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SOLIDWORKS API: How It Works

SOLIDWORKS API: How It Works

  • Nov 23,2019
  • Admin

SOLIDWORKS helps users to design their products as per their industry standards and requirement, but what happens if the design begins to become a repetitive and lengthy task.

Here’s the crack…

SOLIDWORKS provides an automation tool called SOLIDWORKS Macro/API (Application Programming Interface), that allows the user to automate the designing tasks and eliminate the conventional and repetitive process of designing for different sizes and conditions.

How does it work

Let’s take a look at it.

SOLIDWORKS API automation can be accessed in two ways:  

  1. SOLIDWORKS macros (.SWP, CSproj, VBproj) OR In-application integration for automation
  2. Stand-alone application (.dll, .exe) OR Standalone application for Design automation

Method 1: (In-application integration for automation)

A. Recording a new & Running / editing existing macros - SOLIDWORKS macros/API can be accessed through a customizable in-application button set dedicated for operating (recording / editing /creating) macros. Simply select the existing .SWP file to start using the macro automation.

Recording a new & Running / editing existing macros

Fig. 1

Dedicated Macro button for a Task - A fully automated button can also be integrated inside of the SOLIDWORKS application to achieve the required task. Refer the Fig 2 and Fig 3 as shown below (A customised user form to create a structural member)

Dedicated Macro button for a Task

Fig. 2

solidworks api

Fig. 3

B. Microsoft applications - such as MS Excel, MS Access & MS Visio can also be used to integrate with SOLIDWORKS for automation purpose. Refer Fig. as shown below for explanation.

microsoft application solidworks api

Fig. 4

C. Add-ins – Customised SOLIDWORKS Add-ins can be created through SOLIDWORKS API and added inside of the SOLIDWORKS interface.

solidworks api

Fig. 5

Method 2: (Standalone application for Design automation)

Stand-alone application - A fully independent application can be developed using SOLIDWORKS API tools for creating custom designing documents. These applications are stand-alone and doesn’t require to start SOLIDWORKS working environment (Until getting the final results i.e. drawings / part models)

Stand-alone application solidworks api

Fig. 6

Fig. above shows one such stand-alone application used for designing vessels.

All this automation requires working with some of the programming interfaces as listed below:

  • Visual basic.NET
  • Visual C++/ CLI
  • Visual C#
  • Visual C++6
     

For more help, visit the link mentioned as below.
http://help.solidworks.com/2018/english/api/sldworksapiprogguide/Welcome.htm

Images source: solidworks.com