SOLIDWORKS support Monthly News – November 2016

Hello to all,

Welcome to this new edition of the SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News, coauthored by members of the SOLIDWORKS Technical Support teams worldwide.

Shape the future of SOLIDWORKS with the SOLIDWORKS Top Ten List

The SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List is now open for submitting ideas in preparation for SOLIDWORKS World 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California from February 5-8, 2017. During the event, the Top Ten user voted ideas from this forum will be showcased.
The SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List is YOUR wish list: More than 90% of the enhancements in SOLIDWORKS are directly requested by customers. This is your chance to have your voice heard. You are likely to see your idea or one you voted for in a future release of SOLIDWORKS, as that was the case for the vast majority of ideas on the Top Ten List in past years.

Let the ideas… Begin! Submit them HERE.

  • December 15, 2016 is the end for new idea submissions.
  • December 16, 2016 voting on all ideas begins.
  • January 20, 2017 voting ends.

The top three things you can do to improve overall performance in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

By Jay Seaglar

  1. Optimize your Mesh = the gold medal of time savers
    Reduce the number of Degrees of Freedom (DOF) in your study by simplifying and being more selective about mesh refinement. An over-refined mesh in non-critical zones makes for poor ROI of your computer’s computing time and resources. Upgrading hardware is not a cure-all. If your models and studies are large or complex, you will be dealing with massive amounts of data. No matter how powerful your system is, there will be a delay when your system tries to read a 1 GB file from disk and load it into memory. Investing in powerful hardware will certainly help, but if your current system takes 10 minutes to open an assembly, load a study, and display existing results, upgrading your hardware might only reduce that to seven minutes instead of ten minutes
  2. Solid State Drive = more responsive UI
    Ensure you have a Solid State Drive (SSD) with a fast read and write speed as your primary OS drive. Furthermore, when working with any Simulation study, make sure both the model and results folder in study properties is set to a location on an SSD. Purchasing an SSD is the single most important (and often least expensive) investment you can make for an across-the-board performance improvement for pretty much everything (not only SOLIDWORKS)! For SOLIDWORKS Simulation in particular, there is a huge amount of data throughput when you activate studies, mesh, solve (in the form of temporary files, some of which are written and read to disk during solving), load result plots, and save study data changes. Even a modest 20% improvement in disk read and write speed will be noticeable. Of course, once you complete your project and you need to archive it, there is no need to leave the files on your SSD. It usually has limited capacity, so it is better to move the files to a regular drive. When you need to reopen the files and explore results, you can move everything back to your SSD for better performance.
  3. When shopping for a new computer, clock speed wins over number of cores
    The notion that doubling the number of cores halves the solution time is plain wrong. It is pretty much like saying that doubling the number of participants in a meeting will make it twice as productive! Be sure to prioritize CPU clock speed over number of CPU cores when selecting a processor. In a lot of software, certain operations are inherently linear (sequential) and cannot be multi-threaded. This limits them to a single CPU core. In such cases, you might see better performance on a single CPU quad core system with a 4.0 GHz clock speed than you would on a system with 32 total cores and a 2.5 GHz clock speed. Many portions of the SOLIDWORKS Simulation solver are multi-threaded, so you may see significant performance improvement during certain phases of meshing or solving if you have additional cores. Do not expect to see 100% CPU usage all the time, though – it is completely normal to observe full usage of only a single core during certain tasks.

Does SOLIDWORKS® PDM Standard support custom API add-ins, standalone API applications or any of the SOLIDWORKS® PDM migration and upgrade tools?

By Tor Iveroth

SOLIDWORKS® PDM Standard does not have any API customization support. This includes any form of API code, both when using an add-in and a standalone application.  Any API application that tries to access a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard file vault using API methods will fail to log in. The log in attempt may throw the following error ‘E_EDM_STANDARD_APINOTSUPPORTED’ to indicate that the API is not supported.

The official SOLIDWORKS PDM migration tools and upgrade tools are all compatible with SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard and Professional.  However, you must use the 2016 or later version of these tools. The pre-2016 version of the migration and upgrade tools relies on API calls which are not available in SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard.

You can find out if the file vault is SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard by viewing the file vault properties in the administration tool. The ‘Vault Type’ will show which type the file vault is in. To programmatically find out the vault type, use the ‘GetVaultType (IEdmVault16)’ method available in the 2016 or later API.

