It’s that time of year again. The latest major release of SolidWorks is upon us, and with it comes a delightful assortment of awesome new enhancements to the SolidWorks API.

New API Calls

Here’s a list of the most significant:

  • Access feature data for Mirror Part and Fill Pattern features.
  • Access flat-pattern and sheet metal folders in the FeatureManager design tree.
  • Insert a Variable Pattern feature in the FeatureManager design tree.
  • Create a new part document that mirrors another part document about a selected reference plane or planar face.
  • Attach an existing annotation to a drawing sheet or view.
  • Replace the model in selected drawing views.
  • Get and set whether a part is a SolidWorks Toolbox part.
  • Access and control SolidWorks CommandManager tabs
  • Notification events for when CommandManger tabs are activated for parts, assemblies, and drawings.
  • Get and set whether to override default sheet metal feature parameters.
  • Get and set whether to use a sheet metal feature gauge table.
  • Get the actual entities associated with a sketch relation.
  • Save various aspects of a part (sheet metal, faces, loops, and annotation views) to one or more DXF/DWG files, preserving the specified filename.
  • Get all visible entities, including silhouette edges, in drawing views.
  • Send notification when a document is printed.
  • Get the persistent IDs of components and features.
  • Insert general table annotations in part and assembly documents.

You can view the full list of enhancements here. If you want to learn the actual API calls that correspond to these enhancements, the easiest way is to open the local API Help, go to the Search tab, and type “Version 2014”. You can find what you need in that list.

Any of these excite you? In particular, I am glad that we now have a sure-fire way of identifying toolbox parts. Previously we were left with examining the component’s file path—if the path pointed to a known toolbox folder, then we would consider it a toolbox part. That’s the technique used in this video which shows how to write a macro to delete ballooned fasteners in a drawing view.

Favorites Tab

If you’re using the online API Help… stop. Yes, really. Stop it now. You didn’t have much of excuse to use it before, considering how hard it is to navigate. Now that the local API Help has been beefed up with a “Favorites” tab, effectively mimicking a web browser’s bookmark/favorites capability, you simply have no excuse. Observe:

All your favorite API calls, right at your fingertips.

You can also see the list of API Help pages that went into my Favorites tab immediately, not because I visit them everyday but because when I do need to visit them, they can be a real nuisance to locate using the Index tab or Search tab.

Don’t Forget to Request Enhancements

The SolidWorks API development team wants to hear your ideas for enhancement requests. I am happy to say that many of my suggestions in the past have been added in the subsequent release, including the toolbox identification API call I just mentioned. If you run across an area of SolidWorks that doesn’t have good API support, let the API team know. You can contact them here.

That concludes our look at what’s new in the SolidWorks 2014 API. Anything stand out to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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