The Easiest Way to Share 3D Data Across Multiple CAD Environments

FAQ's

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General questions about eDrawings products:

 

Questions about eDrawings Professional software:

 

Questions about eDrawings for AutoCAD:

 

Questions about eDrawings for Pro/ENGINEER:

 

Questions about eDrawings for CATIA V5:

 

Questions about eDrawings API:

 

Questions about eDrawings with AR (Augmented Reality):

General questions about eDrawings products:

What is eDrawings software?
eDrawings software is a product design communication tool for sharing representations of both 2D drawings and 3D models. The electronic data format of eDrawings files is highly compressed to enable easy transmission via email. When viewed with the eDrawings Viewer, these files provide intelligent interpretation tools (3D Pointer, Virtual Folding, Animated Drawing Views) that help the recipient easily understand and navigate the data they receive. eDrawings files are created through the use of the eDrawings Publisher add-in, which works as a plug-in to many popular CAD products. Once created, an eDrawings file may be sent to anyone via email. To eliminate the frustrations normally associated with 2D and 3D design data, the viewer may be embedded directly in an eDrawings file. These files can immediately be viewed by anyone with a Windows operating system. No additional CAD software or viewers are required.

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Which applications are required to publish eDrawings files?

You can publish eDrawings files from :

  • SOLIDWORKS 2005 or later
  • AutoCAD version R14.x, AutoCAD 2000, AutoCAD 2002, or AutoCAD 2004
  • Pro/ENGINEER® 2001, Pro/ENGINEER® WildFire 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0
  • CATIA V5 R14, R15, R16, R17, R18 & CATIA V5 R19
  • Unigraphics: NX3, NX4, NX5, NX6 and NX7
  • Autodesk Inventor 8, 9, 10, 11, 2008, 2009 and 2010
  • Solid Edge® V17, V18, V19, V20, ST and ST2
  • RapidFire Lite (View/Publish IGES, STEP & STL files)
  • Sketchup (Free/ Professional) 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0

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Which operating systems are supported by eDrawings software?

 

  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 64-bit, Windows 8 64-bit, or later;
  • Apple® OS X® 10.6 and later

Mobile

  • Apple iOS 6.0 and later. Compatible with iPad®, iPad mini™, iPad Air™, iPhone® and iPod touch®. App optimized for iPhone 5/5C/5S
  • Google® Android® 4.0 and later

SOLIDWORKS System Requirements

 

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Which languages are supported in eDrawings Viewer?

eDrawings Viewer supports the following languages:

Traditional Chinese Japanese
Simplified Chinese Korean
English Polish
French Russian
German Spanish
Italian Czech
Portuguese - Brazilian  

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Which CAD filetypes are supported in eDrawings?

The following file formats are supported:

  • SOLIDWORKS native files and templates (.sldprt, .slddrw, .sldasm, .prtdot, .drwdot and .asmdot)
  • eDrawings native files (.edrw, .eprt, .easm, .edrwx, .eprtx, .easmx)
  • DXF/DWG files (.dxf, .dwg)
  • ProEngineer files (.prt, .prt., .xpr, .asm, .xas)
  • 3DXML files (.3dxml)
  • STL Files (.stl)
  • CALS Files (.cal, .ct1)

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Does eDrawings software support Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition?

Yes, eDrawings software provides optimal tools for the tablet pen and ink.

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How to can I embed an eDrawings file within a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation?

Save the eDrawings file as an HTML file and add an embedded web browser control to your PowerPoint presentation. You will need to enable macros in PowerPoint and set macro security to low or medium. (Tools->Macro->Security). In your eDrawings slide, you will need to add two items: the Microsoft Web Browser control and a button to activate it. Your button will typically set the URL of the web browser to the location of your eDrawings file.

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Is it necessary to install the CAD Application and eDrawings Viewer on the same machine?

No, eDrawings software does not require any additional software to be installed, although you will need the CAD application in order to publish eDrawings files directly inside these applications.

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My email software automatically removes .EXE attachments from all incoming and outgoing emails. How can I send eDrawings file to recipients who have not installed the eDrawings Viewer?

To minimize the impact of the larger viewer size and email virus filters, a ZIP and HTML option has been added to the File...Send command. This option does not embed the eDrawings Viewer in an executable file; instead it automatically downloads it from the Internet and embeds the eDrawings Viewer in a standard web page. Since the HTML file only contains the eDrawings file data and a small amount of HTML code, this results in a smaller file size than the original .EXE option.

