SOLIDWORKS Costing; automating the cost estimation.


Rev: New JEB 2020-03-19

JEB 2020-11-17 No news in 2021 added.


The SOLIDWORKS Costing tool helps you calculate how much it costs to manufacture sheet metal, machined, multibody parts, and assemblies as well as plastic molded, cast, 3D printed parts, and multibody weldments by automating the cost estimation and quotation process.

Add-ins: No. You find Costing at the Evaluate tab or at Tools – SOLIDWORKS Applications-Costing


-Included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium packages.


-Make side-by-side cost comparisons based on materials, features, vendors to control production costs.


-Works on part and assembly.

-Works on Sheet Metal and machined parts.

-Customizable cost templates


No news on Costing in 2019 or 2020 or 2021






Set path to template: (Tools > Options > System options > File locations > Costing template) and Costing Report Template Folder.

Costing is located here: C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2020\SOLIDWORKS\data\resources

Costing Templates Word is default located here: C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS 2020\SOLIDWORKS\lang\english

Costing Templates .sldctm is default located here: C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS\SOLIDWORKS 2020\lang\english\Costing templates





2018 Tysk

2014 PLM Group:




You have 2 lessons in My.solidworks: It is on 10 and 9 minutes, to start with. Access with standard license on my.solidworks.




At Costing Options (left upper corner in picture) change:

-Default Template 

-Default material

-Stock type of material

-Quantity total and lot size

Here is it possible to override the template


At Costing Templates:

Select Template: English Metric or custom made (not read only)

Launch Template Editor:

Here you have 3 different templates:


  1. Multibody/assembly, edit:

General, where you can change currency, set default sheet metal and machining templates.

Custom operations

Weld bed, with cost per weld type and size (export to Excel)

Fillet Bead with cost per volume, Machine Cost, Labor Cost and setup (export to Excel)

Purchased Components, (export to Excel)


  1. Machining Templates, edit:

Material, with Size and price.

Machines, with Machine Cost, Labor Cost and setup

Operations as:

              Cut, with Laser/Water jet, time per cut length

              Mill with tool type and method

              Drill with size and time per material

              Turn with method and time per material

              End Cut with material and time

              Library feature


Rules with IF/Then


  1. Sheet Metal Templates, edit:



Operations as:

              Cut, with Laser/Water jet, time per cut length

              Bend with material, thickness and price

              Library feature with type, material and price

              Custom as painting, inspection.

Rules with IF/Then






You have these Costing Report Templates:

costingreport_assembly              (word and Excel)

CostingReport_Machining           (word and Excel)

costingreport_multibody            (word and Excel)

costingreport_sheetmetal           (word and Excel)

costingreport_simple_estimate (word)






  1. At the bottom of the Costing Task Pane, click Generate Report .
  2. In the Report Options dialog box, do the following: expand Company information.




Specifies your company name.


Specifies your company address.


Specifies your company website.


Uploads a file of type .jpg, .gif, .png, or .tif to the report header.

You can upload images of sizes up to 300 x 150 px.

  1. You can also enter your name and contact information on the report form.
    1. Select one of the following:
      • Simple Quote Report
      • Detailed Report
    2. Under File Type, select one of the following:
      • Generate costing report as Word Document (*.docx)
      • Generate costing report as Excel Spreadsheet(*.xlsx)
    3. Under Document name, enter a name.
    4. Under Save to, enter a location.
    5. Under Report Template, select a template.
    6. Set other options:



Company information

Includes optional information about your company in the report heading. You can include your company logo, address, website, and other information.

Estimate information

Includes optional information about your customer quote in the report heading.

Alternate quantities

Includes optional information about five alternate quantities of cost values.

  1. Expand Estimate information, select the options, and type the data.
  2. To view the published report, select Show report on publish.
  3. Click Publish.

The report appears.








Parts can be saved without Costing Data. Works only if Costing is active. Use save as, and “Save without Costing data. The new par will get the suffix _nocost:



On the Milling tab of machining templates, you can input values for TER: Tool

engagement ratio under TER (%). On the Cut tab of sheet metal templates, you can

input values in Unit for the Cut Type of Length.

You can assign three types of Unit, for the Cut Type of Length:

  • USD/mm
  • USD/cm
  • USD/m

These options allow you to choose the area and cost per unit for Costing.




Organizing and Saving Costing Data Locally

You can save Costing data. Such data includes CAD files, Costing templates, and Costing

reports locally as a package, with the Costing Pack and Go tool.

To organize and save Costing data locally:

  1. Open an assembly.
  2. Click Costing (Evaluate tab on the CommandManager) or Tools > SOLIDWORKS

Applications > Costing.

