Professional designers and engineers know SOLIDWORKS has a full suite of powerful tools with best-in-class solutions, but you may find the need to work with files that are native to another CAD solution. Now a new feature in SOLIDWORKS 2017 called 3D Interconnect makes it easier than ever for more people to join your game and participate in great design regardless of their source.
3D Interconnect comes with every installation of SOLIDWORKS 2017 to give you the option to skip the conversion process when opening CAD files that are native to someone, just not native to you. Generally this applies to components downloaded from online libraries, legacy data from previous CAD packages, or files from design partners such as other departments or contractors who are not using SOLIDWORKS as their primary CAD package. When you skip the conversion process you skip more than just the time required to create that “dumb solid” because you also avoid creating additional files, potential translation errors, and the difficulty of handling changes and revisions to the original files.
The best part about 3D Interconnect is that you don’t even have to realize it is there! Just open or insert any native file from Creo, Inventor, NX, SolidEdge, or CATIA* and it will behave like any other normal file with only one exception, a different icon is displayed to indicate that the file is not native and is linked back to the original file. If you prefer a part that doesn’t link back to the original file, simply right click the file to break its link and it will behave exactly as it used to, creating a new native file full of “dumb solids” that can be edited directly or recognized as features using FeatureWorks. Non-native files are monitored just like native files at the assembly and drawing level, so if the source file changes the SOLIDWORKS documents can be updated to reflect the new geometry with a simple update.
For companies sitting on decades of legacy files who want to switch to SOLIDWORKS it has never been easier to trade up. If you work with a contractor or division that actively uses another program for some of the designs you use this will make daily life so much easier as you can both use the same files (well, you can use their files at least). For me the ability to quickly open any file format I find online without waiting for conversion or diagnostics is huge and really speeds up the game. Watch the below video to see 3D Interconnect being used to setup a multi-CAD chess game or Contact Us
to download a copy of the finished game board.
*NOTE: CATIA files require SOLIDWORKS Premium to open, previously the CATIA Translator license was required, all other file types open in all licenses of SOLIDWORKS