DALLAS, TX (Siemens PLM Connection 2013) June 4, 2013 - SolidWorks - CATIA conversions have been the source of much consternation among users, most of whom don't understand how two programs owned by the same company (Dassault Systemes) won't play well with each other.
The problem may have been somewhat alleviated with the latest edition of SolidWorks, but what of users who have not upgraded? As Josh Mings reported, there is a Dassault CATIA to SolidWorks converter (see SolidSmack post) but it cost $3K up front with another $1K a year for maintenance. I couldn't find it on Dassault's site or SolidWorks' site but i should not be surprised since it's not something that Dassault is likely to promote -- maybe for fear that it will cause a mass migration to their cheaper product.
Into the void came a few companies offering the much needed conversion, either with expensive off-the-shelf software (Can Elysium really charge $10K?) or cheapo apps by little known companies that will probably waste your time, as well as data translation specialists who would offer to customize a solution (you can imagine what that might cost!).
But here in the most unlikely place --the annual gathering of NX and Teamcenter users in Dallas --the solution to the SolidWorks/CATIA interoperability conundrum seems to present itself.
I pay a visit to the CCE booth. CCE is a heavyweight in the interoperability arena. They have launched a labs site and are determined to give away software. Its like Autodesk Labs, though on a smaller scale. in fact, there are only 4 products on it. Two are CAD viewers, one of which handles large assemblies. But most important is the CATIA V5 to SolidWorks translator. In 32 bit and 64 bit version. It's free. You have to log in (using Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter) and so CCE may end up with a way to contact you, but isn't that a small price to pay for what may have been a longtime source of frustration or as an alternative to pricey or shady alternatives?
See CCE labs site to download CAT5Works-Express: SolidWorks Integrated CATIA V5 translator.
Update: CCE's converter also supports older SolidWorks 2009 and 2010 and CATIA V5 up to R18. Paid products on the CCE Lab site supportss latest versions.