Importing Solidworks Data into Inventor
Today we are seeing more and more people working between different software and an increase in collaboration as we become more and more connected. With this increase in collaboration we need to easily be able to reuse data from customers or clients in our own software, this blog will outline how to import a Solidworks assembly into Inventor and run through some of the sticking points that may occur when importing.
Firstly, we need to identify an assembly which we would like to import into Inventor. I am using this Stirling Engine Assembly.
I have selected the assembly from the folder, all parts are located in this folder. This is very important, if you try to upload an assembly without the parts included in the assembly you will get a Translation Error Report stating the parts that are missing.
Next, we the Import dialog box will appear in Inventor, we are given two options here, Reference Model and Convert Model.
Reference Model will create a lnk back to the Solidworks file, this will mean you will be unable to edit the Assembly or any parts in Inventor. This option maintains a link to the selected file which enables you to monitor and update as the model changes. Use this option if the design is evolving and you are not required to edit the referenced model. If changes are made to the file in its respective product after import, the Inventor file reflects the changes.
Convert Model this option creates new Inventor files which are not linked to the original. Use this option if you plan modify the model for a new design. You will be able to move parts freely, open and edit these parts (provided all the parts are available).
The above model was imported using the Convert Model method, so I have the option to open each part and make changes to these parts, like for example this Power Cylinder, which I will make a cut through.
Moving back into my assembly I can see that my updates have propagated through to the model. I will be prompted to Updated my Assembly as Inventor recognises that there has been a change made to one of the parts in the assembly.
Finally, I will explain some errors that might pop up when importing data into Inventor.
Importing just an Assembly without the parts included in that assembly.
This may occur when a customer or client is providing an assembly and only provides the assembly file. When trying to import a message will appear on your web browser, this is called a Translation Report. Because I tried to import the assembly without the parts available, the translation reports a warning or error.
As opposed to the report below which was generated when importing the assembly with all the parts available.
Standard Parts missing when Importing Assembly
Some parts in the above report such as Slotted Cheese Head Screw BSI did not come through, the reason for this error is because these parts were taken from the Toolbox Add in from Solidworks (Content Centre equivalent to Inventor).
Both of the above errors can be avoided by using the Save As – Pack and Go option. This will retain all the data associated with the assembly in the one file.