1603 Install error

April 24th, 2012

One possible resolution for a 1603 error when installing SolidWorks. Rename the following folders on the left tree in the registry (regedit.exe).

On machines with 32-bit Operation System

On machines with 64-bit Operation System

S-056972 (SolidWorks Solution ID)

Note to Remember , ,

Download fasteners & hardware in SolidWorks format with full history tree

November 14th, 2011

There are several different places to get hardware and fasteners for your SolidWorks projects. The simplest is SolidWorks Toolbox which comes with SolidWorks Professional or Premium. You can also use www.3dcontentcentral.com however it is painfully slow. I recently needed to be able to download bolts and nuts with the thread fully modelled as it had to be printed in 3d with rapid prototyping. After some searching and reading of the SolidWorks Forums, I came across McMaster-Carr http://www.mcmaster.com/

I was delighted to find that I could download the SolidWorks format of every fastener I required with the full history tree intact, and also with the full modelled thread. A big kudos to McMaster-Carr. See below a nice screenshot of a bolt, nut and a square flange mounted bearing with the full history tree.

Some Parts downloaded from McMaster-Carr with the complete History Tree and full modelled thread.

Misc., Note to Remember , , , ,

New in SolidWorks 2012 – Ambient Occlusion

November 10th, 2011

One of my favourite additions to SolidWorks 2012 is the Ambient Occlusion option. It makes models appear really realistic. (wikipedia explanation) It does require a RealView graphics card or a “patch“.

How to turn on Ambient Occlusion in SolidWorks 2012

Even though it appears that if the RealView Graphics icon is not available, the Ambient Occlusion does appear, however both “RealView Graphics” and “Ambient Occlusion” need to be turned on.

Before and After Ambient Occlusion

SolidWorks 2012 with Ambient Occlusion (Note the extra shadows in the wheels and seat)

SolidWorks 2012 with RealView Graphics only (Note: no depth shadows visible)

Further details

You may find that as you rotate the model, the Ambient Occlusion shading disappears, and as soon as you stop rotating, the shading and shadows re-appear. There is a “Draft Quality Ambient Occlusion” option which can be turned on.
Tools -> Options -> System Options -> Display/Selection -> “Display draft quality ambient occlusion”.
When this is turned on, you can rotate in 3d and have the Ambient Occlusion shadows remain in real-time, however it is a more draft quality shading.

Either way, it makes models really stand out. It’s great for doing Animations without having to render in PhotoView360 which would take quite a long time.

Misc. , ,

Enable RealView on gaming Graphics Cards

October 28th, 2011

RealView (top) and No RealView (bottom)

RealView Graphics in SolidWorks (View drop-down -> Display -> RealView Graphics) makes your models look visually impressive on the screen. You get to see the materials and floor reflections in real-time, without having to render the model in PhotoView.

There are certified graphics cards recommended by SolidWorks (ATI FireGL and nVidia Quadro ranges) which have this RealView functionality, however they can be expensive (as they are specifically for CAD Applications, as opposed to Gaming). In saying that, you can get a cheap RealView certified graphics card for ~€125.

Gaming Graphics Card used

A while back, I got a Medion MD8855 computer in Aldi, which had an ATI Radeon™ HD 5670 graphics card with 1024 MB memory. As expected after installing and opening SolidWorks, the RealView graphics icon (View -> Display -> RealView) was greyed out. Also, under Tools -> System Options -> Performance, “Use Software OpenGL” was unticked, as it should be, unless you have an onboard or very poor graphics card.

RealView Icon

Software OpenGL Option








Enable RealView Graphics

If you google, there are two main methods. One is using RivaTuner to adjust your graphics card/drivers, saying your graphics card is actually a ATI FireGL or nVidia Quadro. Another is to modify SolidWorks with a RealHack exe program (which edits the registry settings for SolidWorks). The RealHack program worked perfectly for me with SolidWorks 2011 SP5 x64 on x64 Windows.