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Questions about eDrawings Professional software:

What is eDrawings Professional software?

eDrawings Professional extends the functionality of eDrawings Viewer to include markup and measure, and the unique ability to publish eDrawings files as review-enabled. Publishing a review-enabled eDrawings file is like embedding a markup pen in your document. Recipients are able to markup and measure the eDrawings file using the free eDrawings Viewer; they do not need to purchase eDrawings Professional or other software to view the eDrawings files. eDrawings Professional includes advanced viewing capabilities such as dynamic component translation, and dynamic cross section views. eDrawings Professional also includes the Publisher add-in for SOLIDWORKS®, AutoCAD®, CATIA®, Pro/ENGINEER®, Unigraphics/NX, Inventor, Autodesk Inventor, Solid Edge®, RapidFire Lite (View/Publish IGES, STEP & STL files), Google SketchUp and CoCreate's OneSpace users.

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What is the pricing for the eDrawings products?

eDrawings Viewer is a free product. The advanced collaboration capabilities of eDrawings Professional are available at additional cost.

To purchase eDrawings Professional click here or contact the SOLIDWORKS office nearest you, or call 800-693-9000 toll-free for more information. Outside the U.S. and Canada, please call +1-781-810-5011.

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Does a recipient need to install eDrawings Viewer in order to markup a review-enabled eDrawings file?

If a review-enabled eDrawings file is sent in either executable (.exe), masked executable (.ex) or HTML (.htm) format, the recipient is not required to install eDrawings Viewer to mark up a review-enabled eDrawings file.

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How can I prevent an eDrawings file recipient from using the measure feature?

To protect your design data, you can permanently disable the measure capability. Measure Enabled/ Disabled is a property of the eDrawings file. This attribute of the file is set when the eDrawings file is created.

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Questions about eDrawings for AutoCAD:

As an AutoCAD user, why don't my eDrawings files include shaded views and animations?

The shaded views and animation features are available only within eDrawings files that are created from SOLIDWORKS files because these SOLIDWORKS files contain a solid model.

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Questions about eDrawings for Pro/ENGINEER:

What is eDrawings Professional for Pro/ENGINEER?

eDrawings Professional for Pro/ENGINEER is a plug-in for Pro/ENGINEER which allows the user to generate representation of 2D and 3D product designs of native Pro/ENGINEER files as a read only eDrawings file.

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What are the advantages of eDrawings Professional for Pro/ ENGINEER?

The most tangible advantage the eDrawings for Pro/ENGINEER publisher provides is that it can make the content read only. This can provide you a secure means of sharing the data without being plagiarized.

One of the primary uses published file provides is to enable working in collaborative work environments. The published files are ultra compact (Approximately 5% size of the original CAD file) in nature, thereby making communication via email, a realistic possibility.

You may selectively provide the end recipient of the published file with measurement capabilities and password protect your file for added security.

The end recipient can view the published eDrawings file with the free eDrawings Viewer and use the markup feature to effectively communicate the review objective.

In addition you can save an eDrawings file as an exe. Here, the Viewer component is coupled with the file. This would enable the end recipient to view the file without having to install eDrawings.

You can also embed the published file in html format and have it as a part of your online catalog. This would provide your customers a better picture of the capabilities without compromising on data security concerns.

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What are the pre-requisites for installing eDrawings Professional for Pro/ENGINEER?

You need to have a supported version of Pro/ENGINEER installed on your machine or on a Network location before you install eDrawings for Pro/ENGINEER. If Pro/ENGINEER is not installed, then only eDrawings Viewer will be installed when installing eDrawings for Pro/ENGINEER.

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Which licensing models are supported by eDrawings for Pro/ENGINEER?

eDrawings for Pro/ENGINEER is available both with Node lock license. Floating license.

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Where can I find *.prt or other Pro/ENGINEER file formats in the eDrawings Open File menu?

The eDrawings Viewer cannot open Pro/ENGINEER files directly. The software consists of a Pro/ENGINEER publisher and the eDrawings Viewer. The publisher is an add-on to Pro/ENGINEER. After installing the software, click on eDrawings->Publish menu-item in Pro/ENGINEER to publish the opened Pro/ENGINEER model to eDrawings. If you don't see the eDrawings menu in Pro/ENGINEER, please refer to the next FAQ.

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I have installed eDrawings for Pro/ENGINEER, but the eDrawings menu does not appear in the Pro/ENGINEER interface. What should I do?

To integrate eDrawings Professional for Pro/ENGINEER with Pro/ENGINEER, you must install Pro/ENGINEER before installing eDrawings software. If you install eDrawings Professional for Pro/ENGINEER before installing Pro/ENGINEER, eDrawings will not be integrated with Pro/ENGINEER. The other reason could be the recent "time-out" issue acknowledged by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC). Please refer to the next FAQ.

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What should I do to solve the time out issue in Pro/ENGINEER?

