Mechanical Desktop Files

The MDT translator imports part and assembly information from Mechanical Desktop® (MDT) files as SOLIDWORKS part or assembly documents.

You must have MDT installed on your desktop, but it does not have to be running, to use the MDT translator. The MDT translator is integrated into the DXF/DWG Import Wizard.

If you import large assemblies from MDT, SOLIDWORKS recommends you do the following:

  • Start Mechanical Desktop and open the MDT file inside the MDT application before you import the file into the SOLIDWORKS application.
  • Set the MDT temporary files path to a drive where you have sufficient space (1GB minimum).
  • Increase the paging file size to appropriate limits. This is relevant mainly for low configuration systems.

MDT files can contain a combination of part, assembly, and drawing files. The MDT translator provides different conversion options, depending upon the contents of the MDT file. The MDT translator supports import of MDT assembly relations.

The MDT translator supports the following items during import:

  • Large MDT assembly files, in excess of 130MB in size, depending on the complexity of the data.
  • All types of mates, including point-to-point and line-to-line mates.
  • MDT combined features, which are sometimes referred to as toolbodies.
  • MDT tapped hole features (cosmetic thread annotation).
  • MDT design tables (Design Variable Tables - Global Variable Sheets).
  • MDT Work Features (Work Planes, Work Axes, and Work Points).
  • MDT pattern features, which creates multiple disjoint bodies.
If you have been using AutoCAD on your computer, open Mechanical Desktop before opening an MDT file in SOLIDWORKS so SOLIDWORKS recognizes the file as an MDT file and not an AutoCAD file.

Importing MDT Files

To open an MDT file:

  1. Click File > Open.
  2. Optional: 3DEXPERIENCE Users: If the Open from 3DEXPERIENCE dialog box appears, click This PC.
  3. In the dialog box, set Files of type to DXF (*.dxf) or DWG (*.dwg) files, browse to a file, then click Open.
  4. In the DXF/DWG Import Wizard, select Import MDT data from file (imports as parts, assemblies and/or drawings), then click Next.
    If you do not have Mechanical Desktop installed, the option to import MDT data is not available.
  5. On the Document Settings screen, select options for the Model and layout tabs, then click Finish.