Here's the basic steps to run the program from CATIA:
1. Tools + Utility
2. double-click the Downward Compatibility program
3. choose the Release level to convert to
4. click the folder icon in the Document Selection section
a. click the Member option to choose the CATPart file to be converted
b. choose your Rename option
c. click the Change Target Directory option to specify where to save the converted CATPart file
d. click OK
5. click Run to run the program
Yes, it does keep the solid bodies in CATPart files, but the result is a "dumb" solid with the history (tree) removed.CATIA is "upward compatable" which means data from lower level releases can be open and modified with higher level releases. So your customer can open and modify your R16 files with his R17 system.
But not the other way around. You will not be able to open and modify R17 or higher files with your R16 system.
However, as you probably know, your customer can use the DOWNWARD COMPATIBILITY utility program to convert their CATPart files from R17 to R16. (it's a fairly simple process.) Then you will be able to open these files. You can use these files in a limited capacity; you add new features, you can make drawings and assemblies with these files, you can even do NC programming. But you will be unable to modify the solid file, since it's history will be deleted when the DOWNWARD COMPATIBILITY is run.
If you plan to do alot of business with the customer, I strongly recommend you upgrade your system and always run the same release as your customer.
I've never seen that error message before, so I'm not sure what's going on. The "external reference" makes me want to Isolate Solid.1 in order to break that link. Is there a special icon in front of Solid.1 in the tree? Anything in the Edit + Links window?OK, The files, after conversion, will open in R21, It as a dumb part, i.e. listed as a Solid.1 in the tree, is colored red and errors with this message:
"Impossible to synchronize : DefaultValuesBag is inconsistent with external reference Solid.1"
It also warns me that it was created with an "Educational Licence".
Where do I go next?
Deactivate will turn a feature "off" so that it is ignored when the part is updated, but it can be Activated later to turn it back "on"Update 2
I pick "Deactivate" and it goes to a normal part but i'm not sure what "deactivate" does/