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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), the manufacturing method (machining, casting, plastic molded, 3D printed), and the associated costs of these materials and manufacturing operations and methods. 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.
    You can estimate the cost of a part with minimal reliance on the templates. You can also estimate part costs based on the cost per volume removed.
  • 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, plastic molded, cast, 3D printed, multibody parts, weldments, and assemblies:

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 metal plates or cylinders). Machined parts 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 or cylindrical 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)
  • OD turning, ID turning, and face 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 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)
  • 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)

Casted Parts

To cost casted parts, the SOLIDWORKS Costing software:

  • Analyzes the volume of the part for material cost.
  • Determines the time required to complete a cycle, including heating, injecting, cooling, and ejecting the part.
Due to cost variance, you provide the cost of tooling (or the mold) directly.

SOLIDWORKS Costing determines:

  • Cost of material
  • Cost of manufacturing
  • Cost of mold (based on user input)
Casted parts use the machining template to determine costs.

Plastic Molded Parts

To cost plastic molded parts, the SOLIDWORKS Costing software:

  • Analyzes the volume of the part for material cost.
  • Determines the time required to complete a cycle, including heating, injecting, cooling, and ejecting the part.
Due to cost variance, you provide the cost of tooling (or the mold) directly.

There are two runner systems available:

  • Hot runner mold
  • Cold runner mold
Presets are defined in the template for each type of runner system.

SOLIDWORKS Costing determines:

  • Cost of material
  • Cost of manufacturing
  • Cost of mold (based on user input)
Plastic molded parts use the machining template to determine costs.

3D Printed Parts

To cost 3D printed parts, the SOLIDWORKS Costing software:

  • Analyzes the volume of the part for material cost.
  • Estimates the time required to lay down 3D printing material and cooling wait time between layers.
You must add any additional cost for support material.

SOLIDWORKS Costing determines:

  • Cost of material
  • Cost of manufacturing
3D printed parts use the machining template to determine costs.

Assemblies

Assemblies include a combination of sheet metal parts and machined parts. You can calculate the total cost of the assembly by calculating the cost of all parts individually and adding them together with all hardware and other purchased component costs. The Costing tool summarizes costs for:

  • Operations of sheet metal parts
  • Operations of machined parts
  • Custom operations (such as painting to the top-level assembly)
  • Welding operations
  • Setup operations
  • Purchased parts
  • Toolbox components

Weldments

Weldments include multibody weldments and single-body structural members. The Costing tool:

  • Opens a multibody weldment or single-body structural member. If the body contains a Structural Member in the FeatureManager design tree, the Costing software automatically costs the structural member as an extruded part.
  • Costs either per length or per stock length.
  • Supports weld beads and fillet beads cost information in multibody templates. The cost for fillet beads is applied to all fillet beads; the cost for weld beads is automatically chosen based on weld bead information.

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