How Costing Works

How manufacturing features differ from SOLIDWORKS features

SOLIDWORKS Costing interprets geometry as to how it will be manufactured, not how it is designed. In the Costing tool, the features that are seen in the CostingManager are not the same as SOLIDWORKS features. Costing features are created as a result of the Costing feature recognition.

For example, in Costing, a Hole Wizard hole through a sheet metal part is recognized as a cut path. This cut path will be manufactured using laser, waterjet, or plasma cutting. In machining Costing, an extruded cut or Hole Wizard hole in SOLIDWORKS is recognized as a drilled hole. Sometimes an entire group of SOLIDWORKS features is recognized as one manufacturing feature in Costing. For example, the outside edges of a part might consist of fillets and straight edges. These are recognized in Costing as one cut path.

How cost is calculated

The Costing tool provides templates that associate manufacturing features with their costs. The templates include information about material, machining, and labor costs.

After recognition of manufacturing features is complete, Costing categorizes each manufacturing feature, (for example, cut paths, bends, holes, and milling operations) and applies the correct information from the template to cost out the specific manufacturing features. A total cost for all of the features is tabulated and a final unit cost is displayed.

How to customize Costing

To customize the Costing tool, you can do the following:

  • Customize and save the default templates to provide your own manufacturing, labor, and material costs.
  • Override calculated costs and material costs, add discounts and markups, change quantities, and add custom operations.
  • Adjust Costing reports to display quote, customer, and company information.
  • Assign a custom cost to the body of a multibody part.
  • Set machined part Costing options to recognize removed material as volume features.
  • Simplify the cost estimate to minimize template dependency.

Where Costing information is stored

Costing information for a specific part is contained in the SOLIDWORKS part file. You can choose whether you want this information to be viewable by others.

What if the manufacturing information needed to manufacture a part is not in the Costing template

You might have a part where the exact tools needed to manufacture the part or the exact material thicknesses to define the stock material are not available in the template. In those cases, the Costing tool tries to approximate the nearest tool or material thickness defined in the template, and a warning symbol appears in the CostingManager or Task Pane.

For example, if no thickness values in the template match the part thickness, the software selects the closest thickness value in the template and displays a warning icon , indicating that the thicknesses differ. This way you get an estimate without having to update the template.