SolidWorks continues its campaign to lure AutoCADฎ users. The company announced a new product that it says enables engineers to work with multiple versions of DWG files regardless of the AutoCAD version that produced it without suffering error messages or being forced to upgrade to a new software version. Autodesk has said that use of other DWG files besides its own standard can lead to translation problems and the potential need for software upgrades.
The new DWGgateway, a free software component available at www.dwggateway.com or www.solidworks.com, installs itself into AutoCAD. SolidWorks says the DWGgateway enables AutoCAD versions going back to AutoCAD R14 for the first time to read, edit, and save AutoCAD (.dwg and .dxf) 2D files created by more recent versions of the software, including AutoCAD 2005.
For example, design engineers who prefer AutoCAD 2000i can give their software the ability to read DWG and DXF files produced by AutoCAD 2004 or 2005 simply by downloading and installing the DWGgateway. The DWGgateway also allows AutoCAD 2005 through AutoCAD 14 versions to produce DWG and DXF data in older formats, going all the way back to AutoCAD Release 2.5.
"The DWGgateway is the latest in a series of tools we've given to the design engineering community to enable the efficient exchange of engineering information," says Chris Garcia, SolidWorks Corporation's vice president of research and development.