A company contacted me to do a rush job of converting 4 dwg files into SW
Did the job overnight (15+ hrs), and successfully delivered 4 SW2007 (sp3.0)
parts and an assembly to a company. These are all sheet metal parts...
They sent the SW parts (and assembly) files to the shop - and guess what...
I find out they only have SW2006...
I know al about how SW cannot save previous version (and have heard all of
the excuses), but now not only is my time ($$$) in jeopardy but also my
ability to help out the company... which makes me and the SW software look
like an idiot... this is not good.
Is there any way of getting SW2007 sheet metal into SW2006 - via IGES or
STEP, Parasolid, etc. and have them be able to flatten the sheet metal
PS: This previous version save is a HUGE problem for everyone, and it can be
done - SW if you are reading this contact me, there is a method... and it
You didn't ask first? Oops.
You don't have SW 2006? Maybe someone here can help (myself
included). I won't do it for free, but I'm not expensive for things
like this. With existing parasolids to copy from it should go
At least you can deliver IGES or parasolids plus 2D PDF or eDwg to
customer and vendor for manufacturing while you get this sorted out.
That70sTick wrote in news:1177699282.644941.72350
Also, if you have access to it, FeatureWorks can recognize sheet metal from
an imported part. I have no idea if it's any better than just inserting
bends, but maybe worth a try.
In my defense, all of the shops I work with stay current with their SW
maintenance... this is one who did/does not...
I find it no comfort that I pay for updates, and yet can have this come back
to haunt me.
And by the way, I tried the insert bends and unfold... and it worked !!!
BEER FOR ALL !!!
PROBLEM SOLVED - YEH !!!
I really like this newsgroup... it is as good as SW VAR maintenance - better
it is free!
All 3D parametric CAD companies would like to know how it can be done.
If was so simple they would do it. And I don't buy the line of thought that
they have no vested interest in doing it.
If the internal data structures for a feature are added at V3, how can a V2
copy of the software know what to do with the feature? This is the problem
with backward compatibility.
The other option is to 'dumb down' new features so they can be read by an
older version. But then you don't have a parametric model any more.
In this case Aron was doing sheet metal. Aside from some slight
changes to the user interface what changed between 2006 and 2007? If
you break down a SW model you have a feature tree and a solid and a
display list. The feature tree is created by the user interface. A
SolidEdge user interface could probably build a SW feature tree. Like
Aron's problem the majority of users are using the same basic SW
features that we had since the beginning. Extrude, cut, revolve,
revolve cut and fillets.
SW can obviously export identical geometry back many versions. Just
look at the choices in parasolid export. So it is in the feature tree
that compatibility lies. And just what does the feature tree track? It
tracks a procedure for relating features. The first release of SW
could actually create a "trail file" to use ProE jargon that would
recreate a part from scratch.
Seems to me that if SW can attempt to recreate a dumb solid (ProE or
parasolid or IGES) without any knowledge of the feature order, it
certainly can use it's own data to give major hints. Or even better a
newer version can dumb down its output to work with older versions.
The problem is that SW probably changes the data structure of the
feature tree with every new version so that the old cannot understand
it. If that data structure was modular internally so that new
additions did not bolix up old established structures it would be a
piece of cake to have backward compatibility for 90% of users. Of
course what do I know, I'm not a programmer.
Your statements (and the others) are all great...
I too believe the only reason SW lacks the ability to save older formats is
the file structure and possibly the kernel is new each time. With that
said, if it can read in an old structure into a new release, it should be
able to write back - without of course writing back any new feature stuff
from the new release. For example, I do not use all of the swoopy, curvy
stuff - probably 95% of what I do could be done in earlier versions. Maybe
they could at least give us something for say the last release, i.e. 2006
could write back to 2005, 2007 could write back to 2006, etc. I realize
people do use the swoopy stuff too. As a programmer I think that would be
very difficult to over come the curvy stuff issues; freeform deformation,
flexing, and surface patches are tricky to convert and graphics programmers
are constant trying to find the most efferent ways to speed up the code.
However the standard holes, bosses, cuts, sweeps - nothing new here except
maybe the user interface and maybe a more efficient way of doing the math,
seem to be easy to revert back to the previous release. If 2007 can rebuild
the fasteners or toolbox library certainly we could rebuild the feature tree
for simple objects too - aren't the toolbox parts made of the same types of
On the same subject line, I usually wait at least 6 to 8 months before
installing the newest version, and not just because of the bugs... Most of
the shops do not upgrade right away either so I get into a holding pattern
and wait until "they" are ready. I however want to use the newest features,
heck SolidWorks Corp wants me to use the latest features, but the reality is
the it takes months before the "release change over" occurs.
I sounded a little pampas in my first email (sorry) - I was having the
"screws put to me"... but again this is a real problem and it occurs fairly
frequently (and not just the screws to me part :-/ ), and also occur to the
shops as well with the clients and customers. It would be nice if the
current version could have a check box that would shut off all of the new
release features if one wanted to be compliant with an earlier release.
