SOLIDWORKS 2021 SP1 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

SOLIDWORKS Explorer

SOLIDWORKS 2019 SP5 is the last release to support SOLIDWORKS Explorer as a stand-alone application. The supported functions such as Pack and Go, Rename, Replace, and Move are available in the file shortcut menus in File Explorer.

End of Life Announcements - Microsoft Products

For current information about SOLIDWORKS active products and End of Life products, see SOLIDWORKS and SW PDM System Requirements. For Microsoft Operating System Lifecycle information, see Microsoft’s Lifecycle FAQ - Windows.

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 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.

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 2014

SOLIDWORKS 2021 SP5 is the last release to support SQL Server® 2014.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012

SOLIDWORKS 2019 SP5 is the last release to support SQL Server® 2012.

System and Graphics Requirements

IMPORTANT: You must update your graphics driver to take advantage of the new GPU-accelerated graphics system in SOLIDWORKS 2021. Failure to update your graphics driver can result in performance and stability problems.

For optimum graphics performance and stability, see Hardware Certification.

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

To use SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 with SQL Server® 2014 or SQL Server® 2014 Express, you must install Service Pack 3 or later. To upgrade your SQL Server 2014 or SQL Server 2014 Express installation to SP3, download the service pack here.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize

For SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2021 to work properly with NVIDIA iRay GPU support, NVIDIA driver support for CUDA® 10.2 or newer is required. In addition:
  • For RTX-enabled Turing cards (Turing™ TU10x), a minimum driver version of 442.19 is required to support the RT cores.
  • For all other NVIDIA GPUs, a minimum driver version of 441.22 is required.
SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2021 SP2 is the last release to support GPU acceleration of graphics cards based on the Kepler generation (CUDA compute capability of version 3.X).

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.

Installation

Early Visibility (EV) Online

Beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2020 SP1, subscription service customers can use Early Visibility Online to test from a browser. Log in to MySolidWorks and, from the top menu, click SOLIDWORKS <release>/EV. EV testing is available in the weeks leading up to the release of each service pack from SP1 onward.

DVD Distribution Media

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

Beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2021, customers who have requested DVD upgrade shipments will receive three DVDs.

Antivirus Software

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

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.

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 might 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.

Missing Non-English Characters When Exporting Text to PDF Files

When you save a drawing document as a PDF file, and the drawing contains non-English (non-ASCII) characters, the appropriate fonts must be available to render the characters. If the specified font is not installed on your computer or does not support Unicode character glyphs, then the Arial Unicode MS font is used. If the Arial Unicode MS font is also missing, then the characters fail to render. The Arial Unicode MS font is not provided with Microsoft® Office® 2016 software. (See Windows 10 Fonts Missing, above.) Workaround: To install the Arial Unicode MS font, install both Microsoft® Office® Professional Plus 2013 (minimal installation with only International Options enabled) and Microsoft® Office® (2016 or later).

Microsoft Office Documents Embedded in SOLIDWORKS Documents

Recommendation: Use 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.

Functionality

Microsoft SQL Server 2019

Microsoft SQL Server® 2019 is supported beginning with SOLIDWORKS 2020 and SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020.

Break Link Command

The Dissolve Feature command is consolidated into the Break Link command. The command name no longer changes because of the file type of the 3D Interconnect link.

Updated Algorithm for Calculating the Volume of a Model

Beginning in SOLIDWORKS 2021, an updated algorithm calculates the surface area and volume of a model. The new method is faster and, in many cases, more accurate. This might cause the value to change, even if the same value has been reproducible across multiple releases. The change is more noticeable if you select the Lower (faster) accuracy level in the Mass/Section Property Options dialog box. Select the Higher (slower) accuracy level to yield values closer to the nominal value.

Support for SOLIDWORKS 2007 and Earlier Models with Surface Fill and Related Features

SOLIDWORKS 2007 and earlier allowed unsupported surface fill technology. The software allowed faces that were not G2 continuous at the boundary. This issue was rectified in SOLIDWORKS 2008 and later versions. If you import SOLIDWORKS 2007 and earlier models with surface fill and related features, the software prompts you to update the data if it detects a legacy feature.

You can:
  • Click Yes to automatically update the feature data to G2 continuity and prevent a system failure. The update can change the design. The feature can change and downstream features can fail.
  • Click No to retain the legacy data. The features and dependencies are suppressed. The legacy feature data is retained, but not processed. You can later choose to edit or unsuppress the feature or its dependencies. You must update the data; the software updates the feature and notifies you. The feature can change and downstream features can fail.
This update affects these features:
  • Surface fill
  • Delete face that uses the Delete and Fill option
  • Capping an Extruded Surface
  • Shut-Off Surfaces in Molds
  • Dome

SOLIDWORKS Forum

The SOLIDWORKS Forum add-in is no longer included with SOLIDWORKS 2021. You can access the SOLIDWORKS Forum by clicking User Communities from the Help menu or Welcome dialog box.

SOLIDWORKS Plastics

The Copy Settings command is removed from the user interface. To copy a plastics simulation study, use the Duplicate Study command.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation

  • The Blended curvature-based mesher does not support the option to enforce common mesh nodes between touching boundaries.
  • The Simulation Sensors dialog box is listed under the System Options menu. In previous releases, it was listed under the Default Options menu.
  • For SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021, the results tracked by legacy simulation sensors use the number format defined under System Options > Simulation sensors.
  • SOLIDWORKS 2021 is the last release to support the Offloaded Simulation functionality in the SOLIDWORKS Simulation product.

Documentation

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2021

In the SOLIDWORKS Visualize chapter, in the topics Viewport Settings Dialog Box and Render Layers, the information about displaying rendered layers is incomplete. In the Viewport Settings dialog box, the Render Layer option is available only for Fast and Accurate modes, not for Preview mode. In Output Tools, you can view the final render of each layer created in any of the three modes.

Composer User Assistance

SOLIDWORKS Composer and SOLIDWORKS Composer Sync support SOLIDWORKS 2006 to 2021 versions of import formats. In About Supported Import Formats, the versions are listed incorrectly.

Composer Help is now available in these five new languages: Czech, Traditional Chinese, Portuguese-Brazilian, Polish, and Turkish.

Service Pack 1.0

Zooming In and Out

If you spin the mouse wheel fast while zooming in or out, the zoom action accelerates by four times the regular speed. This is useful for viewing large models.