Retain PMI and Design Intent when you translate CAD Models into SOLIDWORKS with ELYSIUM

Article by John Lee, CSWE updated July 19, 2019


Got a lot of CAD models and drawings to translate into SOLIDWORKS format?  Don’t want to lose your design intent in the process?  If so, keep reading!

At SOLIDWORKS World 2018, a Dassault Systèmes team [who brought us SOLIDWORKS as we know it] out of Germany presented an impressively powerful CAD translation solution called ELYSIUM!  This is, without a doubt, the Cadillac of CAD translators.

ELYSIUM CAD Translator

ELYSIUM CAD Translator

From the original Greek “Elysion” (meaning “abode of the blessed”, as in the afterlife), ELYSIUM is aptly named as it uses native API to translate other CAD formats (such as Catia®, PTC Creo®, Autodesk Inventor®, neutral formats, etc.) into SOLIDWORKS (and other formats) while also preserving any original design intent and PMI (product and manufacturing information), such as would be used for MBD (model-based definition), CNC machining, automated inspection, etc.

It sounds like ELYSIUM literally rebuilds the original model or drawing, from the ground up, in the chosen CAD format!

Checks translation accuracy against the original file

From what we’ve heard, ELYSIUM does so much more than just translate.  For example, it also verifies the translation’s accuracy as compared to the original.  This is so much more than a simple conversion import!  If you are translating into SOLIDWORKS from another native CAD platform format, then your SOLIDWORKS feature tree won’t be merely a collection of imported body icons, as if you had done a File > Open from SOLIDWORKS on a neutral format file such as STEP, IGES, Parasolid, etc.  Neither is this in the same league as the Feature Recognition import option in SOLIDWORKS.  Quite the contrary; ELYSIUM is in a league of its own!

ELYSIUM translates the features, along with the design intent of the original model.  For example, if the original Autodesk Inventor model design intent was such that dimensions are all based off of the back face of the part, then so too will the SOLIDWORKS model maintain the same design intent, once ELYSIUM has translated it!

And yes, it includes functionality to automate the translation process.  As in, multiple files processed automatically in a batch.

Also translates drawings

The Dassault Systèmes team added that ELYSIUM also works with drawings!  However, it does not translate the original drawing per se, rather it analyzes it and builds a new drawing from scratch in SOLIDWORKS.  Every dimension is located as in the original.  In 2018, there were a few dimension types that it reportedly struggled with, which would then be easily identified for manual re-creation.  ELYSIUM includes quality assurance tools to compare the SOLIDWORKS drawing with the original, so that you can ensure that detailing is done to your satisfaction.

Watch a demonstration

If you are intrigued by what you’ve read so far, check out this hour-long webinar that will hopefully address your questions or, if you prefer a much quicker overview, then watch this demo on YouTube.

License Options & Pricing

It can be well worth the investment if you have a large number of files to translate, as it would save you from having to do all this translation work manually.  As of 2018, ELYSIUM could be rented for just a few weeks, or purchased outright.  You can download the products specs, start a trial, or get get pricing from the ELYSIUM website.  The saying “you get what you pay for” rings true here, as you are getting a very high-quality and powerful solution.

Are you currently using SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, Aras Innovator PLM, or the 3DEXPERIENCE PlatformHere’s an ELYSIUM development that you’ll want to keep tabs on!

ELYSIUM has come a very long way over many years.  If you have a lot of translation work to do, then ELYSIUM might be exactly the tool you need.

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John Lee, CSWE

John Lee is inherently lazy in that he prefers to work smarter - not harder. A CSWE with fifteen years of experience using SOLIDWORKS and a background in mechanical design, John has used SOLIDWORKS in various industries requiring design for injection molding, sheet metal, weldments and structural steel.