3D Interconnect

3D Interconnect was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2017. 3D Interconnect replaces SOLIDWORKS current translation capabilities with new technology and workflows for working with third-party native CAD data. It bypasses the entire data translation process, & open 3D CAD Files directly and updates the references upon external changes.

You can:

  • Insert proprietary CAD data directly into a SOLIDWORKS assembly without converting it to a SOLIDWORKS file.
  • Open the proprietary 3D CAD format in the SOLIDWORKS software with its associative link to the original part.
  • Update changes in the SOLIDWORKS file if you update the proprietary CAD data in its authoring application by maintaining all downstream features created in SOLIDWORKS.
  • Break the link of the inserted part file with the original part file.

To activate 3D Interconnect, select Options-> System Options-> Import & select “Enable 3D Interconnect” checkbox.

One way to open any foreign file is simply drag & drop it into SOLIDWORKS from File Explorer. See the Image below.

After opening imported file, FeatureManager Design tree will appear like this.

Note that the icon include a green arrow pointing to the left, indicating that they are referencing an external source.

New in SOLIDWORKS 2020, users can drag & drop neutral & non native CAD files directly into SOLIDWORKS assemblies like any other SOLIDWORKS Component. There is no need to convert them into native SOLIDWORKS Files.

Next, users can apply the desired mates.

Additionally 3D Interconnect in SOLIDWORKS 2020 adds new formats, including 3D DWG and DXF as well as IFC, enabling users to work directly with more files without the need for translation.




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