10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 20, 2017 10:47 AM by Robert Weimer

    Linking specific cells from excel

    Robert Weimer

      Hey all,

       

      I'm trying to link a value in a specific cell from an excel file partly because the equations manager in Solidworks in inadequate in its capabilities, but that is another subject for a later time.  Anyway, when I hit the "Import" button and select the excel file of choice, it looks like the idea might work, but as with allot of things with Solidworks, it just isn't that easy.  The list it gives me to choose from will list crazy looking characters that belong in a area 51 documentary (see attached file).

      Does the import button work in the equation manager, and what is the magical way to do it?  I was hoping to just select a particular cell rom excel, but sadly that doesn't look like it is going to happen.

      If by small chance if I am able to pull this off, how and where does Solidworks display that the equation value is indeed a linked value and it is current?

        • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
          Solid Air

          I come from a time with equations in SW did not work reliably so we used design tables (and still do today).  Is there a reason you do not want to use a design table?

          • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
            Robert Weimer

            The term "Design Table" has a different connotation to me coming from a different modeling system.

            So tell me why do I want to use a design table instead of the equation manager when I really just want to use equations to manage my design.  I'm not looking to make different designs, just alter the same design.  If the equation manager allowed iterative equations, I wouldn't even be asking about the "Importing" function.  Which by the way makes it sound like I could import or export by the way the menu looks.

            In reality, I have about 20 equations that are working well enough, but I need the addition of 1 or 2 iterative equations.  I feel if I use design table, the program would be looking to another file all the time to get the equations it needs.  I just had a bad experience with solidworks almost dying because the number of equations was too much for it to handle.  It was always looking to calculate the equations for every time a mouse selection was made . Very annoying and they really should work on this BS for 2018  I don't even expect a deserved kickback from them even though it is deserved.

            Does a design table allow for iterative calculations, if not, that doesn't really help me in my opinion, I will still need to import a equation from somewhere, and I will assume that the importing will be about the same.

             

            I am also struck by the seemingly homogenous result of no one utilizing the equation manager, it doesn't seem that bad unless you want to have more that 50 equations, or maybe iterative equations.  I can't wait to try so higher mathematics and see how that goes.

              • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
                Josh Brady

                Do you also insert drywall screws with a 10lb sledge?  If you insist upon using your tools in the wrong way, you will continue to be dissatisfied with your result.

                • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
                  Jeremy Feist

                  the "link" functionality of the equation manager is limited to txt files - I believe the primary intent was so that you could link multiple files to one list of equations. but the equations are still being solved in the SW solver.

                   

                  design tables are excel files (the default setting is to save them internally to the SW file, but these can be external if you wish - just be careful about file locations) so it has all of the capabilities of excel. One of the limitations/benefits of design tables is that they are not constantly evaluated - they only get computed when you have the table open, and then the model gets updated when you close the table.

                    • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
                      Robert Weimer

                      Thanks, this sounds like a plausible solution.

                      So my next question is why bother with the "Manage Equations..." selection?  Being a completely cynical guy, I assume that is there just to ef with people like me who would fall for the managing equations routine.  You know it just would make sense unless you already know it is useless.

                        • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
                          Jeremy Feist

                          there are 2 big differences between SW equation and design tables

                           

                          1. design tables are excel, and have all of that power (including macros, and external references, etc. if you need it) while SW equations are limited the subset of VBA equations the programmers included solvers for.

                           

                          2. SW equations are solved every rebuild. designed tables are only solved when accessed.

                    • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
                      Robert Weimer

                      Not for nothing, but when a particular selection is called "Manage Equations...", I tend to think that would be the place to put equations that need to be managed.  It is only logical.  It seems that the entire Solidworks community is used to a work around called a "Design Table", which sounds like it is the true "Manage Equation..." area that I want.

                       

                      So, what does the "Design Table" do for me that the "Manage Equation..." section doesn't?  Once again, I'm not opposed to using the "Design Table", I just want to know how that is better at managing my equations for my model?  How does it make it easier to compile equations that I use to enter values in the features that allow such global entries.  Would it be possible to use some of the feature functions that don't allow global variables or stored sketch equations from the " Manage Equations..." area such as the "Move Face" command? Or perhaps the Plane function, or maybe the "Design Table" will magically let the "Circular Pattern" function not only accept the "Move Face" feature in the dialog box under the features section, but actually perform the array with the move face propagated throughout the circular pattern.  I'm sure there is a method for that as well, you just need to know the magic button select sequence.  Does the "Design Table" allow for iterative equations?  That would be nice, but if not, I'm importing something from somewhere in a file format that is acceptable for solidworks to look at.  If not, I'm entering the calculations myself once I look at the excel file,  this seems like the dark ages to me, but I gotta get stuff done, and helping the developers at solidworks is not my job. I'm employed to get designs out the door, and when I need to fight with the software, I tend to ask questions on how to do things.

                       

                      I'm not trying to be an AH, but the Solidworks program is making it difficult not to.  Every time I ask a question here I get the why would you want to do that, or all you have to do is totally work around the situation in a convoluted non logical way, or you are not conforming to the Solidworks way.  I would like to inform all  here that Solidworks is a product that I bought, or more accurately, rented for the year.  I can easily rent another program if need be, and I would encourage you to look at other platforms each and every year before deciding to re up your subscription.  Sure, there is a learning curve, but diversity is a good thing.  I need to know how to use Solidworks to the fullest extent possible, and I would like to be able to confirm that the program is doing what it seems, but the resistance is enormous and the program seems shaky if you ask me.  There are several things that are sub par or at the very least not easy to perform.  I'm not saying that there are other platforms out there that are better or worse, but little more consistency and stability in the software would be nice.  A life of working around programing software is not what I would like to sign up for.

                      My frustration mostly stems from me not being completely amalgamated with the system, but then again I have sighted several things on this very forum that are not normal in my opinion only to be given the "your not doing the right process" line.  Until now I have tried to take the advise from others on ways to perform seemingly simple tasks that just don't seem to come up to the average Solidworks user.  For instance, threads.  Yeah threads, I ask, and magically they show up in the next release when they should have been there probably 10 years ago.

                       

                      Anyways, anybody have any insight to "Import..." or "Export..." buttons contained within the "Manage Equations.." dialog box?  All non related comments are welcome, but keep in mind, I will remain focused on the original thought.

                       

                      Thanks.

                        • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
                          Jeremy Feist

                          first - I did not read that whole thing.

                           

                          second, the export button in the equation manager exports the equation in the current file to a text file - with the option to link the equations to that text file. nothing more nothing less. the import does the reverse; bring in equations from a text file with the option to link them. this is relatively new functionality (2 or three years). if you have ideas for improving it or additional feature you would like to see, SW has a entire enhancement requesting system in place for you to suggest it. additionally there will soon be an option once again in this forum to "publically" suggest ideas, and get them voted on and the top ideas get mentioned at SWW

                          • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
                            Josh Brady

                            I would suggest reading posts by Roland Schwarz related to gears and involutes.  As I've tagged him, he may notice this post... Adjust your attitude dial a bit and you might get some help with your gear.

                              • Re: Linking specific cells from excel
                                Robert Weimer

                                Relax, you seem a little torqued up about my pointing out some things about solidworks that seem screwy.  I'm not really looking for help with modeling my gear, but hey I will look at techniques for modeling all day long when they are inline with what I am trying to get done.

                                 

                                As far as a design table goes, I'm looking into how these need to be constructed and seeing if I can produce a file to get it going.