Connect With Other CAD File Formats Using SOLIDWORKS FeatureWorks

In 3D CAD by ateworks

By Selvam

All of us at least once will need to open other CAD System files (non-SOLIDWORKS format) from either our customer, vendor or partner. Very often, since different CAD system is run by different kernel, we may not be able to directly edit the feature of the imported foreign CAD file. Within SOLIDWORKS, you will always end up with importing a dumb solid with no feature history. What will you do in such situation?

Introducing SOLIDWORKS FeatureWorks, it has the built-in feature recognition technology that allow you to recognise feature that is associated with the creation of imported foreign CAD format part file. In short, you have the ability to create feature history  of the imported part file using this feature.

This feature works best on prismatic shape. The recognition process can be a interactive “manual” or automatic way. It offers to recognise feature on imported standard parts as well as imported sheetmetal parts. To access this feature, you either can search for the feature or you can access via Tab Insert > FeatureWorks > Feature recognition


Using the Interactive Option will be flexible and best if you looking to “design the order” of your feature history tree of the imported part. This is done by selecting the feature in your preferred order that you will want to add to your feature tree.


When selecting the Automatic Option under recognition mode, the different when compare to the Interactive manual way is that the recognition process will try to detect and identify all features you select in one go that is (instead of you selecting one by one) related to the creation of the imported part and create for you a feature history tree.


Automatic Recognition attempted to recognize the features that you have selected.



A feature history tree generated from Automatic Option.


Each feature created will contain sketch feature which in turn is available for editing. FeatureWorks can also add dimensions automatically, it can support Baseline and ordinate dimensioning and can recognize sketch relations as well. To add dimensions and the sketch relations, the FeatureWorks Options had to be enabled under settings (Options > System settings > Sketch).

The flexibility of this FeatureWorks is that if the outcome is not satisfactory, you can always go back and repeat the same process. You will also have the ability recognize same feature type into a pattern feature. With FeatureWorks, all features that are recognized are available for editing. Thus, allow SOLIDWORKS users to connect with other CAD System format. The great news is that, FeatureWorks is now available for SOLIDWORKS Standard version.

For More Information

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