Preparing for the SolidWorks Profession Specialty Exams CSWP CSWE

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series SOLIDWORKS Certification

{Updated: 01/17/2015}

There is a lot of interest in getting certified as SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).  Through there are no official accolades that go long with passing the CSWE, the certificate can garner industry recognition of your established skills.  Even as the number of Certified SolidWorks Professional grows (CSWP) due to the online accessibility, the number of those with the higher CSWE certification is still small by comparison.  Right now, there’s just over 1000 CSWEs {update: still under 2000, as of Jan 2015}.  Please see this Certified SolidWorks Professional infographic for additional details.

To earn the opportunity to take the CSWE exam, you have to pass the CSWP and also pass three four advanced exam modules from the selection of topics: Weldments,  FEA, etc. Surfacing, Sheet Metal, Drawing Tools and Mold Tools.  {FEA is no longer included as a option to fulfill the CSWE prerequisites.}

Applian Way Technologies has a blog with several articles that are brief preparation guides for various exam modules.  A Very Swell Idea, Inc has some good advice for taking the modules in their discussion of CSWP Weldment exam.   3D Dimensional Engineer also has a great series on CSWP Preparation.

SolidWorks website itself has great information for each exam, including the core and the expert exams.

Free Certified SolidWorks Associate or Profession exam when you attend SolidWorks World 2013

There are a lot of extra benefits to attendees of SolidWorks World 2013.  One benefit is that when you sign up to attend, you are given the option to take a free SolidWorks certification exam at SolidWorks World.  My advice is that if you do not yet have certification, take the exam!  It’s free with your full conference pass!

There are two entry points for certification on SolidWorks:

  • SolidWorks Certified Associate (CSWA) which covers basic SolidWorks skills.
  • SolidWorks Certified Professional (CSWP) which covers deeper understanding of SolidWorks skills.  This certificate is required to qualify for advanced exam modules as you work your way to earning CSWE.

I’ve heard that some people shy away from taking the exam because they are not confident in their skills.   I’ve heard this from some well experienced individuals.  If you have neither certification and are nervous about the exam, then attempt the CSWA exam.  If you are already a CSWA or have been in industry for awhile, than take the CSWP-CORE exam.   Preparation is still very important in either case.  There are plenty of materials that are available to help get yourself read for the exam.  There’s even a sample exam with which you can practice!

The exams are held on Sunday, January 20, 2013, the afternoon prior to the official start of SolidWorks World 2013 at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort.

SolidWorks World 2010: other (non-cloud) annoucements

General Session audience
General Session audience

With all the news and promotion of SolidWorks, Enovia and cloud computing, some other announcements might’ve gotten lost in the background.


SolidWorks World 2010 had a higher than expected attendance of over 5000 people.  This despite a cut of the number of SolidWorks employees who attended.

Certified users

There are now over 25,000 certified SolidWorks users.  This includes both Certified SolidWorks Associates (CSWA) and Certified SolidWorks Professionals (CSWP).

The new weldment exam was promoted.  Additionally, a new level of achievement was announced, called Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).  This new certification level will require several other advanced certifications before being eligible to earn this recognition. More information about this exam may be found at its new webpage.SWR415_th_bottle

Shop online

Another interesting announcement was that of a new online SolidWorks store.  There’s not a whole lot of stuff there right now.  It’s still worth at least a look.


A comment about SolidWorks 2010 made by some guy named Matt Lorono was quoted by Jeff Ray during the General Session on Monday.

There’s something different about SolidWorks 2010.  It’s hard to put my finger on it.  It just seems to be a little …oh I don’t know… snappier or peppier.

Profiled companies

Because so much time was spent talking about cloud computing, there was less focus on customer success stories this year.  Skyventure, Cummfy Banana, Infinite Z, and Canon Mixed Reality where all profiled.  All of them are very interesting, if not outright entertaining.

SWUGN Awards

  • User Group of the Year – New Hampshire SolidWorks User Group, award accepted by their leader, Cindy Berend
  • User Group Leader of the Year – Anne Yust, leader of Twin Cities Simulation User Group
  • SWUGN Lifetime Achievement Award – Rodney Hall, of Catawba Valley SolidWorks User Group