Convert Design Spark Mechanical files to SAT files. Plus import STEP files into DSM.

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lee webster

Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2019
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Cornwall UK
I have found a way to convert RSDOC files into SAT files that can be imported into Solid Edge and other programmes that support SAT. I would suggest that if you’re going to try this do it with files that are copies. It isn't as difficult as it looks.

1) Create a new folder from C:\ I called mine copyrsdoc.

2) Copy the RSDOC file you want to convert to this folder.

3) Copy the files SabSatConverter. Exe and SpaACIS.exe files from the folder “Program Files\DesignSpark\DesignSpark Mechanical 5.0” to copyrsdoc.

4) Rename the extension of the RSDOC file from rsdoc to zip, right click on the file and click on “Extract All”. You will be asked to nominate or create a folder to put them in. Several new folders will be created including one called, “SpaceClaim Geometry”, where you will find the SAB files for conversion.

5) Copy these files to the folder copyrsdoc. The computer may ask you if you have permission, say yes.

6) Right click on SabSatConverter.exe, click “Properties”, click “Compatibility” on the tabs at the top and click on “run this program as administrator”. I don’t know if that bit is necessary, but it worked for me.

7) Start the “Command Prompt”. On Win10 it is found in the “Start” menu, “Windows System”. On Win11 “Control Panel, All Control Panel Items, Windows Tools”.

8) From the Command Prompt type “C:\copyrsdoc\sabsatconverter.exe -i C:\copyrsdoc\a1.sab -o C:\copyrsdoc\a1.sat”

To clarify the above. I renamed the SAB file as a1.sab for ease of typing. Replace “rsdoc” with whatever you have named the folder in 1). There is a space after sabsatconverter.exe, then a minus sign, then a lower case i (eye). Then a space before the next C:\. There is a space after a1.sab, then minus, then lower case o (oh). Each SAB file will have to be converted this way.

This worked for me when I imported the SAT file into Solid Edge. I could then save the file or re-export it in a different format.

I am no expert here! I have only used this with an RSDOC file that had two bodies in it. I don’t think I would convert simple rsdoc files, I would save this conversion for difficult stuff.

I also found a way of importing a STEP file into DS5 and editing it, normally when you import a STEP it is locked.

1) Import the STEP file.

2) Start a new sketch and draw a circle that isn’t touching the STEP body.

3) Extrude the circle, again, it mustn’t touch the STEP body.

4) In the tree, select the STEP body and the new body you just created. Important to select both.

5) Right click on the padlock icon by the STEP body and click on LOCK. The tick mark should disappear and the STEP body should now be unlocked. Then new body you drew can be deleted.

Have you tried doing this on a machine that doesn't have DS loaded on it? Just in case those executables are looking for a DS license, that would simulate what would happen after they turn the licenses off on 5/31/23.

I will try this on a very old Win XP computer. It's never had DS installed. I will post the results later.
I have just tried saving and exporting a SAT file imported into SolidEdge and it isnt working as I thought. When the files is imported I can change any of its features, but can't save it as a SE file, my mistake, and also when I export it, which seems fine, it only exports an empty file. So all in all, not a success! The imported file, even after editing, can't be saved to the clipboard either. I have tried ordered and synchronus. No luck. I am wondering if it's because the file I imported was one of two bodies in the DS doc that was converted. It might have relied on the other body in the doc for positioning or size. I will try converting an rsdoc that contains a single body to see if that works. SE can't import a sab file, I hoped it would. It would have saved a lot of work.
There are also sab to sat converters online, I haven't used any of them, but maybe they do a better job?
Panic over! I hope!
I was trying to save the SolidEdge file in my root folder C:\
SolidEdge didn't want to do that, but didn't tell me, so it's not my fault. Well, maybe it is a bit. Anyway, I have now saved the body that started out as one of two, as a SE file and a STEP file. The STEP was successfully imported into FreeCAD. If you have the time to try this I would appreciate some feedback.
I copied the converter files to my Win XP computer but it wouldn't run because it is 32 bit not 64. I then copied the files to my Win 10 computer that used to have DS5 installed which was deleted a long time ago. The converter ran fine and the converted file was imported into SolidEdge running on a different computer and was editable and could be saved. I don't know if this a valid test or not.