SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP5 Release Notes

You can view the most recent Release Notes here.

For a list of fixed SPRs, click here.

Refer to What's New, available from the Help menu, for descriptions of new functionality.

End of Life Announcements - SOLIDWORKS Products

DVD Distribution Media

Beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2020, DVD distribution media will be provided only on request. Contact your Reseller for more information.

SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Product

SOLIDWORKS 2018 and later do not include the SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM product.

It is replaced by the SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard product.

Publish to

SOLIDWORKS 2016 was the last release to support publishing models to

End of Life Announcements - Microsoft Products

For current information about SOLIDWORKS active products and End of Life products, see System Requirements. For Microsoft Operating System Lifecycle information, see Microsoft’s Windows lifecycle fact sheet.

Microsoft Windows 7 SP1, 64-bit Operating System

SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP5 is the last release to support the Windows® 7 Operating System. SOLIDWORKS 2021 products will not install on Windows 7.

Microsoft Windows 7 mainstream support ended January 13, 2015. By exception, SOLIDWORKS 2018-2020 support is extending into Microsoft’s Extended Support period, which ends on January 14, 2020.
SOLIDWORKS Version SOLIDWORKS Support Microsoft Extended Support SOLIDWORKS Lifecycle Start SOLIDWORKS Lifecycle End
SW 2018 Yes Yes Oct 2017 Dec 2019
SW 2019 Yes * Partial

(15 months)

Oct 2018 Dec 2020
SW 2020 Yes * Partial

(3 months)

Oct 2019 Dec 2021
SW 2021 No/Install blocked No Oct 2020 Dec 2022
* A SOLIDWORKS fix that is dependent on a Microsoft Windows 7 fix cannot be provided during the latter part of the SOLIDWORKS Lifecycle.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Operating System

SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP5 is the last release to support the Windows® 8.1 64-bit operating system. SOLIDWORKS 2019 products will not install on Windows 8.1.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Operating System

SOLIDWORKS 2019 SP5 is the last release to support the Windows Server® 2012 R2 operating system. SOLIDWORKS 2020 products will not install on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Windows Server 2012 Operating System

SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP5 is the last release to support the Windows Server® 2012 operating system. SOLIDWORKS 2019 products will not install on Windows Server 2012.

Windows Server 2008 R2, SP1 Operating System

SOLIDWORKS 2017 is the last release to support the Windows Server® 2008 R2, SP1 operating system. SOLIDWORKS 2018 products will not install on Windows Server 2008 R2, SP1.

Microsoft Excel 2013 and Word 2013

SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP5 is the last release to support Microsoft® Excel 2013 and Word 2013.

Microsoft Excel 2010 and Word 2010

SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP5 is the last release to support Microsoft® Excel 2010 and Word 2010.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

SOLIDWORKS 2017 SP5 is the last release to support SQL Server® 2008 R2.

System and Graphics Requirements

To ensure successful installation and optimum performance, see System Requirements.

For optimum graphics performance and stability, see Video Card Requirements.


DVD Distribution Media

Beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2020, DVD distribution media will be provided only on request. Contact your Reseller for more information.

Antivirus Software

Some antivirus software prevents proper installation of SOLIDWORKS. For additional information, see Antivirus.

Modifying SOLIDWORKS PDM Server Installations

To modify an installation of SOLIDWORKS PDM Server and its components, use Programs and Features from the Windows Control Panel. You cannot modify the installation with SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager (SLDIM), even if that is what you used to install SOLIDWORKS PDM Server.

Installation Login Feature

The new login feature in the Installation Manager automatically populates the serial numbers that your administrator has assigned to you. Assignment is done in the SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal. See Admin Portal Help for more information.

If your administrator has not accessed the Portal or not assigned any products to you, then you must manually enter your serial numbers or notify your administrator to assign products to you.

Technical Alerts

Windows 10 Fonts Missing

Some fonts that shipped in prior versions of Windows have moved into optional features in Windows 10. When upgrading to Windows 10, these fonts may not be installed on your system. If you find that a SOLIDWORKS document uses a font that is no longer installed on your computer, refer to Microsoft Knowledge base article 3083806.

