SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – August 2018

Hello to all,

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

Upgrading a Cubicle Hook with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Topology Study

By Brad Phillips

I recently purchased a small 3D Printer at home and it is really fun to use the power of SOLIDWORKS to design and print little things that are useful in everyday life. At work, I recently needed a hook to hang my coat on which would hang in my cubicle. Online I found a cubicle hook that matched the dimensions of the grooves of a standard cubicle. I decided to print it out and see how if it worked. It worked fine but I knew I could use SOLIDWORKS to improve it. Make it stronger, lighter and more organic looking.

The original model & original model printed

Topology Study Mesh & and creating a thin extrude from a sketch of the topology study

Using a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Topology Study and the original model I generated the mesh above. From that mesh, I was able to create a thin extrude from a bunch of splines that were traced. After a little cleanup, the new topology optimized hook was ready to be printed.

Final Model & Final 3D Print

The final print was able to cut the weight of the hook by over 10% which also decreased the amount of filament required for the print. The final hook also feels much stronger and has much less flex when a coat or bag is hanging on it. This was a fun, practical use of SOLIDWORKS Simulation Topology study. If you would like to download and print out the hook for yourself, here is a link to download the STL.

Advanced Troubleshooting of task based on SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Add-In (SWTaskAddin)

By Petr Sadlo

Have you ever encountered a failing task in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional? Here is a little summary how SOLIDWORKS PDM tasks work and some pointers in troubleshooting tasks.

SOLIDWORKS PDM tasks are an API add-in that can run on a remote client(s), on demand, triggered by workflow or scheduled. The task is triggered on the client, queued up in the database, then processed on ‘Task hosts’. Since the task is based on API anything you can do to file(s) via API, you can do via task as well.

The SOLIDWORKS PDM add-in ‘SWTaskAddin‘ delivered with SOLIDWOKRS PDM is a VB based Add-In and it offers an exposed script allowing user modification.

The script is evaluated during a runtime and passed into the SOLIDWORKS application as a SOLIDWORKS macro. If the task fails, there are few techniques on how to troubleshoot it.

What to focus on when a task fails?

If and when a task fails, there will be an indication of what caused the failure in the ‘Task List’ of the Administration tool.

In addition:

1. If a log file was produced – check the task log for more details and reason of the failure

Example of failing task log:

~In this example the reason for failure is self-explanatory, the user is lacking permissions in the target folder.

2. If there is no log file, it may indicate that the script was never processed, likely due to the syntax error introduced by user modification – in this case compare with the default task (copy the current script into text file then ‘Reset’ the script and copy the ‘clean’ script into another text file – compare them, look for places where the scripts differ and focus on the changes)

3. Define ‘SOLIDWORKS version to use’ in task ‘Advanced Scripting Options


4. Make sure you can run the macro manually in SOLIDWORKS. In order to do that you will need to capture the evaluated script/macro. (In order to do that you will need to insert ‘Debug.Assert False‘ statement into the existing script, right at the beginning on the Main routine, this will break the execution of the script and you can then access the final macro that would be otherwise passed to SOLIDWORKS.

This will allow you to save and run this macro manually in SOLIDWORKS line by line until you find the place where it fails.). Once the MS Visual Application interface (pictured above) appears, save the macro and close this interface. Then open SOLIDWOKRS and run the macro via ‘Tools’ > ‘Macro’ > ‘Run’.

5. If there is no problem manually executing the macro and the task is still failing, try different task host, keep in mind that a user MUST be logged in on the task host


There are numerous reasons why a task can fail, and the VB based SWTaskAddIn allows us to capture the evaluated script and walk through the macro execution in SOLIDWORKS directly. There has been a lot written about troubleshooting tasks and the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base contains a number of solutions that may explain a specific reason for task failing.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW How can this behavior be addressed: SOLIDWORKS® does not launch; stuck on loading registry, running Activation Wizard hangs when activating automatically or creating an email activation request file?
For more information, see Solution Id: S-074683.

In a SOLIDWORKS® Electrical integration with SOLIDWORKS PDM, when I click ‘Check in’ for a project, can I delete the files from the electrical database at the same time?
Yes. Using the ‘Check In’ dialog box for all of SOLIDWORKS® Electrical projects, drawings, 3D models, reports, and data files, you can select the ‘Remove local copy’ option, see Solution Id: S-074966.

Icon - EPDM In the log file for the Migration XML Import tool, why do I see the error ‘Failed to load XML file. Error code 0x80004005, reason ‘Unspecified error, Error processing resource ‘ePDMimport.dtd’. ‘ in source line ”. Line=0, position=0’?
For more information, see Solution Id: S-074893.

Has access to the SOLIDWORKS® Simulation Offloaded Simulation functionality always required active Subscription Services (maintenance) for SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium?
Yes. The following requirements are in effect since the initial availability of the SOLIDWORKS® Simulation Offloaded Simulation functionality, See Solution Id: S-074707.

In SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation, what is the “Directory for external databases” and how do I use it?
For more information, see Solution Id: S-074743.

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.

Bradley Phillips

Sr. Technical Customer Support Engineer, SolidWorks, NAM at DS SolidWorks Corp.
I have been a Tech Support engineer for SOLIDWORKS products since 2013. I now handle the SolidWorks Support Monthly News blog.