What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Composer 2019: Importing PMI Data

What's New in SOLIDWORKS Composer 2019

Written by: Quinton Rocke, Application Engineer

Many of you long-time Composer users may have noticed the import option for PMI information in the Open dialog box previously. However, as you quickly found out, this functionality only extended to Catia files. The good news is with the SOLIDWORKS Composer 2019 release, the following types of PMI information are now supported from SOLIDWORKS models: 

  • Dimensions 
  • Datums 
  • Tolerances for dimensions 
  • Geometric tolerances 
  • Special symbols such as diameters and degrees 
  • Surface finishes 

It is important to keep in mind that, to use this new functionality, the SOLIDWORKS 3D model must have view-based data such as annotation views from SOLIDWORKS and 3D views from SOLIDWORKS MBD already created.  

To import PMI data, bring up the File Open dialog box. While the dialog box is open, you can then check the box called “Import PMI”.

Importing PMI in SOLIDWORKS Composer

You will also notice that as soon as you enable that checkbox, the option called “Overwrite Color” is no longer grayed out. This option allows you to change the color applied to all the imported PMI data.  

Pro Tip: You can set these options to be defaults by adjusting the File > Properties > Default Document Properties > Input Options.  

With this option enabled, once the model is imported into Composer, the PMI data is stored in the “PMI Data (SOLIDWORKS)” folder under a root node on the Assembly tab. Composer also stores the view-based data of annotation views from SOLIDWORKS and 3D views from SOLIDWORKS MBD in the “PMI Views (SOLIDWORKS)” folder under a root node on the Assembly tab.

PMI Views and Data

You can enable/disable specific PMI actors as needed, but these are special actors with very limited options compared to other collaborative actors like measurements and labels. The PMI data will import very similar to how it looks in the views in SOLIDWORKS. For this reason, you will want to make sure the items are placed and sized correctly in SOLIDWORKS prior to importing. 

Once you save the Composer file with imported PMI data in an SMG file format, the PMI data will be visible in Composer Player. If you frequently export to SMG directly from SOLIDWORKS or use Composer Sync, you may want to enable this functionality from within the SOLIDWORKS software. To do this click Tools > Options > System Options > Export > SMG and select Export SOLIDWORKS PMI.


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