Microsoft Office Documents Embedded in SOLIDWORKS Documents

SOLIDWORKS recommends using the 64-bit version of Microsoft Office. If you are embedding Microsoft Office 32-bit OLE objects in your SOLIDWORKS documents, refer to Microsoft Knowledge base article 983396 to fix OLE objects displaying as an icon.


Compatibility with SOLIDWORKS PDM Products

Starting with SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017, the service pack for SOLIDWORKS PDM client can be different from the service pack for SOLIDWORKS PDM Server as long as they are the same major version.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2018 supports SOLIDWORKS 2018, 2017, and 2016. SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard 2018 supports SOLIDWORKS 2018 only. The combination of a newer version of SOLIDWORKS and an older version of SOLIDWORKS PDM is not supported.

SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect

The option Enable 3D Interconnect has moved. To access Enable 3D Interconnect, click Tools > Options > System Options > Import. In File Format, select General.

Synchronize Settings

If you use the Synchronize Settings system option, note that settings synchronization is an online service and might be blocked by some network configurations. To access the cloud storage service, ensure that firewall or proxy servers allow communications to *

System Options – Assemblies

When selected, the Optimize component placement when adding mates option places components in more logical positions on the screen and relative to other components when you create mates. To access this option, click Option > System Options > Assemblies.

When this option is cleared, one component in the new mate might be placed off screen or hidden behind or within other components.


Sample Files

The location for sample files has changed. Sample files for the following resources are available in these locations:
  • What’s New book: system_dir\Users\Public\Public Documents\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2018\samples\whatsnew\chapter_name\ file_name
  • Online tutorials: system_dir\Users\Public\Public Documents\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2018\samples\tutorial\tutorial_name\ file_name
  • Simulation Examples: system_dir\Users\Public\Public Documents\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2018\samples\Simulation Examples\example_name\file_name
  • Introducing SOLIDWORKS: system_dir\Users\Public\Public Documents\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2018\samples\introsw\file_name

Service Pack 5.0

Status Feedback

You can select the following option to enable a SOLIDWORKS dialog box to appear during lengthy processes in the SOLIDWORKS software:
  • Show the "busy" dialog when Windows detects that SOLIDWORKS is non-responsive (requires SOLIDWORKS restart)

In the dialog box, you can choose to wait for the command to finish (recommended) or to close the SOLIDWORKS software. If you choose to close the SOLIDWORKS software, you can send your comments and performance log data to DS SolidWorks Corporation (recommended). This benefits all users and helps improve the software's performance and stability.

To select this option, go to Tools > System Options > General. You must restart the SOLIDWORKS software after selecting this option.

If this option is not selected, a Windows Not Responding dialog box appears when Microsoft Windows detects that the SOLIDWORKS software is no longer responding, even when the SOLIDWORKS software is working normally.

Service Pack 4.0

There are no items specific to service pack 4.0 at this time.

Service Pack 3.0

Rollback Bar Interaction

Interaction while dragging the rollback bar and freeze bar is enhanced for better user experience.
  • Less precision is required when selecting the freeze bar and rollback bar.
  • The freeze bar and rollback bar scale better on high-resolution monitors.
  • The color of the bars now matches the SOLIDWORKS 2016 theme.

Service Pack 2.0

Lightweight Mode for Assemblies

When you load an assembly in lightweight mode, if the assembly contains a Pattern Driven Component Pattern or Sketch Driven Component Pattern where the driving feature or sketch is in another component, that component is automatically resolved. To receive a notification before the component is resolved, select Prompt for the following option: System Options > Performance > Resolve lightweight components.


All limitations listed under Service Pack 1.0 regarding post-processing of results from linear dynamic studies have been resolved.

Service Pack 1.0

Autodesk Inventor 2018 Files

You can open Autodesk® Inventor™ 2018 files in SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP1.

Open Drawing Tool

The Open Drawing tool is now available in the File menu. You can customize the tool for mouse gestures and keyboard shortcuts. The toolbar button is also available in Tools > Customize > Commands in the Standard category.


