Solidworks Rendering

Hi there - I’m new to the forum but would appreciate your help. I’m mad busy with projects at the moment (like most of you I’m sure!), in 4th year of an MEng Product Design Engineering - but I will post some of my work for advice/constructive criticism at the first opportunity.

Right now I’m looking for advice on how to render a 3D solid model created in Solidworks, in 3DS Max. I have Photoworks but just find it much easier to get professional-looking renders from max than Photoworks.

The thing is, when I export the assembly or even a part from Solidworks as an .IGES file, it doesn’t appear properly in Max. .ST files work OK, except that it exports each part separately and I need to redo all the mates within max which seems like a big waste of time having already done it in Solidworks (plus I don;t find it that easy to add the same relations in max).

Does anyone know of any other options for getting the assembly from Solidworks into Max, or keeping the mates data with the STL assembly file?

Thanks in advance…

there is no way for the assembly data to exist in max…if you are saying the assembly comes into max differently as it existed in SW then try saving your sw assembly as a part first, and then save the part and an .st

If you want your assembly to appear in the same config and as separate part, then you’ll have to go with a translation program like polytrans, which i find really helpful to maintain geometry accuracy.
i think the website is

Hi Smiler,

Not sure if this is exactly what you want but if you do a “save as”, select STL as the export file type and then check in the options for “save all components as an assembly in a single file”, the result is you end up with a solid block with no feature tree but it is set in stone.

As I said, not sure if this is what you want (if you are going to animate later then don’t bother) but you may be able to select surfaces to color in MAX. (Not too familiar with MAX for rendering.)

If you wanted to maintain the individual components with the mates then this isn’t the solution but if you just want to maintain the assembly…

Hope this helps.


try VRML .wrl version 97 instead of 1.0 out of SolidWorks. i normally import this into C4D. works great. Another way is to get a demo of Rhino 3.0 and export an IGES out of SWorks. Import into Rhino and save out as MAX IGES or an .OBJ file. should be able to import into MAX without too many probs.

Thanks everyone for such fast responses!

I downloaded the demo of Polytrans, only problem is the demo version doesn’t let you import Solidworks files - but I guess that program would solve the problem if I registered!

Just tried the VRML.wrl 97, seems to work just as I was hoping - thanks morgana.

Looking forward to getting some decent renderings at last!