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How to customize the SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Convert Task for unsupported file types

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE created/updated August 18, 2016

The default SOLIDWORKS Convert Task in PDM Professional (tasks are not available in SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard) allows you to export to many different file types.

Unfortunately, at this time, .smg files (for SOLIDWORKS Composer) are not one of the supported file types.

However, the SOLIDWORKS Convert Task is also HIGHLY customizable, so while we don’t have the option to output to .smg in the task interface, with a few script changes we can make our own task to do this.

Customized Convert Task Steps

Here are the steps to create a custom convert task to produce Composer .smg files

Step 1:  Right-click on the Convert Task and select “Copy”

Copy SOLIDWORKS Convert Task

Copy Task

Step 2:  Double click the new copy of the task that is created to begin editing it.  Start by renaming the custom task.

Enter a Name

Enter a Name

Step 3:  On the “Execution Method” screen, make sure that the task is set up to run only on systems that have the SOLIDWORKS Composer Player software installed.

Task System

Task System

Step 4:  On the “Menu Command” screen, adjust the task’s label in the Right Click menu.

Right-click Menu Command

Right-click Menu Command

Step 5:  On the “Conversion Settings” screen, ANY output file format can be selected, we will specify the .smg file output directly in the task script next.

Conversion Settings

Conversion Settings

 

Step 6:  On the “Output File Details” screen, click the “Advanced Scripting Options …” button.

Task Details

Task Details

Step 7:  Find and comment out the line ext = GetExtension(docType, “[FileFormat]”) by adding a ‘ at the beginning.  Next, immediately below add the line ext = GetExtension(docType, “(*.smg)”)

Edit the script

Edit the script

Step 8:  Find the lines near the end of the script:

Else
  bIsSupportedExtension = False

Immediately above this add the lines:

ElseIf docFileName = "smg" Then
  bIsSupporterExtension = True
New lines added

New lines added

Step 9:  Verify the location of the file composersolidworksplug-in.dll.  By default it will be in the folder C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp\Composer\Plugins\solidworks, however if SOLIDWORKS was installed to a different root directory, such as SOLIDWORKS 2016 instead of SolidWorks Corp, the path may be different.

If you are using 2014 or older, the plugin name is 3DViaSolidWorksPlug-in.dll

dll location

dll location

 

Step 10:  Find the line:  Convert docFileName  

Immediately above this add the line:

AddInStatus = swApp.LoadAddIn(“C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp\Composer\Plugins\solidworks\composersolidworksplug-in.dll”)

Change the path shown in the line above if the path to the .dll on the system that will run the task is different.  Ensure that ALL systems that will act as hosts for this task have the same path to the plugin.

Add another line

Add another line

Once the task is set up, you can now either launch the task from a right-click menu, or you can trigger it automatically from a Workflow Transition.

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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