When Do I Need FeatureWorks?

   By on January 13, 2020

FeatureWorks is a SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional and Premium add-on that allows engineers and designers to directly interact with and edit imported part data in a SOLIDWORKS part file. Imported models, or “dumb solids”, become useable parts within the SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD environment.

What Is FeatureWorks?

 FeatureWorks captures all imported data and recognizes features in standard file formats, such as STEP, IGES®, SAT (ACIS®), VDA-FS, and Parasolid® files. 

  • Intermediate Data Format (IDF)
  • PADS ASCII file format from Mentor Graphics® PowerPCB
  • ProStep EDMD collaboration format used by Mentor Graphics and Cadence

FeatureWorks is ideal for geometrically regular parts, able to recognize, generate sketches (when available) and dimension all these features:

  • SOLIDWORKS FeatureWorks Extruded or revolved features
  • Chamfers on linear or circular edges
  • Constant or variable radius fillets on linear or circular edges
  • Ribs: extruded parallel to sketch, extruded normal to sketch, and ribs with a negative draft.
  • Draft features
  • Holes
  • Lofts: interactively recognize base-lofts.
  • Shells
  • Sweeps: interactively recognize boss and cut sweeps.
  • Volume features
  • Feature patterns: linear, circular, rectangular and mirror
  • Sheet metal features: base flanges, edge flanges, sketched bends, hem flanges and miter flanges.
  • Sketch Patterns: Using interactive recognition, you can create a sketch pattern from similar features that were created randomly. Partial imprints of features cannot be recognized. Creating a pattern of a pattern feature is not supported.
  • Multibody parts: recognize multimode parts one body at a time.

Benefits of Using FeatureWorks

FeatureWorks is easy to set up, easy to use and fully integrated with SOLIDWORKS software. You can access all the controls for FeatureWorks from the SOLIDWORKS menu bar. The FeatureManager® design tree automatically keeps track of features recognized by FeatureWorks, so the entire design process stays consistent and intuitive.

Choosing either the Automatic or Interactive feature recognition modes, or both, will provide the best geometry for your new design. Leverage your existing CAD models as new parametric SOLIDWORKS models, by using FeatureWorks!


Are you interested in learning more about using FeatureWorks? Watch our Video Tech Tip: Converting a Step File to a Part File with FeatureWorks

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Danny Lopez

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