API

Application Programming Interfaces (or API’s for short) is a way for a normal person like me or you to add functionality to SolidWorks. Yes that’s right people, you can add your own custom functionality to your favourite design program. For instance, some of us have a need to change the properties on multiple files using a custom program, load custom settings everytime SolidWorks starts up or perhaps integrate another program within the SolidWorks task pane.

This section is, however, for that special breed of user who is not completely  satisfied with the fact that they don’t have absolute control over nitty gritty details. By special I don’t mean having like a third eye or something… uh no…tis more like someone who likes to dig deep into the abyss of 100’s of lines of code. Someone willing to search long and hard, finding those select few lines of code which will force you to sit and struggle with it for a couple of days, emerging with your very own electronic version of Frankenstein’s animal.

So take heed:  dabbling with API’s are not for the faint hearted! This really is another kind of beast all together. I’ve spent many a day (and sometimes nights) struggling and figuring out the intricacies of programming. As any other programmer will tell you however, there really is nothing so glorious as hitting that compile button and your creation comes to life before your eyes.

But all is not lost. Dassault has released a very good API manual to make life easy for first time users. So if any of you would like to post about interesting code snippets you’ve found, or you’ve stumbled across a valuable resource on the web, or post about something you’ve completed already, feel free to email it to us, ctsupport(at)mecad(dot)co(dot).za. On the other hand, don’t feel like writing it yourself? I’ve come across some sites which might help with starting out. Check out the following websites for some quick-and-dirty-macro’s (in the words of Lenny*):

Lenny’s resources or Lorono’s site offers many completed macros already and you should really check them out.

I would like to encourage you to start playing around with this so that we can learn from each other. Ultimately we can become a strong community of users that can really automate anything! So let the games begin!

…Andries

Responses

  1. Thanks for all the advise Andries. I’ve looked at what the API guys do from a distance but never ventured in. The Dassault API Manual might be a good place to start.

    • Does it work with Solidworks 2012?

      • Hi Rick… I’m not sure what you mean… but yes.. the API does work with 2012


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