Automate your file exports with SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler

A common process is the export of your drawings to PDF files, so you can communicate these with non-CAD users. This can be a very time-consuming and boring task. SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional offers automated tasks to do this job for you, but non-PDM users will not benefit from this. So, in this tech blog I want to introduce the SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler. This tool helps you with automating many different tasks, but in this blog I want to focus on the exporting capabilities.

SW Task Scheduler: Where to find it?

You do not need to search in your SOLIDWORKS window. The SW Task Scheduler is a standalone application and must be opened from the Windows Start menu. Go to All Programs > SOLIDWORKS <version> > SOLIDWORKS Tools > SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler.

SW Task Scheduler: What can it do?

The SW Task Scheduler lets you set up tasks to perform at a future time. You can use it with any SOLIDWORKS license to convert documents to the latest SOLIDWORKS version. To schedule other tasks, you must have a SOLIDWORKS Professional or Premium license.

The following list shows some of the capabilities of the SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler:

Task Scheduler functions overview

As mentioned before I want to focus on the Export Files task. All the other tasks work basically the same way, so explaining one task will be sufficient.

Export Files Task: How does it work?

1. First of all, you need to select the Export Files task on the sidebar. The following dialog box appears:
Export Files Dialog Box

2. Under Task title you can type a new title for the task or leave the default.

3. Select the desired file type under Export file type. The following file formats are available:

  • Dxf (*.dxf)
  • Dwg (*.dwg)
  • IGES (*.igs)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (*.pdf)
  • STEP AP203 (*.step)
  • STEP AP214 (*.step)
  • JPEG (*.jpg)

4. Select the files or folders you want to export:

  • To select files:
    1. Under Task files or folders, click Add File.
    2. Select the types of files to export in Files of type.
      Available selections for DXF, DWG and PDF files:
      – Drawings (*.drw, *.slddrw)
      Available selections for IGES and STEP:
      – Parts (*.prt, *.sldprt)
      – Assemblies (*.asm, *.sldasm)
    3. Browse to the file you want to export, then click Open.
    4. Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 to select additional files.
  • To select folders:
    1. Under Task files or folders, click Add Folder.
    2. Browse to the folder that contains the files to export, then click Select
      Folder
      .
    3. Under File Name or Type, click in the row that contains the folder you just
      added, then select the type of file to export.
    4. Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 to select additional folders.
    5. If you do not want to include subfolders, clear Include subfolders.

5.  Under Task output folder:

  • Select Same as original file, to save the exported files at the same location as the original files.
  • Or select This folder, to select a folder location where you want to save the exported files.

6. Under Task schedule, you can specify how often the task should run (Once, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly). Use Start time and Start date to define the start of the defined task.

7. Click Options to set export options. Note that these options are different for each selected Export file type.

8. Click Advanced if you want to change task options such as the Task working folder and time-out duration.

9. If everything is defined as desired, you can click Finish.

The task and its title, scheduled time, scheduled date, and status appear in the Tasks panel. The status of the task is Scheduled.

Tasks panel

To run a scheduled task, your computer must be on at the scheduled start time. The SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler window does not need to be open. If your computer is off at the scheduled start time, the task runs when you turn your computer on. At the scheduled start time, the task is initiated. If the task acts on more than one file, a sub-task is generated for each file. When the task completes, the status changes to Completed.

Conclusion

We have seen how SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler can make life easier by automating boring export tasks.  In this tech blog I only explained the export file task, but I also want to encourage you to look at the other available tasks!

Thanks for reading this tech blog!

 

Written by Martijn Visser

CAD2M
CAD2M is certified reseller of SOLIDWORKS, SolidCAM, DriveWorks and our private label dddrop 3D printer. The CAD2M approach integrates this range of products into an all-in-one solution that covers the complete product development process. Take the full advantage of working in 3D with our advice, training and expertise. For more information, visit www.cad2m.nl.
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