SOLIDWORKS support Monthly News – February 2017

Hello to all,

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

Live from SOLIDWORKS World 2017 in Los Angeles

At the time I am writing this, the conference is still rocking in Los Angeles, California. We are 6000 passionate participants eager to learn, network, and have fun.

As usual, the SOLIDWORKS Technical Support team make their presence felt: we share knowledge, best practices, tips, and tricks with users during numerous breakout sessions. These are where we tickle your brain, challenge you and present new ways to solve problems and make the best possible use of SOLIDWORKS. In the picture below, I am just starting my breakout session.

As usual, we also maintain a continuous presence at the Technical Support booth in the DASSAULT SYSTEMES section of the Partner Pavilion, with specialists in each and every area (CAD, Simulation, PDM, Electrical, etc.) to engage with customers who stop by to ask a question or just to say hello..

Although SOLIDWORKS World is not really the place to actually solve technical issues (that is what some of our teammates stayed in the office for), we do everything we can to answer questions on the fly.

Critical Hotfix for DraftSight

It has come to the attention of the DraftSight team that, due to an expired certificate, Windows* 32 & 64-bit versions of DraftSight released from 2012 to 2017 will not launch and/or will stop running as of March 1, 2017.
To avoid usage interruption, please make sure to immediately download and install this critical hotfix, which can be found on the main product download page (

The affected releases are as follows:

Version (Windows 32 & 64 bit) Release Date
DraftSight 2017 SP0 November 2016
DraftSight 2016 SP2 July 2016
DraftSight 2016 SP1 April 2016
DraftSight 2016 SP0 February 2016
DraftSight 2015 SP3 June 2015
DraftSight 2015 SP2 April 2015
DraftSight 2015 SP1 February 2015
DraftSight 2015 SP0 October 2014
DraftSight V1R5.2 July 2014
DraftSight V1R5.1 April 2014
DraftSight V1R5.0 January 2014
DraftSight V1R4.0 October 2013
DraftSight V1R3.2 July 2013
DraftSight V1R3.1 January 2013
DraftSight V1R3.0 November 2012

*Note: Mac and Linux versions of DraftSight (Free and Beta only) do not require this hotfix as they are not affected by the expired certificate.

For questions or concerns, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller (VAR) for assistance.

Save your Design time, Use Excel Automation

By Joydeep P ROY

The productivity challenges while designing are always critical. At SOLIDWORKS, it is our constant effort to help Designers reduce their Developmental costs and increase their quality.

Therefore, Excel Automation was introduced in SP3 release of 2016 SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic.  This new functionality works very well and summary of the steps are listed below. The high level description would be that this command is used to generate drawings automatically, inserting macros in the schemes in an unattended way, reading the instructions from an Excel file.

The basic steps for this process are

  1. Create the macros you would like to use.
  2. Create the XLS file (instructions) from the file template.
  3. Import the XLS file using the XLS Automation feature to generate the drawings.

Only the following types of macros are compatible with XLS Automation:

  • Scheme macro
  • Line diagram macro
  • Mixed scheme macro

Note that the Excel file can be from version 97/2003 (.xls) or up to 2013 format (.xlsx…).

Here is a video of how to use this function. It is based on the Online Help, which consists of a demo Excel Automation files and steps.


Simulation Step-Up Series

Last month, Reza discussed the topic of Fixtures and Loads. This month, he comes back with a discussion about Meshing.

Next month, Reza will conclude on meshing with the second part, Mixed Meshing.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW When I use the SOLIDWORKS® 2017 software on a workstation that has a slow network connection to the SolidNetWork License (SNL) server, what causes the error ‘Could not obtain a license for SOLIDWORKS’?
This error occurs when the network connection from a workstation to the SolidNetWork License (SNL) server has a response time that is higher than 100 milliseconds (ms).  If a client computer connects to the SNL server over a WAN on a higher latency connection, it is likely that the license check out will fail with errors.
See Solution Id: S-072437

icon - SW General Hotfix for SOLIDWORKS® 2017 SP1 (SPR#995617 and SPR#996709)
A hotfix is available for SOLIDWORKS® 2017 SP1 that addresses the following issues:
– SPR#995617: Crash after selecting “Make Independent” option after suppressing two components in a virtual subassembly.
– SPR#996709: Crash while doing Replace Model in a drawing view.
The hotfix is included in the attachment of Solution Id: S-072577.

Icon - EPDM When using the SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2017 software on a high latency WAN client computer, what causes login to fail with the errors ‘Failed to obtain license’ and ‘License server is down or not responding’?
When a SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2017 client computer communicates with the SolidNetWork License Server (SNL), the default timeout to obtain a license is set to 100ms.  If a client computer connects to the SNL server over a WAN on a higher latency connection, it is likely that the license check out will fail with errors.
For more information, read Solution Id: S-072431.

Icon - EPDM General Hotfix for SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2017 SP1 (SPR#988611 )
A hotfix is available for SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2017 SP1 that addresses the following issue:
SPR#988611 ‘SOLIDWORKS PDM – Cards: When using a combo box drop list that is linked to a data card list the default value from the list does not get stored.’
When using a combo box drop-list that is links to a data card list, the default value that that combo box control specifies does not get written to the variable when adding new files to the vault.
The hotfix for this issue is included in the attachment. To install the hotfix, follow these steps:
1.    Back up the file vault database.
2.    From a SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 SP1 client computer, double-click the file ‘SWPDM_2017SP1_SPR988611_HotFix.dbu’.
3.    Follow the steps in the wizard to update the SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 file vault database.
You only need to install the hotfix once per file vault.
For more information, read Solution Id: S-072533.

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 problems either listing computers, or running offloaded studies.
See 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 (VAR) for assistance.

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.