Troubleshooting Issues with Opening and Updating SOLIDWORKS Files in Composer

This article will go over several common troubleshooting steps that can help fix issues with opening or updating SOLIDWORKS files in Composer.



Ensuring a Proper Setup

In order to successfully import SOLIDWORKS files into Composer, you will first need to verify that the proper software configuration is being utilized. In general, this means that the same year version of SOLIDWORKS or the SOLIDWORKS Translator will need to be installed alongside Composer. If you cannot install the full version of SOLIDWORKS, please see our Composer installation documentation for instructions on how to install the SOLIDWORKS Translator in parallel to Composer.

Once you have verified that SOLIDWORKS or the SOLIDWORKS Translator have been installed alongside Composer, you will also want to ensure that Composer is set to use the correct version of SOLIDWORKS for importing. As shown below, this can be set in Composer via File > Preferences > Input > SOLIDWORKS Version



When using the SOLIDWORKS version drop down menu, it is typically suggested to use the Auto Detect option. However, this menu can also be used to specify the year version that you would like to use when importing SOLIDWORKS files. As mentioned above, you will want to ensure that the same year version of SOLIDWORKS or the SOLIDWORKS Translator is in use.


Incorrect or Missing Geometry

Some of the more common issues with importing files in Composer have to do with missing or invalid geometry. Typically, problems with geometry after an import can be attributed to incorrect settings on the Composer side of things. Please see our Recommended Composer Default Document Properties guide for the settings that are suggested when using Composer.

It is also important to note that Composer cannot import SOLIDWORKS geometry that is not fully resolved. If SOLIDWORKS is installed alongside Composer, the easiest method for ensuring that imported files will be fully resolved is to launch SOLIDWORKS > Tools > Options > System Options tab > Assemblies > Opening large assemblies area > Unchecking the option for Use Large Assembly Mode



Files can also be opened in a resolved state from within SOLIDWORKS by changing the Mode drop down menu to Resolved from within the File > Open window. This can be useful if the goal is to save a file in .SMG format from within SOLIDWORKS. 



Lastly, as is the case with geometry that is not fully resolved, Composer cannot import SOLIDWORKS geometry that has been suppressed. Anything that is suppressed will need to be unsuppressed from within SOLIDWORKS. This can be accomplished by right clicking on suppressed geometry and selecting Unsuppress



Errors When Importing SOLIDWORKS Files Into Composer

This section will go over a three specific errors that can occur when attempting to bring files into Composer. Please follow the following steps associated with each listed error to troubleshoot them.


1. OpenDoc failed Converter error



This general error can appear when either Composer or the SOLIDWORKS translation component becomes corrupt or is missing. If a proper setup has been verified, a complete repair of Composer and SOLIDWORKS is recommended.

To perform a complete repair, it is first suggested to reset the existing Composer registry key. To reset the key, you will first need to launch the Windows Registry Editor. This can be launched by navigating to your Windows Start Menu > Typing regedit into the Windows search field > Right click on the regedit application > Run as administrator.



Once the Registry Editor has launched, navigate to the proper key for your year version of SOLIDWORKS. The correct registry keys are as follows: 

-Composer 2014 and prior: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Dassault Systemes\3DVIAComposer

-Composer 2015 and newer: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Dassault Systemes\Composer



Based on the version of Composer that is experiencing the issue, right click on either the 3DVIAComposer or Composer registry key and select Rename. Append -OLD to the key so that it appears as either 3DVIAComposer-OLD or Composer-OLD



After renaming the appropriate key, repair Composer along with SOLIDWORKS or the SOLIDWORKS Translator. Steps for repairing specific products are listed in our Repair Documentation

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Windows Security Update KB3072630 can impact any SOLIDWORKS product older than 2015 SP5. If you are performing the repair steps listed above for a product older than 2015 SP5, please download and extract the Registry file linked at the end of this article. Once the file has been downloaded and extracted, run the RunBeforeRepair_disable_KB3072630.reg key and confirm you would like to load it into your registry. After loading this key, run your repair to completion and execute the RunAfterRepair_enable_KB3072630.reg key once the repair is finished.


2. Failed to load plug-in Converter error



This problem can occur when a specific Composer system file is not registered correctly. To resolve this issue, the Command Prompt will be used to register said system file.