Also seems that the new "smart" helper apps SW is currently enthralled with
could do some magic here. Maybe you create a 2007 part and if you ask SW to
save the current 2007 part in 2006 format, the "smart" system tells you what
you need to alter to have that happen - kind of semi-automatic -or-
interactively. like feature works. I am not talking about assemblies here
only parts - because parts are what get passed ultimately to the CNC shops.
I know it would all go away if everyone would always stay current, but that
is unlikely to happen, and frankly is wishful thinking. The reality is that
SW users will be using a broad range of releases - and it really comes down
to time and money - the time it take to get "trained" on the newest release
and the money it cost to buy in to the newest release. The higher the price
the greater the disparity between versions, the smaller the upgrade price
the quicker the adoption rate to the newer version will be - but again not
everyone will change. This may be economy driven too... this subject seems
more complex than just writing the code to do the saves to previous
Anyway, thanks for all of the input and insight - I just want SW to get
better at this for all of us, so we can work more efficiently - together.
"Just trying to help"
I don't think you are being pompous. Not being compatible with your
own files or a customer's files is a serious business concern as you
have so aptly shown. On the one hand SW touts being able to
concentrate on design and on the other hand you have to ask your
customers what version they are on in order to work with them and make
money. And it isn't just your customers. Try converting files in
PDMWorks to the next version. You can't easily do this. If you don't
you run the risk of not being able to use older versions. If you do,
you quickly find that it will take a month if you have a large vault.
SW used to sell based on users being excited about what they could do
with the software. Now we spend all our time sharing workarounds which
is hardly what I would call focussing on design. This is largely due
to the "feature wars" that SW is engaged in and it is fueled by the
CAD magazine industry for one and competing software companies on the
other. I just ran across a well known author asking about whether a
feature existed in SW that Inventor had or is going to have. This will
no doubt end up as a "big deal" in some article when in fact this type
of feature would be so little used by the majority as to be irelevant.
I have half a mind to write a macro that will enable this feature back
to 2001+ just to be able to say SW had it since then.
You don't have to strictly speaking, but it is not just a personal
preference like Matt is saying either. In our case we had a pre PDM
vault with something like 25,000 SW files in addition to other 2D CAD
files. When we went from 2004 to 2006 we had serious performance
problems because of the fact that SW has to do a lot of extra overhead
when opening an older version. Our VAR, people in this forum and
people in the SWCAD forum all suggested very strongly that we convert
the entire vault. Since at the time we didn't have PDM I did so and
the results were as claimed by the VAR, and the people in the forums.
Performance was greatly improved. Along the way the SW conversion tool
found quite a number of problem files. When we converted our vault,
files back to SW99 were being converted. I have been told by some VARs
that SW really only will guarantee proper conversion back two or maybe
three versions. There is a reason why SW includes a conversion tool
with each new release to do bulk conversions. Oddly, this tool will
not work with SW own PDM. We happended to move to dbWorks and they
have a built in conversion tool, however, I haven't tested it yet.
Matt's argument that you shouldn't convert released documents is very
interesting. The problem I have with that statement is this. When you
open a released document in a newer version of SW, even though it is
saved in an older version, SW WILL convert the copy in memory. So you
do not any longer have the old version to view or print even if you
don't convert it. The only way to see it as it was saved in the older
version is to load the older version and open it in the older version
or to vault pdf or edrawing files or, shudder, paper prints. When you
convert a released document you are just getting rid of the extra wait
of converting on the fly.
Finally, converting a vault is not something that can generally be
done in an hour or even a day. Anyone with thousands or tens of
thousands of files is going to be faced with days or weeks of work
completing a conversion. We, for instance, had single drawings that
took 15 to 30 to 60 minutes each just to open. For this reason it is
wise to plan a conversion and to process parts first, then assemblies
and finally drawings. For large, difficult to open drawings or
assemblies it is sometimes wiser to do them manually prior to bulk
conversion of the assemblies that make them up.
It's disappointing if that's really the case, although I can't recall ever
using an app that wouldn't successfully open its older versions correctly,
so hopefully it's only a theoretical problem.
What happens if you open them "view only"?
I personally detest the way SWX changes things in memory compared with the
saved file, as it allows you to do this with read-only files as well.
I don't know how often SWX changes the algorithms used to construct features
(this cropped up a couple of days ago regarding saving a 3D model as an
older version), but it seems a definite weakness of the product that you
can't continue to use the older algorithm to guarantee a rebuild will not
The only time I've encountered the need for something like that was many
yeras ago at one particular release of Applicon Bravo, where they radically
changed the file structure and it required the whole vault to be (slowly)
I wouldn't like to go there again!
Oh how many times do we need to go through this. If Autodesk is so
generous and customer oriented because Acad can save back to older
versions, then how come their 3d product does not? No parametric 3d