This podcast covers ways to utilize Microsoft Office Excel to modify design attributes within SolidWorks. Topics covered:
- Design Tables using Excel (embedded and external)
- Highlights of a few common and uncommon Excel commands
- How to build views and lists in Excel for use inside of SolidWorks
- Differences between Configuration Publisher, DriveWorksXpress and Design Tables
- Applications and examples
This is a topic that I presented back in 2005 at the Western Regional SolidWorks User Conference and a topic I saw surface in one of the recent marketing efforts by SolidWorks. They had a screencast called "Excel Tips for Engineers" that starred Darren Henry, Product Marketing at SolidWorks who has, for years, presented ways to automate SolidWorks with Excel.
For many years this is how I used to automate SolidWorks without having to go down the path of design automation, especially when they were mostly programming-based. Today tools like DriveWorks, have made design automation hugely powerful without requiring programming knowledge and SolidWorks 2010 introduced the Configuration Publisher. Design tables, Configuration Publisher and DriveWorks all can be utilized together because each has their strength that can be harnessed by one another.
Configuration Publisher and Design Tables both create/modify SolidWorks Configurations which can be toggled by DriveWorks with rules. Understanding the power of these tools can begin with the foundation of Excel in many cases. Here is my example SolidWorks "Pin" with the customized Excel Design Table for reference. ~Lou