In order to overcome this bug, we request you to replace your copy of NMSD.exe with the latest one available at http://www.ptc.com/go/timeout/technical_resource.htm

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How can I upgrade to a later version of eDrawings Professional for Pro/ENGINEER?

Uninstall earlier versions of eDrawings Professional for Pro/ENGINEER and then install the newer version. Valid license keys from earlier version are transferable.

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Questions about eDrawings for CATIA:

Which licensing models are supported by eDrawings for CATIA V5 software?

eDrawings for CATIA V5 is available with Node lock license and Floating license.

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Where can I find the *.CATPart or other CATIA V5 file formats in the eDrawings Open file menu?

The eDrawings Viewer cannot open CATIA V5 files directly. The software consists of a CATIA V5 publisher and the eDrawings Viewer. The publisher is an add-on to CATIA V5. After installing the software, click Tools->eDrawings->Publish menu-item in CATIA V5 to publish the opened CATIA V5 model to eDrawings.

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I have installed eDrawings Professional for CATIA V5 but the eDrawings menu does not appear in the CATIA V interface. What should I do?

To integrate eDrawings Professional for CATIA V5 with CATIA V5 , you must install CATIA V5 before installing eDrawings software. If you install eDrawings Professional for CATIA V5 before installing CATIA V5 , eDrawings will not be integrated with CATIA V5 .

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How can I upgrade to a later version of eDrawings Professional for CATIA V5?

Please uninstall earlier version of eDrawings Professional for CATIA V5 and then install the new version. Valid license keys from earlier version are transferable.

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Why do I get error messages serving eDrawings over IIS6/Windows Server 2003?

You must add the correct MIME types for .eprt, .easm, .edrw, etc... files in your IIS settings before IIS6 will serve them over HTTP.

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Questions about eDrawings with AR (Augmented Reality):

What is eDrawings?

eDrawings software is a product design communication tool for sharing representations of both 2D drawings and 3D models. The electronic data format of eDrawings files is highly compressed to enable easily transmission via email. When viewed with the eDrawings Viewer, these files provide intelligent interpretation tools (3D Pointer, Virtual Folding, Animated Drawing Views) that help the recipient easily understand and navigate the data they receive. eDrawings files are created through the use of the eDrawings Publisher add-in, which works as a plug-in to many popular CAD products. Once created, an eDrawings file may be sent to anyone via email.

To eliminate the frustrations normally associated with 2D and 3D design data, the viewer may be embedded directly in an eDrawings file. These files can immediately be viewed by anyone with a Windows operating system. No additional CAD software or viewers are required.

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How does eDrawings with AR differ from the previous eDrawings product?

The latest version of eDrawings for iOS now includes Augmented Reality (AR). This allows users to view their SolidWorks (or 3D design from many other CAD products) CAD designs in the real world. They simply activate the device’s camera and moments later, on the device’s screen, they can see their virtual design sitting on their desk or conference room table. This is a dynamic experience where the user can use their mobile device as a portal to view their model in their current environment and move around the room to see it from any perspective.

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What is augmented reality (AR)?

AR is a technology which “augments” a live video feed by digitally adding information, graphics, or in our case, 3D models. The digital items are added to the video in such a way that they look like they truly exist in the real world.

A very popular example is the first-down marker shown on the field during NFL broadcasts. The line of scrimmage and first-down line look like they exist on the field, and update from play to play. But they don’t exist on the field. They are digitally added in real-time as the broadcast is happening.

In eDrawings, we add the 3D model at full scale and render it with the correct perspective. This is done to provide an accurate perception of what the final product’s size and shape will truly be when the product is finally produced.

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Who is the target user of this product?

This product is for anyone involved in any stage of product design. Once a 3D model of a design is started, anyone in the process can view the model in the real world using their iOS device and eDrawings. People who can use include:

  • Product designers
  • Engineers
  • Product Managers
  • Industrial designers
  • Design detailers
  • Manufacturing
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • And others

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What benefit does AR provide?

The primary benefit provided by AR is that it allows people to visually experience a 3D design in a real-world context. This can be done at any stage in the design process, even at the very beginning. A designer can spend minutes creating an initial design concept, and then moments later, have the design concept sitting on the table, placed next to real objects for visual comparison. This real world experience can be applied throughout the many steps of the design process.

Before this, product teams would need to wait for physical models to be made to get their first real world experience. This comes at both a financial and time cost, so physical models are typically produced intermittently when it is most prudent.

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Why is AR relevant to product design?

Design communication is a very important part of the product development process. There is a great deal of information, much of it very complex, which is constantly communicated throughout the process. Team members have varying levels of expertise, and can in turn, interpret information differently. Design communication challenges increase mistakes, along with development time and costs.

