Previewing Solidworks files from Linux
This page gives some brief instructions on how to get basic preview support for Solidworks files in Linux. The instructions should work on any Freedesktop-based linux, eg Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. This approach only lets you see a low/medium resolution image of the object from a single point of view; you can't manipulate the object, but at least you can see more or less what the file contains.
Before you start, you will need to install some packages:
sudo apt-get install libgsf-bin imagemagick
Firstly, add a mime type, by creating a file $HOME/.local/share/mime/packages/x-solidworks.xml:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <mime-info xmlns="http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/shared-mime-info"> <mime-type type="application/x-solidworks"> <glob pattern="*.sldprt"/> <glob pattern="*.sldasm"/> <glob pattern="*.slddrw"/> </mime-type> </mime-info>
Next, run update-mime-database $HOME/.local/share/mime
Check that your mime type is working with some solidworks file you have:
and you should see application/x-solidworks in the output.
Next, add a thumbnailer for this type. First create the following script file and save it in /usr/local/bin/solidworks-thumbnailer:
#!/usr/bin/env python import sys import subprocess from PIL import Image import tempfile #log = open("/tmp/solidworks-thumbnailer",'a') #log.write(" ".join(sys.argv) + "\n") #log.close() inputname, outputname, size = sys.argv[1:] f = tempfile.TemporaryFile() P = subprocess.Popen(['/usr/bin/gsf','cat',inputname,'PreviewPNG'],stdout=f) out,err = P.communicate() f.seek(0) s = int(size) #print "resizing to %d"%s im = Image.open(f) im.thumbnail((s,s), Image.ANTIALIAS) im.save(outputname, "PNG")
Set the file executable:
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/solidworks-thumbnailer
Now associate this thumbnailer with the mime type, by creating a file $HOME/.local/share/thumbnailers/solidworks.thumbnailer:
[Thumbnailer Entry] TryExec=/usr/local/bin/solidworks-thumbnailer Exec=/usr/local/bin/solidworks-thumbnailer %i %o %s MimeType=application/x-solidworks;
You need to restart Nautilus using nautilus -q. After that, you should be seeing little thumbnails for all your solidworks files, similar to below:
This tiny thumbnail is lower than the resolution embedded in the solidworks file. We can also set up a viewer so that the full resolution preview image is displayed.
Firstly, create /usr/local/bin/solidworks-viewer with the following content. Set the file to executable using chmod +x /usr/local/bin/solidworks-viewer.
#!/usr/bin/env python import subprocess import sys inputname = sys.argv P1 = subprocess.Popen(['/usr/bin/gsf','cat',inputname,'PreviewPNG'],stdout=subprocess.PIPE) P2 = subprocess.Popen(["/usr/bin/display"],stdin=P1.stdout) P2.wait()
Secondly, create a file $HOME/.local/share/applications/solidworks.desktop containing the following (and also set this file as executable):
[Desktop Entry] Encoding=UTF-8 Version=1.0 Type=Application Exec=/usr/local/bin/solidworks-viewer %f MimeType=application/x-solidworks; Name=Solidworks Preview Name[en]=Solidworks Preview GenericName=Solidworks Preview Comment=Solidworks Preview Icon=solidworks Categories=Education StartupNotify=false
Next, update you desktop database using update-desktop-database ~/.local/share/applications/. You will need to restart nautilus again (nautilus -q), then a double-click on your Solidworks file should pop up an image viewing window:
For some notes on possibly getting more information from these files, see here. Perhaps it might be possible to convert the solidworks file into some format that allows more detail to be visible. But that would be a much bigger job.