Preparing for a Multi-Release Upgrade Between SOLIDWORKS Versions

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated November 20, 2017


Is it the Correct Time for Me to Upgrade? Customers upgrade their SOLIDWORKS licenses for any number of reasons. Those reasons may be identical to the reasoning that another company or organization chooses not to upgrade.

As the old adage goes “If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it”, and this approach by and large works for many customers who do not have need of the latest feature-set available within the very latest releases.

Eventually there comes a time when an upgrade does need to occur, in many cases this is due to the end of life support for operating systems or other complementary software that may be on your workstation.

SOLIDWORKS Multiple Version Upgrade

SOLIDWORKS Multiple Version Upgrade

If you DO find yourself in a spot and needing to make a considerable leap between versions of SOLIDWORKS, here are a few questions to consider:

Do I need to have both versions of SOLIDWORKS installed on the same computer?

  • It is not necessary to install the older release on the same computer as the new release in order to convert the files.

Should I backup my OLD SOLIDWORKS files before I begin any upgrade process?

  • You should have a complete backup of your files as they were stored in the “Older” release of SOLIDWORKS. This backup should be current, validated and be stored somewhere safe so that no process can inadvertently upgrade the files without your knowledge or prior consent.  Once you have established a safe fall-back position you can proceed forward into your upgrade with confidence.

Should I install any “Incremental” releases in order to upgrade my files in a few different steps?

  • It is recommended that the jump be a direct jump without any intermediate steps.
  • The only thing intermediate steps would accomplish is to tell us what release of SOLIDWORKS a particular feature was moved by the developers at SOLIDWORKS.
  • This may be Interesting for software development history, however not overly useful for a customer converting files.

Will there be errors in my parts or assemblies once I upgrade them to the new release?

  • THERE WILL BE rebuild errors, this is likely unavoidable as the rebuild tools have incorporated additional advanced error checking in later releases.
  • Some checks that would have only been performed with the “Verification on Rebuild” setting, are now performed in the main rebuild command (CTRL+B)
  • Rebuild errors will need to be addressed in the cases where they happen to cause issues with downstream models or drawings.
  • THERE WILL LIKELY be Equation and custom property errors as both of those areas of SOLIDWORKS have undergone changes over the years of SOLIDWORKS Development.

Can my files be upgraded Automatically?

  • You can use the Task Scheduler or similar functionality within your PDM vault to upgrade your files automatically.
  • One approach is to upgrade the files as needed, and address any errors as the files enter re-use.

The questions noted above are but a small portion of the questions that should be asked and considered before an multi-release upgrade is undertaken.

For a full discussion, please contact our support team so that we can guide you appropriately through the transition!

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006 and migrated along with his team members to the TriMech Solutions team in 2021.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.