that covers all the bases:

  • Licensing options including perpetual and term, for local as well as cloud connected or enabled 
  • The ability to import and modify existing SolidWorks, Inventor, and Creo parts & assemblies. 
  • The difference between fixed and floating licenses is typically about $100 and no need to buy a very expensive network “flex” utility.
  • Time to proficiency short with many resources for your team
  • Your existing CAD workstation hardware is likely perfect for Solid Edge 
  • Solid Edge users enjoy a stable and reliable platform.

Price Comparison

Solid EdgeFoundationClassicPremium

Perpetual Floating

SaaS Floating









Solid WorksStandardProfessionalPremium

Perpetual floating

SaaS floating










For the record….  The Solid Edge Foundation version competes well with both:

SolidWorks Standard & Professional.  

Internet postings generally compare Solid Edge Foundation, Classic, and Premium to be direct equivalents to SolidWorks Standard, Professional, and Premium respectively.

If you shop carefully, you’ll realize that added functions in SW Pro are seldom needed/used, or have less capability than the same functions provided by Solid Edge.

  • CircuitWorks PCB is rarely used since most MCAD designers work with STEP files exported from their PCB system.
  • Solid Edge Parts Library is an effective alternative to SolidWorks Toolbox
  • eDrawings© is an external 2D replacement for AutoCAD, whereas Solid Edge 2D is built in with robust DWG/DXF compatibility.
  • Keyshot is provided with Solid Edge and is a worthy replacement for Photoview360 and Visualize standard.
  • PDM Standard requires a significant implementation, server hardware setup/purchase.  Solid Edge’s built-in Data Management is ready to go on day one with no IT support.

If you agree with this SE Foundation vs SW Professional functionality, then there is a large savings running with Foundation rather than Classic. See green highlighted pricing above.

You will likely want Solid Edge Classic for Sub-Division Modeling, Generative Design, or Reverse Engineering that are not found in any versions of SolidWorks, but you can get by on the less expensive Foundation version.

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