With so many new enhancements, it’s hard to decide which SOLIDWORKS 2017 features to try first. If you work with multiple CAD systems, consider adding SOLIDWORKS 2017 3D Interconnect to the top of your “must-try” list.
But first, watch the 3D Interconnect segment from our SOLIDWORKS 2017 Launch event:
What is SOLIDWORKS 2017 3D Interconnect?
3D Interconnect is a game changer when it comes to handling non-SOLIDWORKS CAD files. Working with other CAD formats used to be a painful process. Many people relied on software translators like IGES, STEP, Parasolid and ACIS to get 3D models from one CAD format to another. Data was often lost along the way. Making design changes was painful and, if there was ever a revision change, you'd have to start the whole process again.
Now, instead of struggling to convert CAD files from third-party systems, SOLIDWORKS 2017 3D Interconnect grants users the ability to open neutral and native CAD data from various sources right inside of SOLIDWORKS. Finally, you can insert parts or assemblies without having to go through a time-intensive (an error-prone) import process!
- CATIA® V5*: .CATPart, .CATProduct for V5R8 – 5–6R2016
- Autodesk® Inventor: .ipt for V6 – V2016, .iam for V11 – V2016
- PTC®: .prt, .prt.*, .asm, .asm.* for Pro/ENGINEER® 16 – Creo 3.0
- Solid Edge®: .par, .asm, .psm for V18 – ST8
- NX™ software: .prt for UG 11 – NX 10
You can even set up references to the original file so if there is an update, the imported references update as well.
How will new features improve your workflow?
While subtle, new features in SOLIDWORKS 2017 3D Interconnect offers powerful changes that allow users to maintain direct integration of CAD files and treat them like native components. Having this interoperability function can improve your design workflow in a number of ways.
First, it enables users to work with data from other CAD systems. In turn, this facilitates collaboration between consultants, manufacturers and clients, encouraging a “mixed CAD” environment. Companies who use a combination of software or switch from another 3D CAD system to SOLIDWORKS will greatly benefit from this capability.
In addition to working with data from other CAD systems, you can reference links outside of your assembly. While SOLIDWORKS has always been great at communicating file formats, users haven’t always had the ability to see the history of changes made. But with SOLIDWORKS 2017 3D Interconnect, now you can freely make design modifications without ever affecting the native file.
Plus, SOLIDWORKS notifies users when changes are made, ensuring better connectivity throughout your design process. This will be a huge benefit to anyone that works with multiple CAD systems on a regular basis, needs to create designs from supplier content or for users that work with a lot of legacy CAD data.
Overall, 3D Interconnect takes your collaborative workflows up a notch, helping engineers focus on their design rather than translating files. The updated capabilities and improved CATIA V5 data support in SOLIDWORKS 2017 Premium even allows users to render the existing CATIA-V5-to-SOLIDWORKS translator obsolete.
Wanna see more of our engineers' top 11 SOLIDWORKS 2017 features? Stay tuned to our blog, or download the infographic!