3D Interconnect In SOLIDWORKS

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.


How to Convert Toolbox Part into a Normal SOLIDWORKS Part?

How to Convert Toolbox Part into a Normal SOLIDWORKS Part?

What is meant by Toolbox in SOLIDWORKS?

Toolbox is nothing which contains Bolts, Nuts and Washers with different sizes and shapes which is created in SOLIDWORKS itself by default according to its usage by users and availability in market.

You can find the Toolbox location from the below image.


Toolbox location in SOLIDWORKS



If you use any toolbox components means, it automatically takes the reference from the “SOLIDWORKS Data xxxx” folder unless you uncheck the option “makes this folder the default search location for Toolbox Components” as shown in the below image.




Once you uncheck this option, then you may use any customized Bolts, Nuts and Washers created by the user which is not available from Solidworks standard Toolbox.



Uncheck the option “makes this folder the default search location for Toolbox Components” can also rectify the problem like changing your customized Bolts, Nuts and Washers to the SOLIDWORKS standard Toolbox components once the part or assembly file closed after you save it.

Most of us using these standard toolboxes only. But some people may use customized Toolbox. Customization of SOLIDWORKS Standard Toolbox is another topic that we can discuss in the different blog.

Now let us see how we can change the Toolbox Component into a normal SOLIDWORKS part.

Initially open any Toolbox Component which you want to convert into a SOLIDWORKS part and save it in desktop or any local folder.

For example Hexagon Head Bolt as shown below.






Now when you create assembly by using this part, you may come across the toolbox symbol in the feature manager design tree which Indicating it’s still going to be treated as a Toolbox file in file references. You can remove this flag very easily to have the part be treated as a normal SOLIDWORKS part by running a utility that is installed with SOLIDWORKS.


SOLIDWORKS installation folder


Browse into the SOLIDWORKS installation folder which is usually located at:



Then, inside the Toolbox\Data Utilities folder you’ll see a program called




Toolbox flag


Run that program and you’ll be able to add that files have a Toolbox flag, simply:

  1. Add the files,
  2. Leave the “Property State” to “Yes“,
  3. And click “Update Status”.




From the above (Is Toolbox Part) = (Standard) shows that it have the reference of Toolbox or Toolbox property.


When you insert the part in assembly it again shows the Toolbox Component symbol feature design tree which confirms it still behave like as Toolbox Component.


Toolbox Component_2


Now, run that program again and you’ll be able to add that files have a Toolbox flag, simply:

  1. Add the files,
  2. Set the “Property State” to “No“,
  3. And click “Update Status”.




From the above (Is Toolbox Part) = (No) shows that it is free from the reference of Toolbox or Toolbox property.


Now, when you insert the part in assembly it doesn’t shows the Toolbox Component or it shows normal part symbol in feature design tree which confirms that the link with Toolbox Component has been broken.



When click “update status” you must close that part in SOLIDWORKS. Otherwise it shows error message.




This will remove the Toolbox flag and the part will now behave like a normal



Now, you will able to use, change or modify this Toolbox Component as a normal SOLIDWORKS part. The next time when you open this part it doesn’t take the reference from Toolbox.

Unique Feature in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.

Connectors in SOLIDWORKS Simulation:
Connectors are the virtual components which are used for connecting faces, edges of two part or to the wall.

Problems faced by FEA Analyst:
– Consider working with larger assemblies, which is having more fasteners. For modeling or taken from the library and assembling those fastens takes some time.
– Additional time will be spent for meshing of all the fasteners in the assembly.

Types of connectors in SOLIDWORKS Simulation:
The different types of connectors are,
• Bolt
• Bearing
• Pin
• Rigid
• Spring
• Elastic Support
• Link
• Edge weld
• Spot welds

How to apply connectors in SOLIDWORKS Simulation?
Right click on the connections available in the Simulation study

Unique Feature in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 1


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