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SolidWorks files Life Expectancy

Question asked by Alex Lachance on Jan 20, 2020
Latest reply on Mar 11, 2020 by Frank Oostendorp

I had a conference call with my VAR a week or two ago so that they could gather our opinion on the support they provide us, SolidWorks in general and our feeling towards DraftSight.

The call included the technical director, our representative and an application specialist which often takes care of the tickets I send in to my VAR.


It was an hour long call which I really enjoyed receiving, although it brought some unpleasant surprises.


One of them really stuck out though, the life expectancy of SolidWorks files. We were discussing issues I’ve encountered with SolidWorks and ‘’previous version’’ files, and one of the guys spurted out that the life expectancy of a SolidWorks file is about 6 versions, give or take one or two version. While they continued their detailed explanation, I was baffled, out of words, to describe my disbelief towards what I had just heard.


Still in shock, they proceeded to advise me to eventually recreate EVERY file I use on a daily basis, and to repeat the process every set number of years. Having a VERY vast list of files, I was very displeased with their advice. I asked them if they had heard of any other program which could not interact with it’s own files because of version discrepancy, the only example they were able to come up with was when they moved from Excel 97 to Excel 2003, which is about 20 years ago or so and the problems weren’t with files but Macros ran in Excel.



So, I took a few deep breaths, calmed myself down and told myself I’d create a thread about this on the Forums, so here we are.


If that truly is the case, why is there not a tool integrated into SolidWorks to facilitate this process? Can you imagine having to recreate complex parts with 50+ features and thousands of sketch entities and renaming everything accordingly to how it previously was? It’s simply unconceivable.


Just wondering how many people weren’t aware about the life expextancy of a SolidWorks File and hoping to inform those who do not know or the ones who will be searching for the information in the future.