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How To: Implement 3D Mixed Mode

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How To: Implement 3D Mixed Mode

Mixed Mode is an implementation method for DriveWorks 3D. Mixed Mode is the combination of a SOLIDWORKS & DriveWorks Autopilot 3D Preview and Static DriveWorks 3D files.

The idea of this method is that complex geometry is generated through SOLIDWORKS and simple standard components are saved as static 3D files. The two are then combined in a DriveWorks 3D Document and assembled together to create the final assembly.


In this example, the legs of the Conveyor only change in Height and Width. There are about 50 variations of legs that can be added to the Conveyor. Each permutation has been created and saved as a DriveWorks 3D File.

The Conveyor Bed is different. This changes in Length, Width, Quantity of Rollers and Side Rails. This model is a little more complex. This can be generated through SOLIDWORKS and DriveWorks Autopilot and combined in a DriveWorks 3D Document.


The DriveWorks User Form requires a 3D Preview Box Control, a Macro Button and any other Controls necessary to drive the SOLIDWORKS Model.

SOLIDWORKS and DriveWorks Autopilot are also required to be setup to run 3D Previews. The following topics explain how to do this:

3D Preview Settings

How To: Troubleshoot Autopilot 3D Preview

Below are the order of events that are carried out to make Mixed Mode possible in DriveWorks.

  1. Begin by clicking the Macro Button on the Form to trigger the Preview.
  2. This runs a Specification Macro that contains the Task called Run 3D Preview. This points at the 3D Preview Box on the Form.
  3. The Run 3D Preview Task triggers a 3D Preview in DriveWorks Autopilot.
  4. DriveWorks Autopilot processes the request, creates the model and saves out a Drive3D file.
  5. When a Preview is complete it triggers the event on the Preview Control called On Preview Complete Macro. This runs another Specification Macro.
  6. This Specification Macro takes the generated Drive3D file path and drives it into a Constant in the Project.
  7. This Constant is then used in a Replacement File Path Rule on a Replace File Entity in a DriveWorks 3D Document. The Constant is populated with the file path of the model to swap into the 3D Document.
  8. The DriveWorks 3D Document updates with the new model and it is shown in the Preview Box on the Form
  9. The 3D Preview Box should be set to display this 3D Document.
  10. Any other 3D files can be swapped into the 3D Document using normal Replace File Entities.

DriveWorks Tech Tips Portal

3D Preview - Dynamic

This Tech Tip demonstrates how to use a DriveWorks 3D Document with pre-created files.

View all Tech Tips

3D Preview - Mixed Mode

This Tech Tip combines a number of different 3D Preview methods. It uses static files within 3D Documents along with Previewed Models generated from SOLIDWORKS.

View all Tech Tips

3D Preview

Set up a 3D Preview control on your form, allowing you to display 3D Models on your form.

View all Tech Tips

DriveWorks Tech Tips Portal is available to DriveWorks Pro customers with an active subscription and support contract.

Tech Tips provide cut down projects that highlight specific functionality for faster and more effective learning.

To access the portal:

  1. Go to https://my.driveworks.co.uk/learn/tech-tips/
  2. Login with your DriveWorks Pro account credentials, if asked
  3. Click the Visit Tech Tips Portal button for access

The portal provides a search facility, start typing the name of the Tech Tip (as indicated above) to display the Tip you require.