While some saving and exporting options in SOLIDWORKS are pretty straightforward, others can be confusing at first. In this post, we take a look at the different options in SOLIDWORKS 2015 including Saving, Exporting, and Pack and Go and how they affect our workflow.
There are five different options for saving in SOLIDWORKS, including the Pack and Go option. It may seem like a lot, but they can actually save you time once you learn which option is most suitable for your needs.
1) Save: This option is the go-to for protecting your progress. It operates just like you would expect, saving over your past work on the open document and also leaving it active on the screen.
2) Save As: Use this option to save a newly named version of your current model and then make that your active working document. For example if you are working on a model fixture that you have just updated, using the Save As option will save the new update and leave the old one alone.
3) Save As Copy and Continue: Choose this sub-option under Save As when you need to save a way-point version of your model, but would like to stay working on the current model.
4) Save As Copy and Open: This sub-option under Save As, does the same thing as the last option, but opens the way-point version in addition to your current open documents. This you can think of like a “Y” in the modeling process.
Export options are accessed from the Save As file type menu. There are many standard file formats to choose from including the following:
Parasolid ( x_t): A neutral format that the SOLIDWORKS kernel uses.
IGES and STEP: Neutral formats that were created for vendor independence.
Hoops and ProE: Common 3D formats.
PDF, JPG and TIFF: Visuals ranging from 3D PDF files to static 2D graphics of the model space.
STL and AMF: 3D Mesh formats for additive manufacturing. The second (.AMF) is new and provides more options to the basic mesh format. Options for AMF include material and color choice to be printed as well as curved triangles that represent surfaces with less data.
Print3D: This is updated functionality for Windows 8 that can cut out the intermediary meshing step common to prototype use.
Pack and Go
Pack and Go is the fifth option for saving in SOLIDWORKS. Use this option to gather all related files including: parts, drawings, references, scenes, decals, motion studies, simulation results and toolbox components. This saves a copy of these separate from the original file set. It is the best way to achieve a truly independent set of files identical to the original. You can also choose to exclude some of this data from the process if desired. Check out the YouTube tutorial for an illustration.
Keep in mind that if working collaboratively using this function, other people will not be linked to the changes in the new copy if they are still using the original file.
There are three different ways to access the Pack and Go: SOLIDWORKS, Windows Explorer and SOLIDWORKS Explorer. To access from Windows Explorer simply right click on the file and choose Pack and Go.
Interested in more SOLIDWORKS tutorials from Alignex? Check out our YouTube channel.
Written by Mike Strand
Mike Strand works with both the Marketing and the Application Engineering team at Alignex, Inc. During the week he attends engineering events, edits YouTube videos and writes posts for the Alignex Blog. On the weekend you’ll find Mike driving ATVs, snowmobiling and building tools like a cantilever lifting hoist.