  1. Click Begin Cost Estimation.
  2. In the Costing Task Pane, click Generate Report.
  3. In the Report Options dialog box, choose the report options and click Publish.
  4. In the Costing Task Pane, click Costing Pack and Go.
  5. In the Costing Pack and Go dialog box:
  6. a) The default file name is the same as the CAD file name. You can rename the

file name.

For File name, type a name.

  1. b) For Save to, click … and browse to the location where you want to save the


  1. c) Select Include Costing report and click … to browse to the location of the

report to include.

  1. d) Click Save.



MySOLIDWORKS Costing Template Integration

Manufacturers on the My.SOLIDWORKS Manufacturing Network can upload their sheet

metal templates so that users can access them in the SOLIDWORKS software. Users

seeking to cost their sheet metal parts can also view the manufacturer information and

contact them.

The Costing Task Pane for sheet metal is modified to include two new options under

Costing Template:

  • Local. Displays templates saved on your system.
  • My.SolidWorks. Displays manufacturers' templates from MySolidWorks Manufacturing


Costing with Manufacturer Information on My.SolidWorks

To cost with manufacturer information on My.SolidWorks:

  1. In a sheet metal part, in the Costing Task Pane, under Costing Template, click


  1. Under Manufacturer, select a manufacturer from the drop-down list.
  2. Under Template, select a template from the drop-down list.
  3. Click Begin Cost Estimation.




Show Bounding Box Nesting.

The Bounding Box Nest Preview is displayed as a drawing of the nested elements.


The red dotted line is the sheet metal offset and the black dotted line is the bounding

box offset.



Frequently Asked Questions:

What can you do with Costing, a little overall?

You get an instant price on the product based on material, operations, painting etc. Costing make a baseline, and you can change material to stainless and skip painting and instant see if that has a lower cost.

Costing support:

Milling and Turning

Sheet Metal


Casting based on cycle time, mold cost, Waste material% no of cavity.

Plastic (injection) based on hot/cold runner, wall thickness, cycle time, mold cost.

3D printing

  • Region Dependent - Can you specify where you manufacture things and what it has to do with price (as in sustainability)?

The price is based on the type of operations and how many operations there are. It also calculates the length on the path (for Sheet Metal) and calculate the price based on price/mm (for example laser-cut).

So, if you wish to change production country, you must change the template to get different prices on the operations. But the producer can give you the template. It is possible for producer to save the template as limited access copy to hide company secret data.

  • Material Dependent - What types of materials are supported?

It is a few materials added. You must add needed materials and add cost for each material. You can also export to Excel sheet and add needed materials and add cost for each material and import it back into SolidWorks. So, every material is supported, but you need to add the material and cost.

S-063350 How are custom materials in a costing template added?

1) Create a custom material in SolidWorks material > save

2) Open the costing template > material > select Material 'Class’ > from the pulldown menu

3) Select ‘SolidWorks Material’

4) Save template.

  • Are there links to the material database in SolidWorks?

You choose the material in Costing and then when you are satisfied with the price and material, transfer the material to the part.

If the material is defined in the part, then Costing will use this material. But it is more like this. Costing do not have all the materials, so you choose a material with the approximately same price.

  • Operations?
    • Standard and custom?

You use standard operations as far as you can, and then add custom operations.

  • How to use templates?
  • Do you have a "large template" that contains everything, or many different depending on your needs? Or both and depending on needs?

It is 3 different templates:





  • How to build your own templates?
    • Can I update existing templates?

The original templates are read only. Make a copy and edit these.

  • How do you secure SolidWorks so that all users automatically have access to the right templates and information? (Probably file locations, but good to have it confirmed).

Put the templates on the server and change the path Tools > Options > System options > File locations > Costing template.





Some actual SR from Knowledge Base:


S-062865 How is a Library Feature added to a Costing template?

-Launch the Costing Template Editor

-Click "Library Features"

-In the Top section, enter the name of the library feature you wish to add->Specify a setup cost and Cost Distribution

-In the bottom section click in the last row under the "Column class" to add a new item

-Specify the Class, Material, Thickness, Library feature name and cost



Now if the material data in the costing property manager matches what was entered and the library feature name matches the feature will be recognized automatically.




S-073952 Why does SOLIDWORKS® Costing show an incorrect cost calculation for ‘Assembly Operations’ for patterned components?

This behavior typically occurs when you select the ‘Each selected component’ option for a specific assembly operation, and then you specify a pattern feature.


At the time of cost calculation in ‘Assembly Operations’, SOLIDWORKS® Costing calculates the cost for a single item selected in the ‘Assembly Operations’ PropertyManager’. In other words, when you select the ‘Each selected component’ option in the PropertyManager of an assembly operation, the cost calculation is based on the number of selections done for this operation.