  1. Download the RealHack program
    (google realhack rar download) (local copy)
  2. Make sure SolidWorks is closed
  3. Run the exe and click ATI or NVIDIA.
  4. Open SolidWorks. Check for the RealView icon.
    (I didn’t have to reboot the PC)

Note: This didn’t work for me previously on SolidWorks 2010. If it doesn’t work, then there is not much you can do, but to research the references and find out more information. Links to reference websites for RealHack are Ref1, Ref2, Ref3


Using process monitor, you can see what realhack does. It appears to (only) add entries to the registry. There is also a RealHack 2.0 available which supposedly works for SolidWorks 2012 (which has Ambient Occlusion). Again, you can find this with google (local copy). Presumably this app enters different registry entries depending on what your current graphics card is. Of course SW may change things in the future and this app may not work. It is surprising however as to why SolidWorks doesn’t allow RealView to work on more graphics (gaming or other) cards.

How-To, Misc. ,

High Stress Concentrations in FEA Analysis

June 12th, 2011

People who have used SolidWorks Simulation, and indeed other FEA software, will be aware that sharp re-entrant corners will cause high stress concentrations in a final stress plot. Increasing the mesh in this area will only serve to increase the stress intensity. Small fillets are usually applied, or in some cases the mesh is coarsened in this area.


Many models have inside or re-entrant corners which can cause high stress concentrations

High Stress Concentrations are also caused by incorrect boundary conditions (aka loads and restraints).

Example 1 – Tensile Test

The video on the following page compares Hand Calculations to SimulationXpress and SolidWorks Simulation with Reference Geometry restraints, for a tensile test of a steel cylinder.
Simply putting a “Fixed” restraint on a face (which a lot of people just do) is a blind and often an incorrect approach and can cause high stress concentrations. A better method involving using a “Sliding” restraint combined with a Reference Geometry condition can be used to overcome these high stress concentrations.

Putting a "Fixed" restraint on a face may cause high stress concentrations.

 Example 2 – Use a Soft Material

The following article proposes to use a “springy foundation pad” with a low youngs modulus and low poisson’s ratio, attached to the part you want to secure. The springy material will absorb high stress concentrations when a force is applied. Link -> http://www.capinc.com/2011/04/06/imaginary-materials

Use a springy foundation pad part or body attached to the part being loaded

Note: Archived originals

Simulation (FEA) , , ,

Copy and Paste a SolidWorks Drawing directly into Draftsight or AutoCAD

May 17th, 2011

I recently came across a Youtube video showing how in SolidWorks 2007, a drawing view (2D) could be copied and pasted directly from SolidWorks into DWGEditor (now called 2D Editor). As DraftSight is the new free 2D CAD Tool, I wanted to see if this would work in SolidWorks 2011 and Draftsight.

It does work, and very nicely.
If you want to quickly copy a SolidWorks Drawing View into Draftsight/AutoCAD/DWG without having to go Saving As a DWG etc. this tip will save time.

Copy from SolidWorks to DWG / Draftsight
  1. Select the Drawing View in SolidWorks
  2. Edit (drop-down menu) -> Copy to DWG Format
  3. Go to Draftsight
  4. Edit (drop-down menu) -> Paste
  5. Left Click to Paste the View into Draftsight


Select Drawing View in SW -> Edit Menu -> Copy to DWG Format -> Go to CAD -> Edit -> Paste

Of course the reverse is equally true. You can copy and paste directly from Draftsight DWG into a new Sketch in SolidWorks. CTRL+C and CTRL+V make things nice and easy.

Copy from DWG / Draftsight to SolidWorks
  1. Window select what you want to copy in Draftsight/CAD
  2. Press CTRL+C
  3. Go to SolidWorks
  4. Create a New Part
  5. Create a New Sketch
  6. Left Click into the Graphics Area
  7. Press CTRL+V
  8. Zoom out
About Draftsight

Just a quick word on draftsight. It is a free 2D CAD Program which will let you open and save all version of AutoCAD. Its interface is very similar to AutoCAD with layers, grid, layouts and object tracking (called etrack). I remember using AutoSketch in 1999 which I got from a Computer Magazine, to draw up go-kart plans. If I had Draftsight back then, things would have been a lot easier. Draftsight is available for Windows, Apple MACs and also Ubuntu Linux. Head to www.draftsight.com to download your copy now.

How-To , , ,

Linear Patterns & Equations

May 9th, 2011

I was driving a linear pattern with an equation and found that SW was rounding the result up or down to the nearest whole number. Therefore when I had a spacing of 2.5, a pattern of 3 was inserted. Not what I wanted. Anyways, the solution:

"D1@Pattern1" = int("D1@Sketch1"/1200)+1

int() rounds down to the nearest whole number.