SOLIDWORKS Manage is an advanced data management system that extends the global file management and application integrations enabled by SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. For more information, see SOLIDWORKS Data Management Release Notes.


There are certain limitations with post-processing of results from linear dynamic studies:
  • For all linear dynamic study types except Modal Time History:

    Results for von Mises stress are listed inaccurately when obtained in the following way from the List Results PropertyManager: Under Advanced Options, you enable Range and select Element’s nodes, and under List Set, you select List von Mises Stress (VON). To get the correct von Mises results, select Nodes instead of selecting Element’s nodes.

  • For harmonic and random vibration studies:

    The response graph plot for the resultant reaction force shows inaccurate results when first created. When you edit the same graph plot, the results are shown correctly.

  • With mixed mesh (beams, shells, and solids) and the Nodal von Mises stress only (Faster) option selected in Result Options:

    For all dynamic studies except harmonic: When you edit an existing response graph for beam stresses, the Result component list in the PropertyManager is blank for Y-axis. To view results, select the stress component.



SOLIDWORKS CAM is a 2.5 axis CNC programming solution that leverages Rules Based Machining. SOLIDWORKS CAM runs directly inside the SOLIDWORKS part and assembly environment, which allows programmers, designers, and estimators full access to the SOLIDWORKS modeling environment. With the use of Interactive and Automatic Feature Recognition, users can seamlessly capture design intent directly from the model with full associativity to any design changes. Programmers can also obtain tolerances directly from MBD data to automate machining strategies based on varying tolerances within a part. This automation and leverage of existing rules allows users to streamline the programming process and maintain consistency in programs that are sent to shop floor. By leveraging the power of SOLIDWORKS, users can quickly create setup sheets and documentation to clarify the machine or manufacturing process. For product information, click here. Contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller for SOLIDWORKS CAM purchase information.


Refer to What's New, available from the Help menu, for descriptions of new functionality.


  • The SOLIDWORKS CAM user interface is available in Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese-Brazilian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.
  • The SOLIDWORKS CAM help files are available only in English, French, German, and Japanese at this time.

Service Pack 1.0


The SOLIDWORKS CAM help files are available in French.

SOLIDWORKS Composer Products

SOLIDWORKS Composer products include SOLIDWORKS Composer, Player, and Player Pro, and SOLIDWORKS Composer API.


Updates not yet included in What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018:

  • SOLIDWORKS Composer
    • Import Options

      In SOLIDWORKS, when you save models as SOLIDWORKS Composer .smg files, you can set Import options in the Systems Options tab.

    • Importing Bills of Materials

      You can import SOLIDWORKS Bills of Materials (BOMs) from assemblies or multibody parts into SOLIDWORKS Composer.

    • Importing Colors

      SOLIDWORKS Composer automatically imports the colors from display state appearances in SOLIDWORKS models.

      SOLIDWORKS Composer imports component-level colors and appearances from SOLIDWORKS models. What you see in SOLIDWORKS is imported into SOLIDWORKS Composer.

    • Importing Textures

      SOLIDWORKS Composer automatically imports appearances with textures in SOLIDWORKS models.

    • Mirror Animation

      You can create a reverse animation that brings the flashing effects to the start of the animation sequence. You can include the Translate and Scale motions.

    • Sorting Profiles

      You can sort profiles alphabetically or by category to help you find target profiles.

  • SOLIDWORKS Composer and Player
    • Player Pro Features in Built-in Samples

      Built-in sample files allow access to Player Pro functions and features in published HTML output without having a Player Pro license. If you do not have a Player Pro license and open other Composer HTML files, a message reports that you cannot access the advanced features, only the basic features.

  • SOLIDWORKS Composer, Player, and Player Pro
    • Controlling Access to the Digger

      A Digger check box is available in the Right Manager tab so you can better control access to confidential model data.