The first step will be to locate the file in question. This file will have a different name, based on what version of Composer is installed. For Composer 2014 and prior, this file is named 3dviasolidworksplug-in.dll. In Composer 2015 and newer, the file is titled composersolidworksplug-in.dll

The default path and name for this file is listed below, based on these two version categories.

-Composer 2014 and prior: C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SolidWorks Composer\Plugins\solidworks\3dviasolidworksplug-in.dll

-Composer 2015 and newer: C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Composer\Plugins\solidworks\composersolidworksplug-in.dll

After the file in question has been located, launch the Command Prompt by typing cmd into the Windows Start Menu search field > Right click on the Command Prompt application > Select Run as administrator.

Once the Command Prompt has been launched type regsvr32 followed by the full path to the file mentioned above, in quotations. Based on the default locations, the syntax that should appear in the command prompt will be: 

-Composer 2014 and prior: regsvr32 "C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SolidWorks Composer\Plugins\solidworks\3dviasolidworksplug-in.dll"



-Composer 2015 and newer: regsvr32 "C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Composer\Plugins\solidworks\composersolidworksplug-in.dll"



Once the correct syntax has been typed into the Command Prompt, press Enter. You should receive a message that the registration has succeeded. After walking through these steps, attempt to import into Composer again.


3. OEM not found Converter error



This specific problem can occur when Composer is looking for an incorrect version of SOLIDWORKS or the SOLIDWORKS Translator. As is the case with most Composer import errors, you will first want to ensure that the same year version of either SOLIDWORKS or the SOLIDWORKS Translator is installed alongside Composer. If this has been confirmed, you will next want to verify that Composer is pointing to the correct year version via PreferencesInput > SOLIDWORKS version. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, setting this menu to Auto Detect is typically recommended.

If the setup appears correct and the issue is still present, you will next want to check that your Composer registry is pointing to the correct SOLIDWORKS translation component. To do this, launch the Registry Editor by navigating to your Windows Start Menu > Typing regedit into the Windows search field > Right click on the regedit application > Run as administrator.



After launching the Registry Editor, navigate to one of the following keys, based on your year version of the software.

-2014 and prior: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Dassault Systemes\3DVIAComposer\Preferences

-2015 and newer: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Dassault Systemes\Composer\Preferences



After selecting the Preferences key that is associated with your year version of the software, look for a string value named IOSolidWorksOEMVersion



In this case, there are two potential scenarios for troubleshooting. If you have SOLIDWORKS installed alongside Composer, delete the IOSolidWorksOEMVersion string value if it is present.

If you have the SOLIDWORKS Translator installed alongside Composer, make sure that the value listed in the Data column matches your year version of Composer. If it does not, right click on the IOSolidWorksOEMVersion string value > Modify > Change the number in the Value data field to match your year version of Composer > OK



After performing the steps listed above, test the Composer import again.


Composer and SOLIDWORKS Translator Clean Uninstall

There are cases where a complete uninstall of Composer and the SOLIDWORKS Translator may be necessary. To accomplish this, first remove these components from your system by navigating to your Control PanelPrograms and Features list. Once this list has been brought up, right click on the listing for SOLIDWORKS that matches your year version of Composer > UninstallDeselect all products except for Composer and the SOLIDWORKS Translator > Proceed with the remaining uninstall steps.

Once Composer and the SOLIDWORKS Translator has been removed, launch the Windows Registry Editor and delete the registry keys associated with your year version of the software. These keys are as follows:

-2014 and prior: 

-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Dassault Systemes\3DVIAComposer
-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Dassault Systemes\3DVIAComposer\Preferences\IOSolidWorksOEMVersion
-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\3DVIASWImporter (64-bit only)

-2015 and newer: 

-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Dassault Systemes\Composer
-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Dassault Systemes\Composer\Preferences\IOSolidWorksOEMVersion

After uninstalling the relevant components and removing all associated registry keys, reinstall Composer and the SOLIDWORKS Translator by using your SOLIDWORKS media.


If you have any questions or issues with anything discussed in this article, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems Technical Support at:


Was this article helpful?
1 out of 1 found this helpful


1 comment
  • Personally, I had the exact same issue described at :2. Failed to load plug-in Converter error

    Following the procedure had solves my problem. I do not need to do a save as and then create a new .smg file which was annoying. 

    Thank you Hawk Ridge Team for writing this helpful article. 


Please sign in to leave a comment.