Turnitin vs. Graderworks

by: Anthony Garland

Plagiarism can take on a broad range of forms. In an engineering class, the embodiment of plagiarism looks different than in an English class. Therefore the tools needed to catch plagiarism in a SOLIDWORKS class will be different than traditional academic plagiarism catching tools like Turnitin. SOLIDWORKS professors assign homework that fits into five different categories and what exactly constitutes plagiarism varies based on the assignment type. A detailed analysis of how Graderworks is used for each of these kinds of assignments can be found in the article, "ROI of Graderworks." 

Since a SOLIDWORKS class requires turning in digital files, the plagiarism checking must be customized for the SOLIDWORKS class. Graderworks detects plagiarism by checking SOLIDWORKS file meta-data rather than semantic text search like TurnitIn. 

After running Graderworks, the analysis.csv file contains a list of files that may be plagiarised and identifies why the file was flagged as potential plagiarism The four checks are:

  1. Inconsistent “saved by” name. If one student submits several files and the last “saved by” name is not the same for all the files.
  2. Duplicate “saved by” name. If two different students submit files with the same “saved by” name.
  3. Duplicate “creation date” for different users. It is unlikely (but not impossible) for two students to submit a file that was created at exactly the same day, hour, minute, and second.
  4. Creation date is less than two standard deviations from the average. Files that are old may be from the internet or a previous semester.


Graderworks identified several potential instances of plagiarism.

What is next?

  1. Make an expert judgement if the instance is reasonable. For example, if students use their own parts and parts from the SOLIDWORKS toolbox to make an assembly, then the parts from the toolbox will be identified as potential instances of plagiarism. 
  2. Export each file feature information and check for plagiarism. 
    1. Copy the file path of each file and paste it into the specific files given textbox. 
    2. Configure Graderworks to export the feature data. 
    3. Run Graderworks
    4. Analyze output.csv file to determine the creator of each feature. This feature analysis will easily allow you to identify if a file was shared. 

You can download an example output.csv file here. You can decide for yourself if the two files are plagiarised. 

In my experience teaching SOLIDWORKS and using Graderworks, about 3% of undergrad students will submit a plagiarised file during a semester. Unfortunately, since, I teach a large class, it is not a question of "if a few students will submit plagiarised files" but rather "how will we handle the situation when it happens".  








Join our free mailing list!


  • Grade student's SOLIDWORKS files quickly
  • Catch Plagiarism
  • Export SOLIDWORKS files to another format in bulk
View Software

Recent Articles

Evaluation of Humans and Software for Grading in an Engineering 3D CAD Course

Anthony Garland and Sarah Grigg published a paper showing the effectiveness of a

New Grading Items in GW 4.07 - 4.30

Gradeworks can help you automated SOLIDWORKS grading. New grading items include:

Graderworks 4.00

We are happy to release Graderworks 4.00. This new version of Graderworks is a c

Graderworks 3.10 Check for Fully Defined Sketches

What's new in Graderworks 3.10? Increased data collection speed. Check for fully

Graderworks 3.00

Graderworks 3.00 has new improvements which help fully automate grading of SOLID

Graderworks: SW 2017, Config files, Command line args

Graderworks 2.36 and higher is compatible with SOLIDWORKS 2017. Graderworks now

Graderworks: An Official SOLIDWORKS Solution Partner

Garland Industries is happy to announce that Graderworks is now an official SOL

Graderworks 2.35

Several more improvements have been made to Graderworks in version 2.35.

Graderworks 2.32 Release

Graderworks 2.32 represents continued incremental improvement in the overall qua

Design Automation Example

A design automation example is given showing topology optimization coupled with

Graderworks 2.31

Graderworks 2.31 includes the following updates. 1. When analyzing .stl files th

Graderworks 2.3 Update

Update on Graderworks 2.3 Several major bugs were fixed.

Graderworks 2.3 Release

Graderworks 2.3 allows you to compare the geometric similarity of .stl files wit

Turnitin vs. Graderworks

Graderworks is the Turnitin of 3D models. Not using a plagiarism checker in a So

Getting Started with Graderworks

This tutorial shows how to get started analyzing and grading Solidworks part fil

The Making of Graderworks Video

As an engineering entrepreneur, marketing is not my strength. To make high-quali

Organizing hundreds of .stl files for 3D printing

How would you 3D print hundreds of .stl files in the shortest time possible usin

What is unique about 3D printing?

3D Printing offers many new exciting possibilities, but why is it unique? Three

How 3D printing works

3D Printing requires three steps. 1. Getting a 3D model. 2. Slicing the model to

Preprocessing files for Graderworks: Converting .rar to .zip

Solidworks students submit .rar files instead of .zip. Graderworks requires .zip

Windows Smart Screen and Code Signing

A short tutorial on how to sign a Windows installer and what the smart screen fi

What should we 3D print?

3D Printing opens the possibility of mass customization of consumer products. Ma

Software, dying on the journey from academic project to commercial tool. 

Does software make it from academic research to useful commercial tools? Ignoran