    New features:
    • Callouts
      • CreateCallout. Creates callouts for a selection. (Composer)
    • Hotspots
      • GetAllHotspots. Gets all hotspots. (Composer, Player, Player Pro)
      • Manage hotspots. Notifies you when hotspots are created, deleted, or updated.
        • CreateHotspot. (Composer)
        • DeleteHotspot. (Composer, Player, Player Pro)
        • UpdateHotspot. (Composer, Player, Player Pro)
    • Linear Explode
      • LinearExplode. Explodes a selection linearly. (Composer)
    • Remove custom ribbon tab
      • RemoveCustomRibbonTab. Removes a custom tab and all its commands from the ribbon interface. (Composer)
    • Selection sets. Notifies you when selection sets are created, deleted, or updated.
      • CreateSelectionSet. (Composer)
      • DeleteSelectionSet. (Composer, Player, Player Pro)
      • UpdateSelectionSet. (Composer, Player, Player Pro)



  • Deferred Update Mode

    You can use Deferred Update Mode to enhance performance while working on large schematics and related data operations that require database updates.

    On the Process tab, in the Deferred update mode section, click Activate. Insert wires and symbols to complete the schematics, and then click Update connections to update the database.

  • Custom Classes

    You can use Classifications manager to create custom classes according to company and user specifications and to classify custom and specific items such as user components and cables. You can add new classes and copy and paste existing default classes.

    Click Classifications manager on the Library tab or in any other manager opened from the Library tab.


Service Pack 2.0

  • SOLIDWORKS PDM is now available within SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standalone 2018.
  • You can access SOLIDWORKS PDM features (such as Check Out, Check In, Search, and Get Version) on the SOLIDWORKS PDM tab in the CommandManager.
  • This new integration helps quality engineers manage and centralize the storage of their inspection projects along with all the files and reports related to those projects.
  • The version control helps prevent data loss and the search feature reduces the time spent searching for inspection projects.



  • The SOLIDWORKS PCB user interface is available in Japanese.
  • Improvements:
    • The screen flickering during collaboration has been eliminated.
    • The repository backup (avbackup) has been updated.
    • ECAD-MCAD collaboration performance has been optimized.
  • Refer to What's New for descriptions of new functionality.

Service Pack 4.0

  • The Tolerance field in the Differential Pair Rule Wizard has been removed because it did not add any tolerances or create any design rules.
  • Saving Preference files now functions correctly.
  • You can now export individual copper layers to Parasolid files.
  • Preferences for the Zuken CR5000 are applied correctly.


System and Graphics Requirements

To ensure successful installation and optimum performance, see Prerequisites and System Requirements.

For a comparison of render performance across different NVIDIA graphics cards, see SOLIDWORKS Visualize Benchmarks.


Refer to What's New, available from the Home Screen, for descriptions of new functionality.

Service Pack 5.0

  • Fixed an issue where textures failed to import for SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies.
  • Fixed an issue where SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies failed to load if an environment or backplate image could not be found on your computer.
  • Fixed import of SOLIDWORKS motion studies when a glass material type is animated.
  • Fixed an SNL licensing issue that could prevent Queue from processing render jobs.

Service Pack 4.0

  • Fixed the drag-and-drop application of appearances from the library onto decals.
  • Fixed toggling of Enable Decal Appearance.

Service Pack 3.0

Graphics Hardware

SOLIDWORKS Visualize no longer supports NVIDIA Fermi™ cards for GPU acceleration.


With the Denoiser, you can achieve significant reductions in render time for production-quality images.

The Denoiser uses a post-processing technique based on machine learning to filter out noise from unfinished and noisy images produced with Fast and Accurate render modes.

To achieve increased performance from using the Denoiser, you need to reduce the number of render passes. For example, if a scene routinely needs 500 passes without the Denoiser, specifying 50 passes when the Denoiser is on may achieve the same rendering quality. You may be able to achieve the same rendering quality with even fewer passes using the Denoiser depending on your goal for the image. Actual reductions in the number of passes, and therefore, render time, depends on the computer's hardware and the scene rendered.

To use the Denoiser, you must have this hardware:
  • NVIDIA GPU (Kepler™ architecture or newer) with CUDA 9.0 support
  • At least 4 GB of video RAM

You need to initialize the Denoiser to make it available for use.

To initialize the Denoiser:

  • Click Tools > Options > 3DViewport and, under Denoiser, select Initialize Denoiser.

