Welcome back! In Part 1 of our series, we explored how 3D Interconnect in SOLIDWORKS 2017 can be turned on, what formats we’re able to bring in, and how we can seamlessly integrate an Inventor assembly into our SOLIDWORKS assembly. In Part 2, we’ll take a look at another workflow that can best leverage 3D Interconnect – to directly open the 3rd party CAD data so we can add our own SOLIDWORKS features and then update it with a newer version!
In this example, we’ll take a look at a PTC Creo part. We’ll do a quick ‘File > Open’ and select the Creo file, as we would for any other SOLIDWORKS file. An ‘Import Diagnostics’ and ‘Feature Recognition’ window will pop up but we’ll decline both for now (we’ll investigate Feature Recognition further in part 3!)
Once we have the pulley component opened, we can investigate the FeatureManager tree to make sure it did import the Creo file in by looking for the green arrow on the assembly/part icon.
From here, we can add SOLIDWORKS features such as extrudes and cuts right on the Creo geometry and even incorporate design library features such as keyways and slots.
One concern would be if we update the Creo file with a later revision, what will happen to all the existing SOLIDWORKS features we added? In this case, will the keyway and slots be incorporated into the new revision or will we have to re-do them again? There’s only one way to find out! To test out the update process, we’ll navigate to the folder directory where the original Creo file is. From there, we’ll need to locate the folder where the updated Creo file we wanted to update with, is. From there, we’ll do a simple drag-and-drop of the updated Creo file into the original Creo file’s folder.
We’ll do a quick rebuild on the pulley component and this will give us the familiar ‘Update Model’ option when right-clicking on the Creo part.
After updating the model with the newer revision, we can see that not only does the Creo part update with the newer version but all of the features we spent so much time, are preserved too! This is due to the fact that 3D Interconnect serializes, or “remembers” the faces and edge ID’s of the imported model and maintains them so that downstream features which might be referencing those faces/edges won’t fail.
We’ve taken a look at another way 3D Interconnect can help us move past the time it takes to import a 3rd party CAD file, make changes using our own SOLIDWORKS features, and have it retain the associativity so the model can be updated! In the last part of our blog series, we’ll explore how we can still utilize the imported 3rd party CAD data and then break the link so we can do some direct editing to the imported geometry!