SolidWorks World 2013 : API Presentations

Blog 1.16.2013 No Comments

SolidWorks World 2013, hosted at Disney World in Orlando, is right around the corner. This year in particular looks like a great year for SolidWorks API learners and enthusiasts. If you’re attending, below is a list I’ve compiled of all presentations related to the SolidWorks API. If you have the opportunity, definitely join me on Tuesday at 4:30 for my presentation, “The 99 Must-Know Members of the SolidWorks API” (the same one I delivered last year). Stop by afterward and say hello—It would be great to meet you!

API for the Beginner

Monday, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Tom Cote, Applied CAD Solutions, LLC
Step through different ways to create, get info from the web, edit, test & document a macro as well as linking the macro to an icon in SolidWorks. This session is designed for the person that has no programming experience.

Features and Capabilities of the SolidWorks Costing API

Monday, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Daniel Seaman, SolidWorks Corp
Gain an introduction to the SolidWorks Costing API covering its capabilities and limitations using real-world case studies. Use the API to compare the cost implications of using different manufacturing processes and extract detailed information about the tools, materials, and time required to make a part.

Get Started with Visual Basic.NET Macros

Monday, 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Mike Spens, SolidWorks Corp
Learn how to automate SolidWorks using the Visual Studio for Applications (VSTA) macro environment. In this hands-on session, attendees examine the benefits of VB.NET versus VBA, and take away the handy utility they create.

Automating Weldments with API

Tuesday, 1:30 – 2:30 PM
Cody Armstrong, Digital Dimensions, Inc.
Automate weldment part and drawing design using the SolidWorks API.

Visual Basic® for Applications 7: Getting SolidWorks Macros Ready for 64-Bit

Tuesday, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Frank Lindeman, SolidWorks Corp
Hear an introduction to the language changes of Visual Basic for Applications 7 in SolidWorks 2013, supporting 64-bit. This presentation will outline scenarios to adapt existing macros using external Windows® and ActiveX® controls dlls for use with SolidWorks 2013, while keeping them backward-compatible.

Macros for the Masses – Beginning VSTA

Tuesday, 1:30 – 2:30 PM
Jerry Winters, PDMI, Inc.
Join the ranks of those who turbo-charge their SolidWorks installations by learning VSTA yourself. On its own, SolidWorks can be used to design amazing things. When we learn how to write macros (and not just record them), we can design better, faster, and more accurately.

The 99 Must-Know Members of the SolidWorks API

Tuesday, 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Keith Rice,
Gain a glimpse of what’s important and what’s not, covering many aspects of part, assembly, and drawing automation using a realistic case study. The SolidWorks API is huge. Like any language, however, you only need to know 5 percent of the words to accomplish 95 percent of what you need.

Design with the API in Mind

Wednesday, 1:30 – 2:30 PM
Jerry Winters, PDMI, Inc.
Learn the tools and techniques that best support downstream API efforts. SolidWorks gives us an amazing number of design tools we can use to create our models. But if we plan on using the SolidWorks API to create custom solutions for our models, not all design tools are created equal.

Finally, if you aren’t attending SolidWorks World but would still like to see presentations that were recorded, or at least download PowerPoint slides, be sure to visit the presentation archive after a few weeks. Here you can also watch API-related presentations from the past few years.

Hope to see you in Orlando!

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How To Copy, Clean, & Use API Help Examples

Blog 12.17.2012 2 Comments

I received a great question from one of my newer customers the other day: “Why can’t I ever seem to get an API Help example to work right after copying and pasting it into the Visual Basic Editor?” The answer, simply, is that the text is rarely transferred over perfectly. As demonstrated in the tutorial below, cleanup is involved. I also take it a step further and show you some tips for improving the readability of the code. Finally, I explain how to deal with errors that occur when trying to run the macro from Tools–>Macro–>Run.

For those of you who like to remove every last unnecessary line of code: you can also remove the enumeration declarations in the beginning. They exist in many API Help examples but they really serve no purpose since by default the SolidWorks constants type library is automatically referenced.

Thanks for visiting our blog and merry Christmas!


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Video: Write A Powerful Macro From Scratch

Blog 11.16.2012 1 Comment

The time has come for another free video tutorial! In this tutorial, novice SolidWorks API programmers learn just how easy it is to create a powerful macro from scratch in under a half hour. In this particular example, we write a macro that deletes all of the balloons attached to Toolbox parts in a selected drawing view. The idea came from the SolidWorks API forums, where a gentleman said that such a macro would save him lots of time as he detailed drawings.

Unlike some of my other videos, I don’t explain every single piece of code (though I explain enough to help any beginners), but instead I get right down to business, outlining the steps needed to program the macro and testing the code each step of the way. As you watch this video, you should get a better idea of how I write powerful macros quickly and hopefully glean some insights as a result.


Download file set and completed code (files will open in SolidWorks 2011 and beyond)


  • The file set is not the exact same one used in the video tutorial since I needed to quickly create a new file set for compatibility in SolidWorks 2011 and 2012.
  • If you do not have toolbox installed, or do not have it installed at C:\SolidWorks Data, simply create that folder on your C:\, place the hex bolt part file in there, and update your file references accordingly the next time you open the assembly.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Feel free to leave feedback!


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