4 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2009 6:31 PM by Michael Hess

    Bringing 3d AutoCAD into SW - tips and techniques

    Michael Hess
      Hello All:

      this is not so much a question but a give-back. At SWW09 I gave a presentation on general legacy issues. I received some feedback that people were looking for some more information on dealing with AutoCAD files in particular.

      I just finished a small project on translating a somewhat poor 3d AutoCAD file into SolidWorks. It wasn't the most obvious use of SolidWorks and DWGeditor, so I documented what I did.

      As a give-back to this generous community, I'm attaching a short PDF of my process (download the file and change the extension from PNG to PDF, hopefully that will get around the "no PDF attachments").

      I hope this can give somebody ideas or save them some time when they're dealing with similar issues.

      Thank You All,


      PS: Comments, questions, corrections, please let me know.
        • Bringing 3d AutoCAD into SW - tips and techniques
          Anna Wood

          Just zip the pdf into an archive and post the zip file.

          • Bringing 3d AutoCAD into SW - tips and techniques

            I really appreciate the effort you put into helping us with the difficult task of converting ACAD data to SW. Your presentation shows 15 hours to convert that assembly, so I have to ask whether you think it is worth the time to convert, rather than remodeling everything in SW. It's hard to tell from the images how complex your parts are.
              • Bringing 3d AutoCAD into SW - tips and techniques
                Michael Hess
                Hello Ray:

                That question is the one to ask for doing any translation - "is it worth it?"

                In this case the parts really aren't that complex, (plus they were modeled "simplified" in AutoCAD in the original model). They're all prismatic, rectangles, cylinders, etc, maybe 10 features a part, some more some less. But there are a lot of them, plus a lot of assemblies. That's why I put down "count on 15 minutes a part." If you can model 155 entites (46 unique parts, 12 assemblies) from scratch in 15 hours, then you're pretty fast, and you'll end up with fully featured parts in SolidWorks, so that's even better.

                In my case I didn't need the feature history, and this was a relatively quick way to get there.

                Another issue I had you may not have had, is that the assembly file came with no additional documentation, such as dimensioned drawings, to help with building this from scratch. You would have had to go back and for between AutoCAD and SolidWorks, measuring in one, and then extruding that distance in the other.

                That can be done.
                Sounds painful.

                I have previously done a translation with drawings, and it takes a little longer (though not double the time). The end result was better, but that time I needed "better", this time I didn't.

                Good luck with your translations,
                and thanks for the feedback.