That’s it. I just placed a bulk order on Amazon for a pallet of thick, super-absorbent napkins. I’ll use half of them to soak up tears OF JOY, and the other half to capture the world-changing ideas worthy of being birthed on the bunching, biodegradable surface of a paper napkin. Why? Two words, combined into one – SOLIDNAPKIN.

SOLIDNAPKIN is a mobile app that allows you to instantly digitize napkin sketches into SolidWorks, plus break those sketches into parts and animate them. It may seem a novelty, easily solved with a mobile camera, but think of the part between where you take the photo of your concept/napkin sketch and have it in SolidWorks as something usable to start generating parts. That’s the part SOLIDNAPKIN solves. And, you’re right, it doesn’t have to only be on a napkin.

What’s most interesting about this app is how they’ve extended it to provide a why to break out the parts and animate them. They’re calling it Napkinematics, and once the parts are separated in SOLIDNAPKIN, they brought together again using mates in SolidWorks. Here’s an example of how it’s done:

YouTube video

The app is available on iTunes and Google Play and there are more images, videos, and examples on their site at By the way, this app is from the creators of RedLine for SolidWorks that gave you mark-up capability inside SolidWorks. Overview of the latest version is below.

YouTube video

Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.