When installing 3DVIA Composer there some things that are good to know before you start the install. Here is some background information. If you visit the 3DVIA Composer download page through the SolidWorks Customer Portal, you’ll find that there are a few choices. We’ll go through what these are. See image below:
It may seem confusing that there are 6 download links for the main Composer program. Here’s an explanation of what they are.
The first two 3DVIA Composer (32-bit) and 3DVIA Composer (64-bit) are Composer installation files that DO NOT contain the “Importer” installation files. The 32 and 64 bit choices are based on your operating system obviously. The next four links are downloads of the 32 & 64 bit installation DVD’s, the same as you may have received in the mail. These files DO contain the “Importer” installation files.
You may ask, “What is this Importer thing?”. This is the software bridge between Composer and all of the other file types that you may want to bring in to Composer. If the client computer has a full commercial license of SolidWorks installed on it, the Importer is not needed (and should not be installed). Composer will use the installation of SolidWorks for converting files and opening them.
If the computer has no SolidWorks installed, then the Importer is needed. If the Importer is not installed, then Composer can only open native Composer file types such as “.SMG”. The important thing is: Before starting the install, find out if the computer will have SolidWorks installed on it as well. If yes, then do not install the Importer. If no, then the Importer must be installed too. The option to install the Importer will only be offered with the DVD install files. You can use the DVD install files to install Composer on a computer that has SolidWorks, but you need to choose the option to NOT install the Importer.
The other downloads on the webpage are for the Composer player (32 & 64 bit), the SolidWorks Add-in (32 & 64 bit), and the FlexLM license server installation files.
Composer Player is basically a viewer for Composer files.
The SolidWorks add-in can be installed on a machine that only has SolidWorks installed (not Composer), this will allow SolidWorks to export files to the native Composer file type (.SMG) and thereby avoid the import process on the Composer side.
The FlexLM license server install file allows you to setup a network Composer license without installing Composer on the server machine. It includes a setup guide PDF explaining how to configure the license. See the tip titled “Licensing of Composer” for instructions on how to setup Composer licenses.
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