Getting Started with 3DEXPERIENCE



    The Platform is very large, and to that end, may be confusing in your early days. At its core, the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform allows immediate communication amongst your team regardless of location; one of the greatest benefits is the ability to operate on any web-connected device.

    There are many capabilities in the Platform, and depending on your Roles, this will dictate device hardware and software requirements. As a key piece, there are some parts that do require a traditional workstation with Windows – for many, this would include SOLIDWORKS users; however, this could also include downstream analysts and others.

    First step in getting started with 3DEXPERIENCE

    Ok, you’ve purchased the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform and now you need to know how to “turn it on” and use it. There are a few key pieces of information that will make your Platform experience go smoothly.


    What to expect once your purchase has been executed:

    Did you receive an email from If not, have you checked in your Spam and Junk? There are multiple emails that you will receive from Dassault Systemes — you must act on these emails to activate your private space in the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform:

    1. First email CLOSA: This is the licensing agreement. The CLOSA must be completed before doing anything in your private 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
    2. Second email Tenant Activation: After the CLOSA is completed, you should then receive another email from In this email, the desired Platform Administrator needs to activate the tenant by following the link in the email. If you are not intending to be the administrator, please forward that email to the desired person because the administrator does consume (use) the Collaborative Business Innovator Role. Once that is done, then you can proceed further into using ‘your’ tools.

    How to get into ‘your 3DEXPERIENCE’, log in, and start using the platform

    The link below is the URL you’ll use to start working in the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

    Be sure to bookmark this.

    What is a Role and why is this important?

    A Role is a packaged license and may contain multiple apps. Roles dictate what tools you may use. Those tools are called apps or widgets.

    The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform uses a “named user” model, meaning each person has his or her unique combination of Roles that governs direction in the Platform. Like most Cloud accounts, there is no sharing of licenses, your Roles belong only to you individually.

    In most situations, a named user will have at least two Roles, Collaborative Business Innovator and Collaborative Industry Innovator. With these Roles, the named user can login to the private tenant, collaborate in the company’s vault (3DSpace) and execute lifecycle operations, amongst others. After these core Roles, there are a multitude of Roles that will continue to unlock functionality.

    Selecting the blue compass is akin to selecting the Start button in Microsoft Windows. Once the user selects this, “My Roles”, “My Apps” are viewable. Seen below is the blue compass.

    3DEXPERIENCE Blue Compass
    3DEXPERIENCE Blue Compass

    Shown below is the standard “My Roles” and underneath “My Roles” are “My Apps” contained in those purchased Roles. You can favorite apps to streamline execution. This task pane is on the left side of your 3DEXPERIENCE and may be expanded or collapsed.

    You will likely not have all the Roles pictured below. This is purely dependent on the Roles purchased.

    3DEXPERIENCE Roles and Apps
    3DEXPERIENCE Roles and Apps

    How to add Roles (Platform Administrator’s task)

    Once the tenant is active, your users still can’t run apps, until Roles get assigned, this is a task for the Platform Administrator. If you are an administrator in your tenant, you will have a Platform Management dashboard. In this dashboard, you can add members and control users’ Roles. Users must be added, at which point he or she will receive an email invitation to join the private tenant. A Role is locked to a user for a period of 30 days at the onset of definition.

    Shown in the graphic below, select the “Platform Management” dashboard on the left side of the screen. Choose “Members” tab and assign necessary Roles.

    Platform Management
    Platform Management

    Common Installations

    Now that Roles are assigned, users may begin running apps. As mentioned, some Apps require installation and a supported operating system. This would include popular Roles like Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS.

    For additional information on installation of these popular tools, please see here:

    What is the difference between Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS?

    Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS includes a plug-in to save files up to 3DEXPERIENCE (for rich collaboration) from inside desktop SOLIDWORKS. Users must be on a supported version of SOLIDWORKS, which would include the most current release and back 2 years. Users can continue to use a rich set of integrated add-ins.

    Like desktop SOLIDWORKS, 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS installs on your local machine and requires supported hardware; however, the licensing is strictly online, users will need a reliable internet connection to ensure the periodic license check is successful. Key differences in this version are saving, opening files and the lack of many SOLIDWORKS add-ins.

    Once installed, users should wait until they see the appropriate 3DSpace name and their initials in the task pane. This indicates that the user’s machine is connected to the Platform successfully. This is a critical step to ensure connectivity to 3DEXPERIENCE and stability in the application.

    NOTE: In the event of a SOLIDWORKS crash, the best thing to do is to restart Windows. The reason for this is to ensure connectivity back into 3DEXPERIENCE.

    Where does your data go?

    For internal sharing and versioning of files, items will land into a 3DSpace. If you are saving files from SOLIDWORKS into 3DEXPERIENCE, or using one of the many xApps like xDesign, files natively land in a 3DSpace. The 3DSpace is a collaborative repository, like a vault that has revision control. It is worth noting 3DSpace has no structure, dissimilar from folder structure common in Windows File Explorer, Finder on MAC, etc. In most situations, internal shared objects land in a 3DSpace, whether those items are SOLIDWORKS files, documents, pictures, archives, etc.