CAD has continually evolved to make designs easier to understand for everyone involved. 3D CAD makes a design more tangible, and easier to understand, than antiquated 2D blueprints. Now, AR continues this trend by being more tangible than just a 3D model viewed on a computer screen.

By seeing a design at full scale in the real world, we eliminate the opportunity to misinterpret a design’s size and scale. This is a common problem, even when working with 3D design tools.

The sooner everyone truly understands the design, the more confidently the design can progress with few mistakes, which means creating a better design faster.

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What are the scenarios where this product will be used?

eDrawings with AR will primarily be used when a product design is being reviewed or shared with others. Engineers will typically take their designs from SolidWorks and put them in AR when discussing with other people, such as other engineers, managers, customers, and so on.

This will be useful in one-on-one interactions, and in meetings, especially when attempting to convey scale and design intent to a user unfamiliar with the product design or its context.

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Are there benefits to this product outside of engineering/design environments?

Sales people can show off their products to prospects in a new and compelling way without having to travel with real physical products. And by using an iPad with eDrawings, the sales person can put their entire product line right on the customer’s conference table.

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Does this compete with or complement rapid prototyping?

AR is an excellent complement to rapid prototyping.

AR allows a design to be visually experienced in the real world at any time in the design process, as many times as needed.

Rapid prototyping is typically done more sparingly due to cost and time, but it goes beyond just a visual experience. The models can be held, and in some instances physically tested. By using both technologies, design teams will get the best of both worlds.

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What is its value beyond the initial “Wow” experience?

Yes, there is value to AR beyond the initial “wow”. There is no denying that AR is a new and exciting technology in the design space, but its value-add goes further.

Many people involved in product design, including the person that does the design in 3D CAD, are surprised by the size and form of new designs when they see the first physical manifestation. This is a problem for any product, but especially for consumer products. AR provides that first real-world experience much sooner in the design process, thereby eliminating these undesirable (and costly) surprises later in the process.

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How can people get this product?

eDrawings for iOS can be downloaded to your device from the Apple iTunes App Store.

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What kinds of 3D files does it support?

Any 3D model that can be opened in eDrawings for iOS can be viewed using AR. This includes:

  • SOLIDWORKS native files (.sldprt, .slddrw, .sldasm)
  • eDrawings native files (.edrw, .eprt, .easm)

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What makes this implementation of AR special compared to others?

eDrawings with AR has been specifically designed to make it effortless for 3D CAD users to get their 3D designs into augmented reality. Simply open the published file in eDrawings, and it is automatically rendered in the real-world at full scale for an accurate experience. There are no special settings that must be tweaked repeatedly to get a desired view. Just open and view.

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What are some of the unique features of this product?

Unique features of eDrawings with AR include:

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How do I get my CAD model into the AR scene?

eDrawings can directly read in eDrawings files published from the CAD systems listed earlier. It can also directly read in your SolidWorks files.

Nothing further must be done to read in and view the 3D design; simply select the AR button and you should be on your way.

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Will this run on the iPhone?

Yes

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Will this run on Android tablets and phones?

At the present time, it will not run on Android devices. This is something that we are considering for a future release of the product.

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How do I get a marker?

Print one out

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My model is too big/too small to see in AR

When a model is too big or too small, the scale functionality can be used to change the size of the model.

In the case of a model that is too large, if you want to keep 1:1 scale, the resolution of the camera may not be able to see the marker clearly enough. To get around this, try scaling up the size of the marker when you print it, and simply remember to scale the model down by the same amount to maintain 1:1 scale

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How do I get models on my device?

There are a variety of ways to get a marker onto your device. One of the easiest ways is by emailing the model to yourself. When you select the attachment in your email, you should be given the option to open the file in eDrawings. The model will then be put in “My Files” for easy access in the future.

You can also open files by using many cloud apps and selecting the file to be opened by eDrawings. iTunes also allows you to directly add files to your device when you have plugged it into your laptop.

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Can I move the model around the environment?

YES! Using a single finger and sliding side-to-side will rotate the model as if it is on a turntable. You can also tumble the part with one finger by using more of an upward or downward direction when swiping. Dragging with two fingers will move the part on the table or surface. Two finger double tap and then hold on the third touch will allow you to raise the model off the ground. You can always bring the part back to its original location by selecting the Home button.

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Can I Share pictures of my model in AR?

YES! Use the share button at the top of the page to share and save pictures without the toolbars in the way. Try using the freeze-frame function to freeze the screen and make small changes before selecting saving the image.

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  • Annotation (notes and symbols) of the AR image
  • Cross-section – use your iOS device to dynamically cut into the design to see inside
  • Freeze background – have a prolonged AR experience without having to hold up your device the entire time.