Video: The 99 Must-Know SolidWorks API Calls

Blog 4.19.2012 No Comments

Did you know that there are probably over 10,000 API calls available in SolidWorks? Yet less than 1% of them are necessary for creating even very complicated automation macros and add-ins. To prove this, I created a macro that would satisfy the specifications of a mock case study involving part, assembly, and drawing automation using only 99 unique SolidWorks API calls. A line-by-line look at how this macro works was presented At SolidWorks World 2012 in a session called “Goldmember: 99 Must-Know Methods and Properties of the SolidWorks API”.

Here is a list of those API calls, in the order that they are first used. (Some of them are used more than once.)

1. ISldWorks::GetOpenFileName
2. ISldWorks::SendMsgToUser2
3. IModelDoc2::ActiveDoc
4. IModelDoc2::GetType
5. IModelDoc2::ActiveView
6. IModelView::EnableGraphicsUpdate
7. ISketchManager::AddToDB
8. ISldWorks::SetUserPreferenceToggle
9. IModelDocExtension::SelectByID2
10. ISketchManager::InsertSketch
11. ISketchManager::CreateCircleByRadius
12. IModelDoc2::AddDimension2
13. IFeatureManager::FeatureExtrusion2
14. IModelDoc2::FirstFeature
15. IFeature::GetTypeName
16. IFeature::GetNextFeature
17. IFeature::Select2
18. IFeatureManager::FeatureCut3
19. IPartDoc::GetBodies2
20. IBody2::GetFaces
21. IFace2::GetSurface
22. ISurface::IsCylinder
23. IFace2::GetArea
24. IEntity::Select4
25. IFeatureMananger::FeatureFillet
26. IPartDoc::SetEntityName
27. IBody2::GetEdges
28. IEdge::GetCurveParams3
29. ICurveParamData::StartPoint
30. IModelDoc2::AddConfiguration3
31. IModelDoc2::DeleteConfiguration2
32. IPartDoc::SetMaterialPropertyName2
33. IModelDocExtension::SetMaterialPropertyValues
34. IModelDocExtension::CustomPropertyManager
35. ICustomPropertyManager::GetNames
36. ICustomPropertyManager::Get3
37. ICustomPropertyManager::Set
38. ICustomPropertyManager::Add2
39. IModelDocExtension::SaveAs
40. IModelDoc2::OpenDoc6
41. IAssemblyDoc::AddComponent4
42. IAssemblyDoc::GetComponentByName
43. IComponent2::GetBodies3
44. IModelDoc2::GetEntityName
45. IAssemblyDoc::AddMate3
46. IAssemblyDoc::GetComponents
47. IEntity::GetComponent
48. IComponent2::ReferencedConfiguration
49. IComponent2::FeatureByName
50. IComponent2::Select4
51. IAssemblyDoc::EditPart2
52. IFeature::GetDefinition
53. IExtrudeFeatureData2::GetDepth
54. IExtrudeFeatureData2::SetDepth
55. IFeature::ModifyDefinition
56. IAssemblyDoc::EditAssembly
57. IComponent2::GetModelDoc2
58. IModelDoc2::SelectionManager
59. ISelectionManager::GetSelectedObjectType3
60. ISelectionManager::GetSelectedObject6
61. IDisplayDimension::GetDimension2
62. IDimension::SetSystemValue3
63. IModelDoc2::ForceRebuild3
64. IModelDoc2::ShowNamedView2
65. IModelDoc2::ViewZoomtofit2
66. ISldWorks::GetUserPreferenceStringValue
67. ISldWorks::NewDocument
68. IDrawingDoc::SetupSheet5
69. IDrawingDoc::CreateDrawViewFromModelView3
70. IDrawingDoc::ViewDisplayShaded
71. IView::ScaleDecimal
72. IDrawingDoc::FeatureByName
73. IDrawingDoc::AutoBalloon4
74. INote::GetAnnotation
75. IAnnotation::GetPosition
76. IAnnotation::SetPosition
77. IView::InsertBomTable3
78. IView::GetVisibleComponents
79. IDrawingDoc::NewSheet3
80. IDrawingDoc::GetSheetNames
81. IDrawingDoc::Sheet
82. IDrawingDoc::ActivateSheet
83. ISheet::SetName
84. IComponent2::Name2
85. IDrawingDoc::Create3rdAngleViews2
86. ISheet::GetViews
87. IView::GetReferencedModelName
88. IView::ReferencedConfiguration
89. IDrawingDoc::InsertModelAnnotations3
90. IModelDoc2::ClearSelection2
91. IView::GetFirstDisplayDimension5
92. IDisplayDimension::GetNameForSelection
93. IDisplayDimension::GetNext5
94. IModelDocExtension::AlignDimensions
95. IModelDocExtension::GetPackAndGo
96. IModelDoc2::GetPathName
97. IPackAndGo::SetSaveToName
98. IModelDocExtension::SavePackAndGo
99. ISldWorks::CloseAllDocuments

The presentation was very well received. Here is some of the feedback emailed to me afterward:

Your “Goldmember” presentation was the best API session I’ve attended in 8 SWW events!”

James, UtilX

Just left your “Goldmember” class you gave at Solidworks World 2012.  Thank you for coming and offering these classes!  You have opened a new world to me that I feel I can dive into…  Thank you!

Steve, Harsco Industrial

Hello Keith.  I was in your excellent course on Tuesday.  I was pretty impressed with how you got through all 99 right in the allotted time.  Thanks for the great course and insight.

Michael, WL Gore & Associates

This presentation also works as a great refresher for those who have worked with the API in the past but may need to quickly brush-up on the API by hitting only the highlights.

Although it was not recorded at SolidWorks World, I later recorded myself giving the entire presentation again. Premium members can watch it here. The lesson page also includes the code itself.

What API calls do you consider “must-know”? Please share in the comments below!

Keith

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