    The Bookmark Editor app helps gain structure. Additionally, there are many lifecycle tools available in the Bookmark Editor App.

    Shown below is a standard dashboard included in the 3D Creator Role. You may or may not have the 3D Creator Role,  however, this is a standard dashboard as an example of a purchased Role, showing various widgets including Bookmark Editor, 3DPlay, and 3DSpace. These widgets work effectively together to help manage files and additional downstream tasks. Dashboards are customizable and will largely determine your productivity in the Platform. Be sure to look for TriMech training for additional information in Dashboard customization.

    Standard Dashboard
    Standard Dashboard

    Secondarily, there is a 3DDrive repository, which is your private “Cloud-redundant” drive. This also allows to share to external members like vendors, machine shops. This also allows for ‘live syncing’ from the user’s local disk to the Cloud Drive.

    Why is the Bookmark Editor App critical?

    The Bookmark Editor app is very good at manipulating files in the database. Principally though, this is where we can also get structure and pinpoint a specific spot or location for an object of repeated interest. The widget works very similarly to typical file management tools like Windows File Explorer.


    What is a 3DEXPERIENCE Dashboard and Tab?

    A dashboard consists of tabs and this layout dictates what widgets the user sees in his or her web browser. Dashboards can be shared and customized. I would recommend working out of default dashboards until you get more familiar with the interface. These default dashboards are dependent on the Role(s) you’ve purchased.

    Shown below is my “DESIGN” Dashboard, which I’ve customized to have several widgets in the tab called “Data”- the widgets below include Bookmark Editor, 3DSpace, 3DDrive, Collaborative Lifecycle, and 3DPlay. In this Dashboard below, additional tabs seen are Plan, Documentation, Share Ideas, Design and Render. I’ve customized these tabs to contain various widgets as needed to execute in various areas of the Platform.

    3DEXPERIENCE Dashboard and Tab
    3DEXPERIENCE Dashboard and Tab

    What is a Widget vs a Native App?

    A Widget is an App that runs in a web browser. These apps do NOT require an installation and as such, do not require a specific operating system. This could include things like Bookmark Editor, 3DSpace, 3DSWYM and many others. You will identify a widget with the arrow at the top right of the icon.

    For clarity below, there are three “3DPlay” apps, but only one that will run in the browser. The other two will require an installation inside Windows 10.

    3DPlay Apps
    3DPlay Apps

    Seen below is the browser-based widget of 3DPlay, as indicated with the arrow at the top right of the icon — this will run in a browser.

    Browser 3DPlay

    A native app is one that is installed. As an example, if you have desktop SOLIDWORKS, the Cloud Data management application that is installed is the Collaborative Designer for SOLIDWORKS app. This requires a traditional workstation with Windows 10 as the operating system. Windows 11 support (for installed SOLIDWORKS applications) will officially come toward the end of 2022 at the next major release.

    As seen below, there are many apps that can install (traditional) as a function of “My Roles”. A common installed app is “Design with SOLIDWORKS”.


    What about updates for installed apps?

    Periodically, users should check if there are updates available to native (installed) apps. Updates will appear between the version and the “Create desktop shortcut” icon below, if there is one. If the update is shown in yellow, the update is not required- there is a period of 10 (?) days until the update will be mandatory and then it will be displayed in red. Users will not be able to launch the application until the mandatory update is installed.

    3DEXPERIENCE Updates
    3DEXPERIENCE Updates

    What are the hardware / software requirements?

    Your Role would dictate requirements. If you are a SOLIDWORKS user, of course, that requires Windows 10 today (March, 2022). Windows 11 support will come toward the end of the year.

    Why do I see CAD Family and Physical Products? (for SOLIDWORKS users)

    A CAD Family object corresponds to the part or assembly coming from SOLIDWORKS. The Physical Product corresponds to each configuration. If you create a part with 10 configurations, you will see one CAD Family object and 10 Physical Products in the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. There is no difference in the sldprt or sldasm file from desktop SOLIDWORKS in light of this additional functionality in 3DEXPERIENCE. This means you can continue to share the same part and assembly to those outside of a 3DEXPERIENCE ecosystem, and they will be able to open those files without issue.

    Be sure to check the 3DSwym public community to help with the transition into 3DEXPERIENCE. Select the “SOLIDWORKS News & Info” Community and filter on Wiki.

    3DEXPERIENCE Community
    3DEXPERIENCE Community

    General troubleshooting of browser-based issues

    I would recommend having multiple web browsers installed. If you have an issue with your primary browser, repeat the issue with a secondary browser. If issues persist, try deleting cookies / cache to rectify the issue.

    Continued Education

    • Sign up for a 3DEXPERIENCE Training Course from TriMech Certified Experts
    • Additionally, be sure to check out the training and learning paths on MySolidWorks. There are several rich videos to help ensure a quicker adoption of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.