3D Interconnect In SOLIDWORKS

How to enable and use SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect

Many companies use different CAD packages to implement their Designs. Solidworks 2017 introduces “3D Interconnect” option to change the workflow from Other CAD Packages.

Users can perform the following tasks in Solidworks 2017:

  • Designers can import other CAD files directly into the Solidworks assembly without converting it into Solidworks files.
  • Users can modify other CAD files in Solidworks without affecting the original files.
  • Users can also update their files if their original other CAD file modification happens

New Enhancement in Solidworks 2018:

In 2018, Solidworks provides much enhancement in ‘3D Interconnect’ option. Users can import STEP, ACIS, IGES and Other CAD Packages.

Solidworks 3D interconnect can also import Material Properties, Custom Properties, Unconsumed Sketches and Curves and the Reference axis.

The supported file format types are:

  • UG (NX software)
  • PTC® Creo
  • Solid Edge®
  • STEP
  • Autodesk® Inventor
  • CATIA® V5
  • IGES
  • ACIS

Solidworks 3D Interconnect reads only the material names and density attributes from the other CAD Packages. (Note: Only Solidworks Premium can open Catia files).

It reads unconsumed sketches or curves that are not consumed by any features.

Solidworks 3D Interconnect can also read Reference Plane and User Defined Attributes from the STEP, IGES, and ACIS file format.

Users can import STEP, IGES, and ACIS assembly files as Multibody files.

To turn on 3D interconnect option:

To turn on the 3D Interconnect option, click option from the Solidworks window. Then click system option and select the import option then select “Enable 3D Interconnect” in the general file format.

Option > System option > Import > Select “Enable 3D Interconnect”.

Enable 3D Interconnect










To import custom properties of other file formats:

Click the drop-down of file format option. Select “Inventor/ Catia v5/ Creo/ NX / Solid Edge” in the File format

Other file format










Then select the ‘Custom properties’ and ‘Material properties’:

Option > System Properties > Import > File Format > Inventor/    Catia v5/ Creo / NX / Solid Edge.

Material properties










To import reference planes and attributes of step files:

Change the file format drop down to STEP / IGES / ACIS.

Option > System Properties > Import > File Format > Select “STEP/IGES/ACIS”.

reference planes and attributes of step files






Basically, the 2D symbols have the connection point in SOLIDWORKS Electrical. That is a manual method. In 3D we can do to create same connection point what you before seen in the 2D connection point.

Mostly the designer may confused how to link the 2D connection point in 3D. Here we have an option in SOLIDWORKS Professional.


Creation of 2D connection point

Here I will explain in detail about the 2D c point creation and linked with 3D.

For example, I am taking 4 pin connector and explain the above detail.



Now we add 4 connection point to the connector. Then adding the attributes like tag mark, manufacture, description, Harness, cross reference and etc., then click save button.

Now the symbol is added to the schematic drawing sheet then I have created the manufacture part to this connector. The manufacture part name is Molex (09-50-7041).


Molex 2D symbol


STEP – 1 (Component in 3D without a connection point)

Then we go to 3D connection point with the reference of tag name and manufacture part name. Assigned the 3D connector is shown in SOLIDWORKS. Now the 3D part is not having the connection point. Here only we can put the connection point in 3D with using the routing component wizard.


Component in 3d without a connection point

STEP – 2 (Creating a 3D sketch point)

Next, we click the sketch point to the component.

creating a 3d sketch point


STEP – 3 (Routing points)

we click the Tools – Routing – Routing tools – create a connection point.

After creating the connection point we can go with Routing library manager.


Routing points


STEP – 4 (Routing component manager)

Then we click the Tools – Routing – Routing tools – Routing library manager – Select Route Type – Electrical – Next – Select component type – Connectors – Next.


Routing component manager


In Routing library manager we can Create, Import, Export is possible to all electrical and mechanical components for Routing. Here we have the separate tabs for Routing like cables, wires, components, covering libraries etc.


STEP – 5 (2D connection points shown here)

Already we created the connection point but that not merge with that SCHEMATIC CONNECTOR. (Molex manufacturing part in 2D)


2d connection points


Go to C Point from manufacture part in this above picture, then click Add.


STEP – 6 (Creating a connection point in 3D with the ref. point of 2D)

Here we can able to see that manufactured part on the left corner with the same connection point we have created in 2D. we click one by one in that same C points. Then click the tick mark. The 2D connection points merge with 3D. Then we can save that connector to that particular location the use when we need.

creation a connection point in 3d


Finally, we got the solution for creating the Connection point in 2D and 3D.

In SOLIDWORKS Electrical have the schematic libraries are linked with 3D. So 2D created every component have small changes also reflected in 3D. If you have any changes first we go to schematic and modified that change. Again come to 3D.

In SOLIDWORKS Electrical have more solutions to done a project in very good manner within a short period. It gives more time consuming to do concentrate on more projects.