15 Replies Latest reply on Sep 30, 2010 7:45 AM by Alan Stoldt

    File Extension Help

    Tony Wagner

      I am trying to send a model to a vendor to have holes drilled, reemed, and tapped. The vendor said they can work directly from a step file. When I sent the step file of the part to the vendor they said they could not tell which holes were tapped and which were simply drilled. I used the hole wizard to create all the holes and tapped holes in the model. So all the information required for drilling and tapping holes is stored in the solidworks model. Is there settings I need to change to include annotations in the step file or is there a different file format I need to use to convey this information?

        • Re: File Extension Help
          Kelvin Lamport

          Why not just send them a PDF of the drawing? Or an eDrawing?

            • Re: File Extension Help
              Tony Wagner

              That is how we have done things in the past. However, Time and Cost are the two primary driving forces behind this method. The model contains the information required for these parts. Hole features are located on several faces of the parts and it would be beneficial to send the vendor the model. Creating drawings takes valuable time in order to detail a multi view drawing and seams to be redundent when the part has already been modeled with the appropriate information.

                • Re: File Extension Help
                  Kelvin Lamport

                  What system are they using? Can it read Parasolid format?

                    • Re: File Extension Help
                      Tony Wagner

                      I do not know what they are currently using for software. I have a meeting set up with them for next week to figure that out. I guess I have not worked with much importing or exporting. Any information you can give me pertaining to parasolid models or step models the better. At this point all I am looking to do is convey the information pertinent to drilling and tapping which was created using the hole wizard in solidworks. When creating the tapped hole features in solidworks I chose the cosmetic detail for the tapped feature. In other words I did not choose remove threads. From what I can tell all remove threads does is displays a larger drill size. 

                    • Re: File Extension Help
                      Lenny Bucholz

                      I run a machine shop ...TELL THEM TO BUY SW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! save's all the issues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if they are current on their CAM they maybe able to get the SW lite verson called PDO or PD&A it is about half the price because it doesn't incluce drawings. PDO is parts design only and PD&A is parts design and assemblies.



                      NO machine shop should be with out SW in my opinion. tell them to shit or get off the pot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                      if they had to spend the money one tooling for $1500 they wouldn't blink, well SW is just as important to their buisness as fisical tooling or a drillpress or mill or chopsaw or coolant or .....................well just pisses me off, that old mind set so shop have!


                      i'm done ranting now.

                  • Re: File Extension Help
                    Randy Neumann

                    I don't have an answer, but I have delt with the same issue and didn't find a solution. I worked in a prototype stamping company, where i designed and we machined using mastercam. I worked closley with the machining dept, and we had a great system where we didn't use any prints. I would draw dashed circles at tapped holes, etc and everyone understood they were tapped. We produced prototype tooling like no other, designed and machined in a matter of minutes or hours. When I started using solidworks for design, when I exported parasolid files for machining, they couldnt tell what holes were what. I ended up loading the files myself, and added wireframe to show which holes were tapped.


                    Maybe there was a better way, but I didn't find it..

                    • Re: File Extension Help
                      Kenneth Barrentine

                      as long as you don't use "remove thread" option for hole wiz, the vendor should be able to tell a tapped hole by the diameter e.g. Ø.089 = 4-40 unc


                      most competent machine shops can decipher this basic information.


                      however, there are some instances (8-32 & 8-36) that use same drill size.  in this case you might have to be specific or set down some rules for vendors to follow.

                      • Re: File Extension Help
                        John Burrill

                        Tom, it sounds like the machine shop is looking for an automated way to pick up a tapped feature and export formats are usually geometry-only.

                        However, if you apply a color to your tapped hole features and export using Step 214, the face colors will import (atleast back into Solidworks)

                        step_colored faces.png

                        See if that will be sufficient.  Otherwise, I'd be asking the machine shop what they suggeest

                        Good luck.

                        • Re: File Extension Help
                          Alan Stoldt



                          Would changing the tapped condition help?



                          Remove Threads vs. Comestic Thread?




                          This may be all they are looking for.





                          • Re: File Extension Help
                            Tony Cantrell

                            First I would tell them to download edrawings from SW, its free and they can rotate the model.

                            Second have you tried .stl