How to Build Cars in SolidWorks

Written by harvey birdman
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How to Build Cars in SolidWorks
Designing a car will take time because of the myriad components. (luxury car - model toy car image by alma_sacra from

SolidWorks is a design program used to make three-dimensional designs for engineers. It is a computer-aided design (CAD) program similar to AutoCAD. It is a versatile program capable of rendering everything from spoons to planes. Making a car will take time, as you will have to model the chassis, suspension, engine, electronics, interior, body panels and wheels.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Double-click on the SolidWorks icon and select "File" and then "New Document." Click on the "Sketch" button and click on the Z plane. Draw the basic shape of the underlying chassis of the car you want to design. Then select the "Extruded Boss" button. Enter the desired height in the pop-up window. Repeat this process with all the part of the chassis and fine details.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Sketch" button again and design the suspension components of the car. Do this by first sketching the outline on the Z (or X or Y if you prefer) plane and then extrude those sketches in three-dimensional components. Copy and paste the components as you need for your car. Click on drag the suspension components into place on the chassis and click on the "Mate" button. Once two components are mated, they become one object but will still function independently (as in an axle will still rotate inside a bearing hub)

  3. 3

    Design the drivetrain components, starting with the transmission and powered wheels. Forward-wheel drive cars require a transversally mounted engine, while a rear-wheel drive car can use a laterally mounted engine. All-wheel drive or four-wheel drive cars can use both. You also need to determine the placement of the transaxle if you are using an AWD or 4WD car. Repeat the sketching and extruding process for the axles and differential. Make sure to mate the components to supporting hardware on the chassis and suspension.

  4. 4

    Design the engine block by extruding each part separately. Do not mate the parts until you have all of them laid out on your Z plane and fully extruded. Make sure the engine block itself will fit inside the engine bay with all the necessary connecting wires. Mate the components together and then mate the engine to the chars chassis. Click on "File" and then "Save" when you are done.

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