4. Migration tools

We have a new tool that is included in SOLIDWORKS that will help your transition into SOLIDWORKS.

While it’s not a “magic migration” tool, it does enable us to stand behind the claim that it’s never been easier to adopt SOLIDWORKS. 3D Interconnect will allow us to get the word “translate” out of our vocabulary.

The application of 3D Interconnect is natural in any cases of a “mixed CAD” environment:

  • Consultants/Manufacturers working with customers that have a different CAD system
  • Companies that have lingering legacy data
  • Companies looking to switch from one 3D CAD software to SOLIDWORKS

3D Interconnect is included in all versions of SOLIDWORKS.


Except for the cool new features  of 3D interconnect, there are a number of options when selecting the best tools for the job, and depending on what type of data you need translated, the method can differ.

The four most common practices for migration to SOLIDWORKS

Direct CAD system export/import

You can import native format to SOLIDWORKS from your existing CAD system, and for some CAD formats you even get history and feature tree. An option to this is what you read above, 3D Interconnect, where SOLIDWORKS now directly open native 3rd party design data. Though it doesn’t translate the features, but creates a link to the original file that can be updated with your existing CAD software.

Intermediate data exchange formats

Your existing CAD software should support export of STEP, IGES and SAT. You can use built-in tools for repairing damage to imported shapes. If your company must translate many files from several brands of CAD systems, check out the direct translators available with each CAD system, and also those from third parties that specialize in translation software. You can then use the built-in tools in SOLIDWORKS that will translate feature by feature.

Direct 3rd party translators

There are a number of companies who specialize in CAD data translation software, providing software that can read one system and write the information in another CAD system format. These systems have their own proprietary intermediate format some of which will allow reviewing the data during translation. Example of Partner Softwares; Capvidia, Datakit, Elysium.


It is what it says. Sometimes the best solution is to re-draw the specific model in the new CAD system to get all the benefits of the new software.