    As long as the option is selected, the Denoiser requires a certain amount of video RAM even if it is not currently being used. When you clear the option, the Denoiser is not available and no resources are used by it.

After you initialize the Denoiser, you can turn it on or off for any particular rendering operation. An icon in the upper right of the heads-up display indicates when the Denoiser is on. To prevent a slowdown of the interactivity with the application, the Denoiser is not applied until after the tenth accumulated render pass.

To turn the Denoiser on or off:

  • Do one of the following:
    • Click View > Toggle Denoiser.
    • Press D.
    • Click Denoiser (main toolbar). (To add Denoiser to the main toolbar, click Options > 3DViewport > Denoiser and select Show Button in Main Toolbar.)

You can use the Denoiser for offline renderings and renderings using the Queue.

To use the Denoiser for offline renderings:

  1. Click Output Tools (main toolbar).
  2. On the Render tab, under Render Settings, select Enable Denoiser.

    In the Render Preview window, an icon in the heads-up display indicates when the Denoiser is on.

  • Added support for opacity (continuous from opaque to transparent) in Fast render mode, which was previously only possible in Preview and Accurate render modes.
  • Moved the Formation tool from the bottom of Palette > Model > Transform to the top of Palette > Model > Advanced to improve its visibility and accessibility.
  • The visibility and floor shadow effect of area lights are now consistently working in Accurate and Fast modes.
  • Improved the accuracy of light painting for HDR Light Studio environments.
  • Fixed several smaller annoyances with HDR Light Studio environments.
  • Fixed several problems related to assigning appearances from the clipboard.
  • Adjusted the styling of toggle buttons on the animation timeline for easier differentiation of their respective enabled and disabled states (Loop Playback, Auto Keyframing, Auto-Fit to Last Frame and Toggle Timeline Workspace).
  • Fixed a problem that prevented editing appearances, models, groups, and parts from a context menu in Easy mode.
  • Addressed a crash that had occurred in the context of searching in the cloud library.
  • Fixed the Hide/Show tool on the context menu for appearances.
  • Brought back the option to display the camera distance in the viewport.

Service Pack 2.0

  • Various textures of Appearances assigned to Decals are supported (for example, bump maps for bumpy decals).
  • Editing of the Camera Post Processing options no longer disrupts the accumulation of the raytracing.
  • The ability to edit queued Fast Mode jobs in Queue is added.
  • The image aspect ratio is preserved while editing queued jobs in Queue.
  • The Visualize Queue Server no longer consumes high CPU loads on idle, which was causing the CPU fan to run constantly on laptops.
  • The small list view of the Cloud Library is improved.
  • The rendering of Interactive Image and Panoramic Output in Preview Mode is fixed.

Service Pack 1.0

  • Decals:
    • Removed undesired Decal self-shadowing effect.
    • All decals, including Projection, Label, Cylindrical, and Spherical mapped decals now import from SOLIDWORKS.
      • The mapping of Label, Cylindrical, and Spherical mapped decals cannot be modified inside of Visualize at this time.
      • Decals applied within Visualize can only be projection (planar) mapped at this time.
    • Initial size and rotation of decals applied within Visualize has been improved.
    • A full selection of decal masking controls is now available.
    • Adding, modifying, and editing appearances that are attached to a decal has been improved.
  • Spherical and Stereoscopic Cameras for VR:
    • Video encoding for Virtual Reality playback
    • Video metadata injection for Virtual Reality playback
    • Integration into Output Tools (Adjust for Virtual Reality playback on social media)
    • Improved manipulation of 360 cameras
    • Improved navigation of 360 cameras
  • Area Lights:
    • A new method of placing physical area lights, called Pick Location, provides an improved workflow for interior lighting. It places lights at the selected location and pointing in a direction normal to the selected surface.
  • User Interface:
    • Improved and simplified the layout of the transform subtab of a selected model, group, or part.
    • Finalized and improved the styling of the Render Queue.
  • Cloud Library:
    • New and updated textures and appearances, including a complete set of all SOLIDWORKS Appearances, has been added to the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Cloud Library.