Solidworks PCB EOL- possible import

We have a situation like that right now, we have our newer PCBs on Solidworks PCB. It is now end of life (no support after Aug 2023), there is no option to export from it and it’s file format is sufficiently different from Altium (which it is built on) such that KiCAD can’t import it.

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I wonder if there is any hope of Solidworks documenting the structure enough to allow someone to write a KiCad importer. Are they pushing a migration to another commercial system or just walking away?

Well, Solidworks PCB is discontinued but they decided to instead push Altium itself into the horribly bad UX Solidworks platform known as 3DExperience. Basically they are trying to force the use of the cloud based Altium 365.

I would imagine if Altium isn’t ridiculous they’ll add an importer for SolidWorks PCB eventually, especially since they still have commerical ties with Solidworks, they just seem to have changed their mind to keep their branding and push their cloud subscription.

My mechanical engineers use Solidworks with KiCad STEP. For us, Cloud would be unacceptable as designing military products on a cloud server hosted in another country would be illegal

Yea Altium apparently has an extra big business “Enterprise” option to “self-host” (have your IT department deal with) the server side for 365. You know, a premium enterprise feature even though even a small company with 2 EEs in the US can be a defense contractor and legally mandated to comply with defense cybersecurity regulation. Sigh.


My Solidworks reseller is telling me the way I get my files out of Solidworks PCB is to use Altium, they aren’t offering me a free copy to do this . . . so essentially they are walking away.

Altium will happily import Solidwoks PCB files, the schematic is already an Altium file (I believe) the PCB is the issue, but not for Altium.

too bad
You may consider to ask for an evaluation license to solve your issue, then convert from altium to kicad and leave the $ closed source world


A quick search in GitLab shows a few developers involved with Altium import. We may be able to get some interest in importing the Solidworks flavour if samples of files can be made available

I think this should be split from the cloud discussion

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I might be able to make some simple files available if needed.

Starting with rather trivial examples is best to see what the file structure looks like.

Altium claim that the data structure is the same

Yeah, if it’s close to the Altium format it may not be a big deal. Just one example to get started would be great.

Support for importing Solidworks PCB board files has been added to KiCad nightly.


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