How To Open CATIA V4 and V5 Files in SolidWorks

In an earlier post titled “A Sick Dassault Systemes Joke” I explained in great detail why I believe Dassault Systemes was doing everything it could to prevent SolidWorks from adding support for CATIA V4 and V5 to their software. Instead of stopping at bitching about the problem, I decided to go ahead and do something about it. So I made contact with Spatial and began negotiations with them to license 3D InterOp (their data exchange component) along with the CATIA V5 libraries from Dassault Systemes. As it turns out, things went quite smoothly. If you have been keeping track of this blog or the press releases coming out from SYCODE, you will have noticed that off late we have been releasing quite a few products that use 3D InterOp.

Today we released two add-ins for SolidWorks: CATIA V4 Import for SolidWorks and CATIA V5 Import for SolidWorks. The CATIA V4 add-in uses libraries developed by Spatial and can read .model, .exp and .session files from CATIA version 4.1.9 to 4.2.4. However, the V5 add-in uses authentic CATIA V5 libraries developed by Dassault Systemes and can read .CATPart, .CATProduct and .cgr files from CATIA V5 R2 to V5 R19.

The use of authentic CATIA V5 libraries in our V5 import add-in ensures that the quality of data translation from CATIA V5 to SolidWorks is almost perfect. I use the word “almost” because SolidWorks uses Parasolid, a modeling kernel different from that used by CATIA. The conversion of geometry from CATIA to SolidWorks is largely dependent on how good a job the programmers at Spatial have done mapping geometry from one kernel to another. From the results of our testing, they appear to have done a pretty good job. Either way, in my opinion, this is definitely one of the best solutions that is available, if not the best.

One of the most common questions from SolidWorks users that we receive at SYCODE is “How can I open CATIA files in SolidWorks?” Previously, we could not help these users. Now we can. Giving SolidWorks the ability to read CATIA V4 and V5 parts and assemblies is only solving half the problem. We are now investigating how we could give SolidWorks the ability to save its parts and assemblies to CATIA V4 and V5 files.

I would like to thank everyone who helped us test these add-ins (see “Who Says Twitter is Useless?“). You can read the press release here.

  • hol

    Hi Deelip,

    Congratulation for the relaese of Catia Import for SolidWorks.
    Base on SYCODE website, there is a screencapture of importing Catia file in to SolidWorks. The sample file is “solid prismatic”. Have you test importing complex surface ?

    Usually in automotive industry, most of the files made from complex surface. So it will be very good if your translator can handle it smoothly.



  • Nurk,

    Send me a sample CATIA file and I will show you the result. Email to deelip (at) sycode (dot) com.

  • sachinnalawade

    Great work sir, announcing release of CATIA Import for SolidWorks.
    Really worth tool We were waiting for.

    Sachin Nalawade

  • Sachin,

    Thanks for the mention at Daily CAD CAM

  • hol

    Hi Deelip,

    Sorry I dont have complex native catia files today.
    I will send to you when I have on my hand 😉

    Thanks !