The following migration options are available for SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard:

  • To upgrade a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional file vault to a new version or service pack, run the database upgrade tool found on the installation media under ‘SWPDMServer\Upgrade\Upgrade.exe’.
  • To upgrade SOLIDWORKS files to current SOLIDWORKS® 2016 or later format in a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional vault, use the ‘File Version Upgrade Tool’. The tool can be installed from the installation media under ‘SWPDMClient\Support\File Version Upgrade\File Version Upgrade.exe’.
  • To migrate a SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM vault into a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional file vault, use the 2016 version of the ‘Workgroup PDM to SOLIDWORKS PDM migration tool’. This tool is available to VARs on the VAR Resource Center (VRC) in the SOLIDWORKS PDM area. End customers should contact their VAR for more details.
  • To migrate data from other systems into a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional file vault, use the 2016 version of the ‘XML Migration Tool’. VARs can find more details on the VAR Resource Center (VRC) in the SOLIDWORKS PDM area. End customers should contact their VAR for more details.Simulation Step-Up SeriesLast month, Ramesh concluded on the topic of Bolt Connectors. He now moves on to discussing Pin Connectors, another widely use type of connector in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.

Simulation Step-Up Series

Last month, Ramesh talked about  Pin Connectors. With Bolt and Pin connectors now behind us, Ramesh turns to the other types of Connectors (Spring, Bearing, Spot and Edge Welds, Link and Rigid connectors).in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.


Next month, Ramesh will discuss another important topic: Material Properties.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW When enabling add-ins, why do I see the error ‘Could not obtain a license for SOLIDWORKS [product name]. License server does not support this feature. (-18,147,0)’?
This problem affects products that combine the SOLIDWORKS® product and the SOLIDWORKS Simulation product into a single license. The affected products are:
•    SOLIDWORKS Premium with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional 2017 Network
•    SOLIDWORKS Premium with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium 2017 Network
This issue is reported in SPR 988372.
If you encounter this problem, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Reseller.
From Solution Id: S-072140.

icon - SW How do I use an NVIDIA® Quadro® Visual Computing Appliance (VCA) as a SOLIDWORKS® Visualize Boost machine for offline renders?
Users of the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional 2017 SP0 software who want to render offline (batch) jobs to their NVIDIA Quadro VCA must follow a special procedure.
The steps are explained in Solution Id: S-071995.
icon - SW After upgrading the operating system, what causes Task Scheduler to stop functioning when I export files?
If you start an export task after upgrading the Windows® operating system, the Task Scheduler tool may fail to process the task.
This behavior can occur if .dll library files become unregistered during the operating system upgrade.
To resolve this issue, see Solution Id: S-071976.

Icon - EPDM When creating or upgrading a file vault database In the SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2017 software, why does the error ‘The specified @server_name does not exist’ appear in the log?
If the Microsoft® SQL Server® system that hosts the file vault database was renamed previously, it is possible that the SQL server is still using the old system name internally. In such case, when you use the SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2017 application and try to upgrade an existing vault or create a new vault, the operation will fail. For instructions to solve the issue, read Solution Id: S-072127.

icon - Simulation In the SOLIDWORKS® Simulation software, how do I troubleshoot issues with the ‘Intel Network Sparse’ solver ‘Offloaded Simulation’ functionality?
When using the ‘Intel Network Sparse’ solver ‘Offloaded Simulation’ functionality, you may experience the following symptoms:
•    The list of computers in the ‘SOLIDWORKS Simulation Network Manager’ window is completely blank. The coordinator system does not appear at the top of the list.
•    The ‘SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent’ window on a worker system shows that it is processing an offloaded SOLIDWORKS Simulation. However, the status on the worker never goes beyond 0%. The coordinator may show a status greater than 0% (such as 9.1% overall; 100% ‘Current Task: Establishing element connectivity’), but it does not progress.
•    You see repeat prompts to enter the network password despite using the correct password.
Solutions to the above situations and more general troubleshooting suggestions can be found in a PDF attachment to Solution ID: S-072063.

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That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

Also, comments and suggestions are welcome. You can enter them below.


Julien Boissat

Julien Boissat

Sr. Technical Customer Support Engineer, SolidWorks, EMEA at DS SolidWorks Corp.
I have been a Tech Support engineer for Simulation products since 2002. I was previously a product manager at SRAC, the original makers of COSMOS for those who remember that time! ;-). I am currently in charge of the content of the certification exams for simulation products. I also initiated and still author the Simulation Knowledge Base and participate as much as possible in the expansion and evolution of the SolidWorks Knowledge Base. Finally, I handle the SolidWorks Support Monthly News blog.