Kudos to forums.solidworks.com

Misc., Note to Remember

SolidWorks Error: Hole Wizard / Toolbox Not Expected Version

January 22nd, 2011

Typical Error message when going to use the Hole Wizard / Toolbox.When you go to use the Hole Wizard or Toolbox you get the following error:

Error: The database file ‘C:\SolidWorks Data\lang\english\swbrowser.mdb’ is not the expected version.

Typically you would see this error if you have recently upgraded your SolidWorks install to SW2010 or SW2011. SolidWork should have updated your HoleWizard/Toolbox database, or maybe it installed a new one, and the wrong path is listed in Tools -> Options -> Hole Wizard / Toolbox.


  1. Using My Computer, look for C:\SolidWorks Data, C:\SolidWorks Data (2)
  2. Open SolidWorks, Tools -> Options -> Hole Wizard / Toolbox. Check that the path is correct and if different paths were found above, try browsing to them.
  3. If you have another computer running the same latest version of SolidWorks, copy their C:\SolidWorks Data to your computer.
    Browse to: “C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp\SolidWorks\Toolbox\data utilities” and run UpdateBrowserData.exe Browse to the swbrowser.mdb file inside C:\SolidWorks Data\lang\english and click “Update”. That should do the trick.

SolidWorks Update Toolbox Database utility to use when upgrading to the latest version of SolidWorks.

How-To, Note to Remember , , ,

Windows Installer Error 1719 (Windows 7 x64)

January 22nd, 2011

I was recently trying to install SolidWorks 2011 on Windows 7 x64 and it failed. Typically I’d expect problems with XP x64, but not with Windows 7 with .Net and Windows Installer all part of the OS.


The SolidWorks Installation Manager provided a link to the Installation Logs ( C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\SolidWorks\Installation Logs\2011 SP0 ). Looking at the latest txt file ( SummaryIMLog_20110.txt ) I saw “Installation Error 1719” and “Installation Error 1603”.

I also looked at the Windows Event Viewer, and saw the failed installation and the Error 1719. See image below.

Windows Event Viewer Logs showing the exact 1719 SolidWorks Installation Error

First Attempted Solution

  • As Windows Installer v5 is part of Windows 7, it would not show up in Add/Remove Programs to do a repair (as I would have done for XP).
  • Make sure that the Windows Installer service is running  (Control Panel -> System and Security -> Administrative Tools -> Services)
  • As on the SW KB, I had tried registering and reregistering Windows Installer.
    Command Prompt:
    msiexec.exe /unregister
    msiexec /regserver
    C:\Windows\Syswow64\Msiexec /regserver
  • I even browsed directly to the SolidWorks setup (bypassing the Installation Manager), but it immediately threw up the 1719 error and stopped.

This image shows the exact path to the Manual Setup for SolidWorks 2011 x64 bypassing the Installation Manager.


Final Solution to 1719 Installation Error

  1. Start, then Run, then type regedit 
  3. Right click on WOW64, then select Modify      
  4. Set Value Data to 0 (mine was set at 1) and Base should be Hexadecimal
    (see below image for screenshot)
  5. Close the Registry Editor
  6. Reboot the PC
    Command Prompt: net stop msiserver    and net start msiserver
  7. Install SolidWorks 


The Windows START -> Run option in Windows 7. Note the run box is now the search box in Windows 7.Screenshot of the Registry showing the 1719 solution which worked.

How-To, Note to Remember , ,

Default Templates for Novice Interface

January 14th, 2011

Here is a little nuisance I came across recently:

When changing the templates that the novice interface uses, it was a little tricky. It turns out that the Novice Interface selects the first alphabetical template.

I had thought it would have used the Default Templates under Tools -> Options -> Default Templates, but I was mistaken.

So if your templates are stored in: C:\ProgramData\SolidWorks\SolidWorks 2011\templates, and you want a new Drawing, it will select the first alphabetical drawing template (*.drwdot) in that folder.
To verify and check where your templates are stored: Tools -> Options -> File Locations -> Document Templates

Personally I always use the Advanced interface, but to each his/her own.

Note to Remember ,