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Using DriveWorks User With SOLIDWORKS

DriveWorks User interacts with SOLIDWORKS in the following ways:

  • Specifications can be run (using the forms designed in DriveWorks) from the DriveWorks Task Pane inside SOLIDWORKS.
  • The SOLIDWORKS outputs resulting from a completed specification can be generated.

Enabling the DriveWorks Add-ins in SOLIDWORKS

The DriveWorks Add-in in SOLIDWORKS should be activated during the installation of DriveWorks. If the Add-in is not loaded it can be turned on by:

  1. Open SOLIDWORKS and from the Menu bar click Tools> Add-ins.
  2. From the Add-ins dialog scroll down to the section Partner Gold Add-ins.
  3. Select the required DriveWorks Add-ins from the list.
    Note, there are two options available for each add-in:
    • Active Add-in - Makes the Add-in active in the current session of SOLIDWORKS.
    • Start Up - Will load the Add-in on each start up of SOLIDWORKS.
    The DriveWorks Add-ins that are available once DriveWorks is installed are:
    • DriveWorks <version number> - Activates the DriveWorks tab in the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane.
    • DriveWorks 3D Export - allows SOLIDWORKS models to be saved in the DriveWorks 3D Format.

Once the DriveWorks add-in is loaded in SOLIDWORKS all commands for specifying and generating are accessible from the DriveWorks tab of the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane.

If the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane is not active:

  1. Open SOLIDWORKS and right click in the Menu bar.
  2. From the right click Command Manager menu select Task Pane.
  3. The Task Pane will appear on the right hand side of the graphics window.
  4. The DriveWorks logo is displayed on the DriveWorks tab (see the image above). Select this to bring the tab to the front and begin using DriveWorks.


If DriveWorks has not been licensed you will see the following message in the task pane:

At least one DriveWorks Pro module (Administrator, User, Autopilot or Live) is required to be licensed on the machine you are using SOLIDWORKS on.

To license DriveWorks, please see the article Licensing

Network Licenses are automatically obtained and returned on opening and closing a group.

New Specification

A new Specification can be run in the DriveWorks Pro tab of the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane. This offers a unique way of specifying a project inside SOLIDWORKS directly. While running a specification in SOLIDWORKS the resulting model can be previewed at any stage during the specification process. This is different from actual model generation in the following ways:

  • New models are issued a temporary file name, until the specification is finalized
  • Changes to the specification will update the temporary models each time the preview button is clicked

To run a new specification a group that contains a project that can be run must be open in the DriveWorks Add-in. A helper link is available at the top of the DriveWorks Pro tab of the SOLIDWORKS task pane if a group is not open. See the  SOLIDWORKS section for information on opening groups.

To Create a New Specification

  1. Click the "New Specification" button on the toolbar.  (The button on the right)
  2. Click the project from which you wish to create a new specification from.
  3. Click the "OK" button or hit Enter.
There may be a number of reasons why a project is not shown in the new specification dialog, for example, you are not a member of a team with permission to run the project, or the project may be hidden from non-administrators (the default for new projects) on the project settings screen.

Specification Navigation

Once a new specification is entered, navigation will appear at the bottom of the form. This will allow movement back and forth to different forms through the use of the "Next" and "Previous" buttons.

The following navigation is based on the Default Specification Flow:

The Cancel button

The Cancel button will end the current specification without saving.

The Finish button

The Finish button will save and finish the current specification and give the option of releasing or editing at a later data.

The Release button

The Release button will release the specification to either Model Generation Server or to be generated in SOLIDWORKS. This depends on the general setting.

The Save button

The Save button will save the current specification ready to be edited at a later date.

Remaining Tasks

The specification tab contains a section named Tasks. This is where the Form Messages appear.  Not until all Tasks are completed will you be able to move on to the next form, finish or release the specification.

The command bar contains the button " Test Mode" which is used for project analysis.

Reports and Documents

Once you have finished, released or saved a specification it will appear in the specification explorer (DriveWorks Administrator and DriveWorks User). To view any created reports or documents click the required specification and they will appear in the pane next to the specification. at which stage documents are created is controlled in General Settings.

If you can not see all of the documents you expect, they may be set up to be hidden. You can show hidden documents in the specification explorer by checking the "Show hidden files when viewing specifications" setting in the general settings screen.

Preview Model

While running a specification in SOLIDWORKS the resulting model can be previewed at any stage during the specification process, this feature is also known as On Demand.

This is done by clicking the preview button on the DriveWorks toolbar  (The button on the left)

The preview function is available when form warnings are present or data is missing from the user forms. If a rule cannot be evaluated to a satisfactory result it will not be driven.

The Preview function loads files with a temporary name. This is to reduce load time when the specification is modified and the models previewed once more. In doing this any features or components whose rules result in "Delete" will be substituted with "Suppress".


Drawings can be previewed when a specification is being run by clicking the Generate Drawings button


Documents can be previewed when a specification is being run by clicking the Generate Documents button

Each time you run your project to automate a new set of models, you are creating a specification. The specification keeps a history of the outputs that are created throughout the lifetime of the specification.

The area in SolidWorks where the DriveWorks capture assistant is loaded, and which can be hidden or shown by right clicking on SolidWorks' command bar or menu bar.

A default transition to pass a specification into a pending state.

A default transition to pass a specification into a queue to have models generated.

Function of DriveWorks that allows a temporary model to be built while specifying in the SolidWorks task pane.