How to convert SolidWorks 2011 part file to older SolidWorks files?

I have come across lot of situations when model is made in SolidWorks 2011 but the client has got the older version and is not able to open it. Is there other ways rather than converting the part file to IGES?

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31 Answers

The reason there not backward compatible is due to new and added features in each release that wont work in older software. It is a pain but i suppose it keeps #cad improving..

 
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I don't see why not!
SolidWork can't develope a converter to open new format in older software like 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010 etc

I'm working with AutoDesk AutoCad 2012 Machanical, and I can save it as 2000. Even DXF as older as R12.

SolidWorks site has a free CAD tools, DraftSight™
-- 2D CAD product A better way to create, edit and view DWG files.

Bussiness is bussiness new update every year :)
New software???? more powerfull computer!!!!
How long will it take untill we learn??

 
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very simple method is to save it in .stp format and open it in lower version and allow it to for feature recognization.

 
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I guess we need to work out the program that is capable of doing that :) I come across with this problem so many times.

 
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Yes, would be really helpful to have add like that.

 
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you can save it to parasolid file, extension X_B,
it's the smallest file size format , and can be opened in any previous solidworks version.

igs file sometimes has surface gap which can't be found or cured.
sat file sometimes is too huge to be opened ,so does igs file

 
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Most simple solution is the parasolid like kevin says. Your client can read but he can't modified your file. All parts became imported element...
You can make also easm file which is opened with Slidworks E-drawing viewer (Free).

 
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Sorry but I don't think there is another way of doing that. But step (or iges am not sure) works great between the versions of solidworks.

 
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The best solution I've found is to translate to a Parasolid file, as it is the native kernal for Solidworks. The features will be lost, but could be recreated using Featureworks if needed. I also do this to simplify complex parts.

 
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I had the same trouble many times before...
I usually solve it with design tables, that retrieve the information into a model, but this may work in part with no much detail or complexity.

 
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Step, Igs, Dxf have always worked the best for me. Probable step the best since it will recreate all the original parts (if it is an assembly) or features (if it's a part) so that it can be edited as if it had been made with the previous version. Never had problems with what I've worked with. But as other people have said, parasolid is probably the best choice if you're unsure.

 
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Well I'm a greenhorn and have no SolidWorks. Did someone tried Rhinoceros?

 
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Often the parts drawn do not utilise new features of SolidWorks so compatibility shouldn't be a problem unless the powers that be at SolidWorks choose to make it one.
How does SolidWorks know what version of software a particular file was produced in? This information must be written in the file somewhere. If it is possible to find this data and alter it, that may solve the problem.

 
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Sure there will perhaps be.
Older version will not undertand the new tool used for that feature, but the rest it should be there?

 
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Perhaps the best solution for the user would be NOT to update SolidWorks no more.

Let Desault to keep all update for themselves. We stay in Ver. 2011 or 2012.
Note they develope a solution to integrate some AutoCAD convert funtion into SolidWorks; as they tryed to move AutoCAD user to SolidWork ;)

 
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We never learn...
The need of more powerfull and expesive computers to run new software. (****)

 
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I've been looking for answer to this myself. Maybe someday...in the mean time, this is a strategic approach, and it is not "simple and easy":

1. You must have your old versions of SW. For example, SW 2008. Load it under a separate directory so you don't overwrite your support files. You have to keep it all separate - part files, etc, databases, templates. Of course, that means you must also have a current license.

2. Do all your work for that client in the old version. Only upgrade as the client does. If you have libraries that rolled up as you got new versions, of course they are toast. If you can't retrieve them, you'll have to recreate them. So be careful when you open standard part files etc. in the future. You have to keep it all partitioned.

Good Luck

 
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Please advice: how to save SW sketch as DWG or DXF file?

 
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besides parasolid , you can save it to STEP file and re-open in the older version. If there is a a message asking for feature recognition, you can accept to re-open feature-manager as well.

 
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.igs or parasolid work fine for parts & in many cases assemblies also, but for weldments converted from newer version do not get updated as structural members in both formats & also in older versions. It is high time that Desault should have a solution on this. We are using solidworks because our customers are using it. But in many cases the customer is having an older version & we are having the latest.

 
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Hello
you can save your part with "STEP" format and open that to older solidworks ane use feature recognition

 
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Beware! I had to convert some of my models into Parasolid files for a CNC machine-shop - to test the 'integrity' of the process I tried to open the conversions in Solidworks. The results were very poor! The final 'shape' was accurately re-produced but all the features were messed up - it looked like it had been designed by a fool! For example - where I had boss-extruded a complex shape in one operation, the 'conversion' had extruded this in five separate features - including multiple cut-extrudes of the same shape in the same direction!

 
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Well though not what you looking for can always get the client to get a copy of the solidworks e drawings viewer and send the file to him like that. he can still look at it then in your newer format and mark on it etc for verifications of specs etc. thats what I found was the simplest for me with my clients and seems like they are happy with that solution

 
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Save it to PRO-ENGINEER part and read that in the previous SW version. In most cases the features are maintained! Works for assemblies too but not for drawings, unfortunatedly. Rumour goes that SW 2013 will be backwards compatible to SW 2012. Good Luck!

 
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The best solution is to dump parametrics altogether, and replace it with direct modeling. Sure, you might still need to convert the file to a nuetral format. (STEP, IGES, Parasolid, what-have-you) But once imported, direct modelers treat ALL files as if they were native files. Regardless of the program used ot create them. That's because direct modelers "read" the geometry. None of this "history tree" and "parent/child relationship" nonsense.

 
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I would convert the files to parasolid. I struggle with this myself, I have 2012, most people are running 2011, I mainly model in 2008 so its compatible with all future versions.

Like someone said it depends on what its for as for rendering the geometry is fine.

 
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You can upload a file on this website and then download in any version.

http://www.3dcontentcentral.com/

Thanks.

 
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People who is kind and give out files here, could also be kind to save them in older format/version

 
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