SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2020 cannot read the project data from SOLIDWORKS files in format 2014 or older. This is actually an intended behavior, as it relieves the R&D team from maintaining code to perform the conversion for too many older versions. You may be surprised to learn that this is not the first time it has happened. Maybe you didn't notice it!
For instance, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2011 could not read the project data from SOLIDWORKS files in format 2006 or older. Also, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016 could not read the results (although it could read the project data) from SOLIDWORKS files in format 2011 or older. And you had to rerun your projects to regenerate the results.
But let’s come back to SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2020. When you try to open a SOLIDWORKS file from version 2014 or older that contains flow projects, you get this message: “Unable to convert projects of version earlier than flow Simulation 2015. Please use older Flow Simulation versions to convert”.
Note: After you click OK to this message, if you save and convert your model to the SOLIDWORKS 2020 format, you lose your Flow Simulation project data without any chance of recovery. Your only course of action is then to retrieve a backed-up file set.
In practice, you can still open your older projects in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2020, but you MUST first convert them to a version between 2015 and 2019.
Here is a sample procedure:
- Open you files in version SOLIDWORKS 2019 with SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation added in.
- Save and agree to convert the format.
- Open the same files in SOLIDWORKS 2020 with SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation added in. Now you have your projects.
So what’s the takeaway? If you have SOLIDWORKS files with flow projects from version 2014 (or older) that you still want to have available, consider converting them before you uninstall SOLIDWORKS 2019.
This content is also available in the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base (Solution Id: S-078960)