I don't know of any "Easy" way to make the change, as Ryan McVay said,.Its a lot of work.
2D programs can not just create SolidWorks 3D parts, drawings or assemblies.
From SWX parts or assemblies, you can create 2D drawings and you can save those in several different 2D formats (DWG, DXF, PDF, and many more).
However, if you want to use your 2D drawings and have them easily be "Converted" to 3D, this is not possible.
There are functions in SWX that will allow you to import your 2D views and then manipulate them to make the transition easier (in some cases), but in reality, it is usually easier and better to recreate the parts in 3D and then use those to make your 2D documents (if you intend to save files in 2D format.(2D drawings may not have lines connected or may have extra lines or not at the exact angles needed ....)
My company made the transition in 2011 and the way we did it was to just make all new parts in 3D. When we need to re-use parts drawn only in 2D we re-made those into 3D when needed.
It is more of a systematic migration to Solidworks (or any 3D).
If you can give more information of things like:
Do you want to convert ALL your 2D to 3D or just what is needed moving forward.
How many parts/drawings do you have.
Is it just in your location or does your company have other locations that would also change at the same time.
Do you use any PDM or plan to.
How many users / Seats.
Will you be doing large or complex assemblies.
What equipment do you have (computers and accessories)(3D requires much better systems to be efficient than 2D).
Will your company be sending your drafters / designers for training or learn as you go.
Thank you for your comments. I know that the way to be successful will be very hard.
Bellow you get the answers to your questions:
- I believe that we can not convert all drawings from 2D to 3D. It is too much (up to 10'000). We will make what is needed.
- Parts: 8000 pieces; tools (screws, nuts, washers etc.): 16'000 different pieces, a lot of variants in size, lenght, material and quality
- We have 15 location worldwide but in 10 are technical departments with engineers using CAD
- We can not change the system at the same time because some locations haven't been integrated in our network
- Currently we have no PDM (can change in future); first step: changing CAD, second step: integrating PDM
- Users/Seats: 54 worldwide
- Yes, we have some products with large and complex assemblies (up to 20'000 parts/assembly), but not all
- We have already PC that are 3D ready
- We will have both, some will get a training other will learning self-taught.
Hope my answers helps
The hardest part of the 2D to 3D transition is discovering that your 2D drawings are junk, and 3D models made directly from them are also junk. Every little cheat in 2D becomes a geometric instability or impossibility in 3D.
If / When you do make the switch over to SolidWorks, the best advice I can give you to pass on to your other users is to forget everything you ever knew about AutoCAD. I see many people get frustrated with SolidWorks because it doesn't work the way they think it should, instead of learning how it works. In my experience it's easier for people to learn it if they don't have any previous CAD experience.