Estimate the cost of your parts with the SOLIDWORKS Costing module


Hello everyone,

Today, my blog post is about the Costing module available with SOLIDWORKS Premium or SOLIDWORKS Professional. The tool helps designers make decisions based on manufacturing cost and also helps manufacturers create quotes for customers. As soon as you edit a design, you can immediately see the new updated cost, as well as a detailed breakdown of costs.

Model fabrication and material information drives the Costing tool to determine the cost of manufacture. In the models, you can specify the material used to create the part, the manufacturing processes (laser cutting, bending, or grinding, for example), the manufacturing method (machining, molding, plastic molding, 3D printing), associated costs of these materials and manufacturing operations and methods. Templates also allow you to create custom operations such as packaging, ERP entry, painting or cleaning.

Evaluate the manufacturing cost

First, the Costing module is located in the “Evaluate” tab of SOLIDWORKS. Once launched, the Costing module is launched on the right of the interface. We will work on an example to show you the usefulness of this module. We are going to estimate the cost of manufacturing a steel part, produced by machining.

Determine the model and the manufacturing method

The first step is to determine the method of manufacturing the part and choose the machine model. SOLIDWORKS offers default models but to have exact estimates you have to create your model via the model editor by configuring all the elements and their costs to match Costing to its resources.

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The editor allows you to configure everything and must be used for precise estimates!

It is also necessary to inform the material of the part with its price per kg. By default, all prices are in USD but it is quite possible to change in euros via the publisher.

Define the raw body of the part

The next step is to define the initial rough body that will be used to make our part.

In our case, it is a block of steel that we will cut to obtain the desired part. You can configure extra thicknesses if you want and you can display the blank to visualize the initial block before machining.

The quantity of production and the number of series also impact the cost estimate. In the example I am making a series of 100 pieces.

The hourly workshop price may also be taken into account. Namely that all the manufacturing times come from the data of the chosen model.

Finally, we can increase / decrease the price of a material or the total cost by a percentage.

Add cost analysis operations

You can also add operations or processes on cost analysis to best estimate. In parallel, it is possible to add the costs of setting up operations as well as the configuration costs using the icon framed in red (operations such as painting, treatments etc. are added from this way).

By default these operations are at 0.00 USD. Once again, we can adjust these different costs via the Costing template editor. You should know that the paint can only be applied on some or all sides.

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In the end, SOLIDWORKS takes the necessary operations out of itself. according to the geometries with their associated costs according to our model.

Estimated cost per solidworks part

In the end, the cost of the part used as an example is as follows. Namely that this cost can be used in many applications.

We can generate automatic reports with details or simply an estimate of the cost of our part. These are defined according to report models with all the company data (logo, address, etc.). It is also possible to create an alert on it for during the design indicated to the designer that the realization exceeds the cost.

Cost comparisons can be made between different parts, shapes, materials etc.

Namely that in our case we have only studied the manufacturing method by machining. The module also has many manufacturing methods in order to be able to compare them.

To sum up, the Costing tool is very comprehensive and allows an approach to estimating manufacturing costs from the design stage. It is also flexible and configurable to adapt to the resources of each to have the best possible estimate.

The entire AvenAo Prodways team wishes you happy reading. See you soon on the SOLIDWORKS Blog.

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