Solidworks --> 3DS Max

Does anyone know of any plug ins or exporters to go from Solidworks → 3DS Max.

Just change the file type when you save the model, I think iges files are compatible, failing that you could try posting on


max handles standard iges files horribly.
the powertrans plugin from nPower software works well.
it creates a ‘new’ object type in max called a brep, which is only readable by the plugin, so if another machine doesnt have the plugin it wont reconize it.
i use it to export stp and iges files from pro/e to 3dsMax.

check it out…

if you are ok with converting it to a poly based file, ive found that importing a stp or iges into rhino and then exporting as a 3ds works fairly well, but any poly conversion will be somewhat hit or miss.

I agree, Iges files are terrible in 3ds Max. I will check out your plug-in. I do not use Solid works here but I have a vendor that will be supplying me with files for rendering. I also don’t have rhino but will check out the plug in. Thanks for the help.

I always render meshes out of pro/e and have excellent results (and they’re fast). For Alias I imported .slp exports from pro/e. For Maya I import .obj exports. Does SW not export any mesh data? If it does, why not get that in? There are plenty of converters available online.

Wouldn’t an STL file work? I don’t use 3DS, but that’s how the Maxwell Render plugin gets its mesh data from Solidworks.

You can absolutely bring a .stl or .obj into max.
Out of pro/e you have a fair amount of control, but b/c you are going from proper surface or solid data to polys you’ll run the risk of the faces looking shitting (murphy’s law dictates that it will only happen when the quality of the offending surface really matters).

Some of the time its not an issue, but i ran into issues often when rendering out reflective or shiney materials. The polys would have errors or the smoothing groups wouldnt be correct. Many of the issues are somewhat correctable, but it kills you timewise.

With my current set up, I can export via pro/e as a .stp, import perfect surfaces into max, assign mats and lighting and hit go. the plugin pays for itself in a work enviornment in about 1-2 jobs.