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DriveWorks Pro 22
DriveWorks Autopilot

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DriveWorks Autopilot

Automatically generate custom product data and associated documentation for engineering, manufacturing and sales. Automatically send emails and bulk process orders.

Getting started

Installation and licensing

Learn how to install and license DirveWorks Autopilot.


Quick start guide

Start DriveWorks Autopilot to begin automatically processing tasks.

Using DriveWorks Autopilot

Optimize Model Generation

Techniques and settings to improve model generation performance.

Learn more

Using DriveWorks Autopilot

Starting DriveWorks Autopilot

To allow DriveWorks Autopilot to begin listening for work to process it must have a Group open and be set to Start.

The following are the various ways Autopilot can be started:

  • Manually

    Once DriveWorks Autopilot is launched and a Group is open, the Start button is available from the command bar of the Autopilot task.

  • System Tray

    Once DriveWorks Autopilot is launched it will appear in the Windows System Tray.

    Right click the icon in the System Tray to Start or Stop Autopilot.

  • Remotely

    DriveWorks Autopilot can be remote controlled from DriveWorks Administrator.

    See DriveWorks Administrator - Autopilot Settings for more information.

  • Automatically

    It is possible to automatically launch DriveWorks Autopilot from a command line.

    This is useful if the machine inadvertently reboots.

    See How To: Automatically Start Autopilot for more information.

DriveWorks Autopilot Interface

The DriveWorks Autopilot interface consists of the following main areas:

  • Task Bar - Access Groups and DriveWorks Autopilot Settings.
  • Command Bar - The DriveWorks User Command Bar dynamically changes to present the appropriate commands for the task selected from the Task explorer. The Refresh command is displayed for each task. This will refresh the main window to display latest news items (when in DriveWorks Today) or latest specifications made (when in the Specification Explorer).
  • Task Explorer - Navigate to the required Task.
  • Work Area - The Work Area adapts to the current selected task. This is where you define all the elements that make up a Project.
  • Notification Area - This relays information about the environment (the installed DriveWorks version, the open Group and the logged on user. Statistics about the selected Task are also displayed.

DriveWorks Autopilot Task Explorer

A Group must be open to view all options in the Task Explorer

DriveWorks Today

When connected to the internet, DriveWorks Today will display dynamic community content containing useful links to information, news and events relating to DriveWorks.

Recent List

Quickly access recently opened Groups and Projects.

Individual Groups display the location of the .drivegroup file and a single Group icon.

Shared Groups display the server name of the Group and a double Group icon.

Clicking any listed Group will open that Group.

Clicking any listed Project will open the Group and the selected Project.

All recently used Groups and Projects lists can be cleared from the DriveWorks Today screen.

  1. Select DriveWorks Today from the DriveWorks Task Explorer.
  2. Right Click on any item in the recent list.

  3. Select Clear all.
    Note all Recent Lists will be cleared. This includes:
    • From the DriveWorks Today Window.
    • From the Create/Open Group Wizard.


Start DriveWorks Autopilot to begin processing Specifications, generating models or any other function it is required to perform.

The work area displays a log of all attempted tasks along with a detailed description of each, and an indication of its success.

Model Explorer

The Model Explorer task is used to display all models that have been released and are queued to be generated (if the DriveWorks Autopilot is enabled to generate models).


Connectors are used to automatically process specifications and run DriveWorks Projects or DriveApps.

  • Web Service - to create specifications from local or remote web service clients.
  • Database - to observe a table in a database to create or modify specifications.
  • Folder - to periodically scan a specific folder for files that will create or modify specifications.
  • Schedule - to run a Project or DriveApp at a set time.

Stage 1: Specification


The Emails task shows all the emails that have been created for each specification and the status of each.

Triggered Actions

The Triggered Actions task displays the status of any actions triggered in the specifications being processed.

Specification Explorer

The Specification Explorer is where new specifications are created, and existing ones viewed and modified.

Calculation Tables

Calculation Tables allow real time calculations, in tabular form, to be carried out during a specification.

Stage 2: DriveApps

Run any DriveApp from the DriveApp task.

Optimizing Model Generation

Improving Model Generation Performance

DriveWorks Autopilot gives you the freedom to work on other tasks while it generates all SOLIDWORKS data.

The time it takes to generate parts, assemblies and drawings is dependent on SOLIDWORKS.

However, there are some settings that can be applied that will help to make model generation as performant as possible.

Model generation performance

SOLIDWORKS Health Options

When continually generating lots of models, memory can get overworked and occasionally SOLIDWORKS may become unresponsive.

DriveWorks Autopilot will nurse these situations by restarting SOLIDWORKS at set intervals.

SOLIDWORKS health options

Model Generation Order

DriveWorks Autopilot will give generation priority in the following order:

  1. 3D Preview - Any required generation coming from a 3D Preview control will be given top priority.
  2. Tags - Any components that have been tagged will be generated next.
  3. Date Released - The date a component set was released (oldest first) will be generated next.

Poor Network Connection

When Autopilot is connected to a Shared Group (through DriveWorks Pro Server) and a network connection issue occurs, the following message will be displayed:

This message will be displayed if Autopilot cannot reconnect after 10 seconds.

Any Autopilot functionality that requires connection to Pro Server will be unavailable until connection is restored.

Click Retry to attempt to re-establish connection.

If connection cannot be re-established clicking Quit will close the application.

If connection is re-established during display of the message, Autopilot will continue as usual.

This is designed to indicate network disconnects are occurring.

DriveWorks Autopilot Checklist

Check you have the following in place to use DriveWorks Autopilot:

  1. SOLIDWORKS is installed (if the DriveWorks Autopilot is required to generate models).
  2. The installed version, of DriveWorks Autopilot, matches all other installed DriveWorks Pro modules and is licensed.
  3. DriveWorks Pro Server is installed on the network, is hosting the required Shared Group, and the service is running.
  4. Any required PowerPacks are installed (version matched).
  5. The required function of the DriveWorks Autopilot has been enabled:
  6. If SOLIDWORKS PDM integration is required, the vault settings have been applied.