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SolidWorks Costing Overview

The tool helps designers make decisions based on the cost to manufacture and helps manufacturers create quotes for customers. Whenever you change a design, you can see the new, updated cost immediately, along with a detailed cost breakdown. Additionally, you can generate automatic cost reports.

Manufacturing and material information in templates drives the Costing tool to determine the manufacturing cost. In the templates, you can specify the material used to create the part, the manufacturing processes (such as laser cutting, bending, or milling), and the associated costs of these materials and manufacturing operations. The templates also let you create custom operations such as packaging, ERP entry, painting, or cleaning.

The Costing tool serves different audiences:
  • Designers: Costing provides estimates of how much parts should cost to manufacture. Costing can compare models so you can make decisions based on cost earlier in the design process. You can try "what if" scenarios such as removing features, changing materials, and using different manufacturing processes to see how these affect the cost. The cost estimates are repeatable because the results are based on data in the templates, so you always use the same template information to calculate costs.
  • Manufacturers: Costing creates accurate quotes based on the materials, processes, and other associated costs that are required to manufacture parts. Costing creates a faster quote process than manual methods such as using spreadsheets, counting features, or estimating material removed. Costing helps eliminate errors and provides an accurate, repeatable quoting system that you can update whenever material or labor costs need revision.

You can apply the Costing tool to estimate the cost of sheet metal, machined, and multibody parts:

Sheet metal parts

Costing operations include the following:
  • Flattened sheet cutting operations (such as laser, water jet, and plasma cutting)
  • Library features (such as punches and forming tools)
  • Bends
  • Custom operations (such as painting, anodizing, and heat treat)
  • Machine or process setup operations (such as brake setup costs)
The Costing tool automatically recognizes a sheet metal part as a part that contains sheet metal features such as flanges, bends, or forming tools. Features such as holes and cuts are recognized as manufacturing cut paths for operations such as laser, water jet, and plasma cutting.

Machined parts

Machined parts start as a block of material or a plate stock of material (such as a metal plate) and are drilled, milled, or turned, and then cut by a water jet or plasma to create the final shape.

When you calculate the cost of machining a block-shaped stock body, the Costing tool incorporates the cost of the following:
  • Milling operations (such as face, flat end, or ball end milling, and chamfering)
  • Drilling operations (such as blind and through drilling, reaming, and tapping)
  • Turning operations for cylindrical parts
  • Library features
  • Custom operations (such as painting, anodizing, and heat treat)
  • Machine or process setup operations (such as milling machine setup costs)
Parts made from plates incorporate manufacturing techniques such as laser, water jet, and plasma cutting, in addition to milling, turning, or drilling. When you calculate the cost of machining a stock plate, the Costing tool incorporates the cost of the following:
  • Milling operations (such as face, flat end, or ball end milling, and chamfering)
  • Drilling operations (such as blind and through drilling, reaming, and tapping)
  • Turning operations
  • Library features
  • Custom operations (such as painting, anodizing, and heat treat)
  • Machine or process setup operations (such as milling machine setup costs)
  • Cutting operations (such as laser, water jet, and plasma cutting)

You can apply the Costing tool to multibody parts that include sheet metal, machined, and other bodies. For bodies that are not sheet metal or machined, you can assign a custom cost, or exclude the bodies from the cost estimate.

SolidWorks Costing does not cover parts made by 3-axis continuous milling or injection molding.

The costs calculated by the Costing tool are as accurate as the data in your templates. Although SolidWorks provides pre-populated templates, it is best to create custom templates based on your manufacturing costs. It is recommended that you work with your in-house manufacturing departments and external manufacturing vendors to create custom templates that reflect actual costs.


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