With SolidWorks Composer we are typically creating documentation of new products and procedures. However, what happens if we would like to reuse an existing document within the SolidWorks Composer content? This content can be viewed with the SolidWorks Composer Player which is a free viewer that provides an interactive 3D experience for the user. So we would like to create a 3D experience while still having access to our 2D documents. We can create interactive events within SolidWorks Composer that can pull up a file on our local system, a server or from an FTP site. We can also create an interactive event that could go to a specific web page. Another option would be to incorporate some of the legacy content as pictures or images panels in SolidWorks Composer.
To create an interactive event you must first choose what you want the user to click on or interact with. You can create events for both geometry actors (parts) as well as collaboration actors (annotations). In this example I am using a geometry actor. For this event I use the “pulse” property so the actor flashes in the player interface. If we apply this in the animation mode the “pulse” property will automatically pause the animation giving the user time to interact with the SolidWorks Composer content. Then, using the “link” property the user can browse to a PDF file that is the legacy content we wish to provide the user when they click on the actor. When the user views the Composer content in the free SolidWorks Composer View and they click the actor it will open the PDF in its own window.
The other option is to use a 2D or 3D image panel within our views and animations. With these image panels we can use legacy image files to incorporate into our 3D document. This strategy can also be used when we do not have a complete 3D model of our products.
For more information on how to use Interactive links more effectively in SolidWorks Composer take a look at our training schedule, which can be viewed at http://www.hawkridgesys.com/training/schedule. We offer great SolidWorks Composer training classes at locations all along the west coast.