Learn about the process of importing a Parasolid file.
- When importing complex geometry into Solidworks you're going to run across Parasolid files. Now these files are the most complex of the universal or the vendor neutral file types that you're going to run across. These can typically be used for assemblies that are very large or small. And are often used to be used to be sent out to CNC machines and other numerically controlled machines that can automate manufacturing processes. Let's go ahead and look at an example of importing a Parasolid file.
So, I'm going to go up to my open dialog box. Navigate to the file where I have the Parasolids located. So, in this folder I've got two versions of parasolids, the XB and the XT. Typically, when dealing with Solidworks we're going to use the XT version. So, I'm going to click on that version. Now you'll notice, I don't have any options here available or anything that I can change. But if I go to all files dialog dropdown. Then click on Parasolid.
You'll see that first, all of my other file types have gone away, expect for the Parasolids XT and XB and be careful to pay attention to that. Sometimes you want to open the XT, sometimes you want to open the XB. It won't filter those out just all of the Parasolid files. So, I'm going to click on the XT version and I've got this options menu that came up. Since I selected Parasolid so I'm going to click on that and see what options are available to me. So, in the import, similar to all of our other import options, our goal is always to form a solid body or surfaces so we can use them in solid works.
So, here I got my surfaces and solid ententes checked and below that we're going to try to form solids. You also have the option of using B rep mapping to convert into solids, I'm not going to go to far into that. Just to say that it's another way to convert the solid if you have any errors that are to far gone to repair once you open it. So, this gives you a few different ways to open the file and then start repairing. You can also nit the surfaces, if you know it's a collection of surfaces and not necessarily solid bodies you can do that.
And Solidworks will do its best to create a solid body. You can also say do not nit which it will do nothing and just let it exists as the geometry it came in originally. You also have the option of merging the entities. Which is typically what you want to do when you're working with non assemblies but in this situation I'm going to unclick that because I want to see all the geometry come in at separate parts. So, I'm going to go ahead and click OK. I have my Parasolid file selected here which I downloaded from online and click open.
Automatically the import diagnostic option appears. I typically click NO and take a look at the geometry I have before I go much further. After that it's also going to ask me if I want to use feature works to rebuild the feature tree. But I'm also going to select NO because I want to see what geometry that's been sent before I edit it all. So, you can see here, we have some very nice solid bodies and good geometry to use from the Parasolid file. It contains two imported bodies.
Now if there was an error with these imported bodies I can right click and go to import diagnostics and try to see what's wrong. So, with this file naturally, even though it didn't give me an error, it does have some errors with the faces around the threads. To correct these errors I'm simply going to go down to the property manager and select attempt to heal all faces. After Solidworks processes that we can see the end result and hopefully, we're going to have a bunch of really nice repaired faces here.
I'll also warn you that this process can take a long time if you're dealing with complex geometry. So, in this situation it was only able to heal some of the faces but still have others that are in error. I'm going to go ahead and accept this. Since all the geometry that I need to design my other parts that are mating to it is already there and I'm not to concerned about threads. Now if we were to go back and open the other version of the Parasolid we should have the same effect. So, I'm going to go ahead and close this, without saving.
Go to our file location where the Parasolids were located but this time I'm going to open up the XB version. Again I'm going to go to Parasolids just to double check and click open. As you can see we have the same result. The reason to have an XB or XT file format really has more to do with exporting than importing. Certain softwares that take this file are going to prefer the XT to the XB, based on the conversion method that they use and their computational algorithms.
So, as you can see importing a Parasolid can be very easy.
- Opening files from different versions of SOLIDWORKS
- Importing models from online sources
- Importing 3D files
- Importing 2D files
- Exporting 2D and 3D files