Article by Adam Harte-Maxwell, CSWE updated January 27, 2020


The CATIA® V5-SOLIDWORKS Translator is no longer supported and can no longer be renewed. This tool is also not available in SOLIDWORKS 2019 or newer.

Replaced by SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect

The CATIA V5-SOLIDWORKS Translator was replaced by 3D Interconnect, which provides direct integration of native CATIA files, 3D Interconnect was introduced with SOLIDWORKS Premium 2017 (Premium version only).

See SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect in action below:

NOTE: The CATIA® V5 to SOLIDWORKS® Translator will continue to function in SOLIDWORKS 2017 and SOLIDWORKS 2018 software versions as long as you were licensed for it in these versions.

If you do not enable 3D Interconnect functionality, (Tools > Options > System Options > Import > File Format > General), SOLIDWORKS will use CATIA V5 to SOLIDWORKS translator license to import the CATIA V5 files (.CATPart, .CATProduct for V5R8 – 5–6R2016) by using the old SOLIDWORKS translators. Keep in mind that the CATIA V5 translation is greatly enhanced in 3D Interconnect.

SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect is designed for a “mixed CAD” environment:

  • Consultants/Manufacturers working with customers that have a different CAD system
  • Companies that have lingering legacy data
  • Companies looking to switch from one 3D CAD software to SOLIDWORKS

What file formats does 3D Interconnect support?

With 3D Interconnect you can:

  • Maintain direct integration of native CAD files from PTC® Creo®, Autodesk® Inventor®, Siemens® NX, Solid Edge®, and CATIA®, and treat them like native components.
  • Avoid fixing errors or problems due to SOLIDWORKS awareness of all components in the native CAD files, like face and edge IDs.
  • Directly open imported files and treat them like Base Parts, so you can freely make design modifications without affecting the native file.
  • Update both part and assembly files as design changes take place with Update Model feature.
SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect Inventor Files

SOLIDWORKS 3D Interconnect

Formats supported:

The following formats and their versions are supported in 3D Interconnect:

FormatsFile FormatsFormat Versions
ACIS.sat, .sab, .asat, .asabr1-2018 1.0
Autodesk® Inventor.ipt (V6 – V2018)
.iam (V11 – V2018)
V11 – 2018
CATIA® V5.CATPart, .CATProductV5R8 – V5-6R2019
DXF™/ DWG™.dxf, .dwg2.5 – 2019
IFC.ifc, .ifczipIFC 2×3, IFC 4
IGES.igs, .igesUp to 5.3
JT.jtJT 8.x, 9.x, and 10.x
PTC®.prt, .prt.*, .asm, .asm.*For Pro/ENGINEER® 16 – Creo 6.0
Solid Edge®.par, .asm, .psmV18 – ST10
STEP.stp, .stepAP203, AP214, AP242
NX™ software.prt11 – NX 1847
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Adam Harte-Maxwell, CSWE

Director of Technical Support at Javelin Technologies; I manage a team of 25+ support technicians who provide technical support and training for SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD, STRATASYS 3D printers, PDM file management, SIMULATION FEA/CFD, ELECTRICAL and PCB design, COMPOSER and VISUALIZE, and more, to our customers across CANADA. My first exposure to SOLIDWORKS was the 98Plus version in my prior life as a mechanical designer prior to January 2005 when I joined Javelin.