If you select a pattern feature in an assembly operation, SOLIDWORKS Costing considers it as a single selection and patterned components are considered as part of the pattern itself. To add those components for an ‘Assembly Operation’ costing, you must expand the pattern feature in the FeatureManager® Design Tree and select an individual part or assembly (or select them in the graphics area).


For a demonstration of this functionality, follow these steps:


  1. Download and extract the attached ZIP file.
  2. Open the file ‘conveyor.sldasm’, and expand the feature ‘DerivedLPattern2’. Notice that there are six patterned components.
  3. Go to ‘Tools’ > ‘SOLIDWORKS Applications’ > ‘Costing’
  4. In the CostingManager, expand ‘Assembly Operations’ > right-click on ‘Fitting’ > ‘Edit Assembly Operation’.


Notice the ‘Assembly Operation Cost’ value of 0.50 USD for 3 selections. One of these selections is ‘DerivedLPattern2’.


  1. Delete ‘DerivedLPattern2’from the list of components selected for the assembly operation, and then select the six toolbox parts individually for the assembly operation.


Notice the ‘Assembly Operation Cost’ changes to the correct cost of 1.33 USD.


For the costing calculations, see the Excel file in the ZIP file.




S-062843 How accurate is the SOLIDWORKS® Costing?

The SOLIDWORKS® Costing tool is mainly designed to estimate the cost for manufacturing a particular product. The costing tool is not designed to determine the exact manufacturing strategy, but SOLIDWORKS has tried to include the biggest contributors to the cost that are derived from the manufacturing process.


There are a lot of variables that could be included in our estimates, but we are aiming to give users the most accurate estimate possible without overwhelming them with data input (as the costing templates already have quite a large amount of input required to create one for yourself). Material removal rate is the main approach SOLIDWORKS takes in estimating the cost of manufacturing a part. One main depth of cut is used for the roughing operations, but also remember that the ability to add finishing and semi-finishing is also available and these also have different depths of cut associated to them. If the user has additional costs to consider, many can be compensated for using custom operations. SOLIDWORKS overall aim is to one day be able to compensate for all manufacturing processes and to consider every variable that could be included in the cost estimate, but we also want to maintain a relative level of “SOLIDWORKS ease-of-use” so combining these two is the real challenge.


A costing estimate is an accurate way of determining basic costs for machining, and these costs have a variety of ways they can be refined on a feature-by-feature basis if the customer finds it necessary. The costing tool is also only as accurate as the information the user inputs into the costing template, so if they are trying to mimic their own manufacturing processes, it is important to create these costing templates accordingly.  Of course, it is obvious that it is difficult to include every manufacturing variable at the moment, so usage of this tool should be done with the knowledge that its primary intent is to give designers a better understanding the approximate cost of the part and how changes to the part can affect its cost.


In case the customer would like to provide some enhancements to current functionalities or would like to add more functionality to future versions of SOLIDWORKS then please suggest submitting an enhancement request to SOLIDWORKS.




S-068752 In the Costing Template Editor, how do I add a custom material for a sheet metal operation such as 'Cut' or 'Bend'?

In order to see the custom material in an 'Operations' tab such as 'Cut' or 'Bend', you must first add the custom material to the 'Thickness' tab.  Follow these steps:


  1. In the 'Costing' Pane, click on the 'Launch Template Editor' button.
  2. In the left-hand column, click 'Material'.
  3. Add the material in the table.
  4. In the left-hand column, click 'Thickness'.
  5. Add the same material.
  6. In the left-hand column, click on one of the 'Operations' such as 'Cut' or 'Bend'.

Notice that the custom material appears in the table.





S-071476 How does the SOLIDWORKS® software calculate cost if a punch requires multiple strokes to cut one side of sheet metal part?

It is first important to understand that a punch operation offers two ‘Cut Type’ methods of costing. One is based on the length of the cut. The other is based on the number of strokes.


Stroke costing considers a single stroke per side of the sheet metal part.

  • Cost = Number of punches x Cost per stoke

For a visual reference, see the attached part and image file ‘Stoke calculation-Stoke.png’.


Length costing calculates the perimeter of cut length.

  • Cost = Perimeter of cut path x Cost per unit length (for example USD/mm)

For a visual reference, see the attached image file ‘Stoke calculation-Length.png’.


When you set the ‘Stoke’ cut type for ‘Punch’ operations, the SOLIDWORKS® costing calculations consider one stoke per cut side. If a sheet metal part requires multiple stokes per cut side, the ‘Stoke’ method does not provide an accurate calculation of cost. In this case, in costing template, set the ‘Length’ cut type for ‘Punch' operations and rerun the costing study.



Jan Egil Bæver

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