Introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2017, 3D Interconnect is a revolutionary new technology allowing SOLIDWORKS users to utilize native parts from other CAD systems directly in their designs. See a 2017 demo below:
This meant that no conversion to neutral file formats was necessary to view, edit, and manipulate models generated from PTC Creo, Audodesk Inventor, Siemens NX, SolidEdge, and CATIA. Revisions were easily implemented due to consistent face and edge IDs, as imported models could be directly updated right from within the SOLIDWORKS interface.
SOLIDWORKS 2018 takes this great functionality and made it even better.
Import of Neutral File formats
3D Interconnect SOLIDWORKS 2018 now supports the import of STEP, IGES, and ACIS file formats! This means no conversion is required when utilizing these file types within SOLIDWORKS 2018, as the data is read directly from the file itself. Updating the import with revision data is done directly from within SOLIDWORKS (note that for neutral file formats, face and edge IDs will not be conserved).
Also new in SOLIDWORKS 2018 3D Interconnect is the ability to read custom properties from third-party CAD files. This functionality prevents the user from having to re-input custom property data, thereby reducing the likelihood of mistakes, and saving time. As well, unconsumed sketches, unconsumed curves, and reference planes can all be imported with third-party CAD data.