solidworks to maya

Hi everybody

Have any of ye found a good way of bringing solidworks files into maya? I am finding it a little more difficult than i thought it would be! there is iges, but when i do that the model is very broken up and “shattered” looking! Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Try tesellating the model. Export an stl file, and then re-export as dxf or obj.
Have you looked at

Hi there, can you be a bit more specific? I have the same problem, and am finding it really annoying!

I have tried the link, but when I import the model into maya the surfaces are broken up.

Can anyone post a detailed walkthrough (with any settings) of how to export from solidworks to maya for rendering.

Many thanks

dont use SW. but process probably same for Pro/E.

forget .iges as its too messy. can export pieces for spfx. like texture patches. but for the model export triangles. you’ll want to convert to .obj for import into Maya. in Pro i export the assembly after assigning unique colors to parts (also works for Pro to Alias using .sdl). warning: Maya 4/4.5/5 importing has issues with .obj files if i remember correct. i know 4 does. forget if 5 corrected.

from SW get it out to .obj then import into Maya. sounds like you need to go to .stl and then convert that to .obj by some other route. best case you can just use the file (but double check scale). worst case is you wont see a name for the nodes in Hypergraph. cant assign shaders then. you can hand edit the obj text file or can export each individual part from Maya as .obj to Data folder. after all exported you re-import them. you notice in Hypergraph nodes now have names. you can now assign shaders. parts will come in at same location so assembly intact. group all the parts, select and orient for rendering.

done. good luck.


Thanks for your reply, just wondering why you think importing as an iges file is messy, and why polys are better? I have heard from other people that it is the way to go. I am running maya 6, hope they have fixed that import bug!

Isn’t nurbs faster to render?

How about assigning materials to assemblies is that easy with polys?


because of translation. surfaces can come over untrimmed. or pieces disappear. polys never do that from my experience. if the sla looks good, the render will look better. and iges surfaces can be much slower than straight triangles. remember, those surfs get tesselated at render, so that can be a time waster.

no issue with assigning materials. each part should be under a node; it’ll be a polymesh. select it as a whole. or if you want, select faces. but for most stuff just assign shader to the whole.


Thanks again for your help, I will try out your method today. I have heard there is a program called polytrans which converts the files, is this any good? The other option i have is to save as stl then import to rhino 3 then export as .obj.

polytrans isnt free. last demo i saw drops out parts of geometry. been awhile but i also saw that the Maya translation was additional $$$ on top of basic program. i considered it once. to expensive for just translation. go the rhino route. dont know if color coding assembly will work with stl and rhino. may need to do one at a time. let us know what you find.

Hello- I can see no one has posted to this in a while but I thought I’d contribute anyway.

I’ve been tinkering with this topic for a while. I work with a team of people creating design for the retail world. We have a team of Engineers and I’ve been trying to import there solidworks models into Maya for animation and rendering purposes.

After a lot of trial and error I’ve found these things-

Iges format works great for us. What seemed to help me the most was setting up the Solid works file. Which means haveing all assembleys “fixed” and deleting coincidents.

Once that was done, I exported as an Iges
-use trimmed surfaces,
Iges Wire-leave unchecked
export sketch- unchecked
-Use High Trim Accuracey - Checked
-Save all components of Assembly to one file -Checked
-Flatten Assembly Heirarchy- Checked
Surface System “standard”

Give it a little time and it exports

Import into Maya (Our original Solidworks file is heafty, Importing into Maya took about 8 minutes—Ugh) But it’s worth the time because-

Once it’s imported into maya, there will be two copies of everything. With lots of layers. Delete all the layers and delete the duplicate copies ( I did it from the outliner, it took no more then 10 seconds). Once all this was done we had a great file that didn’t take long to render, holes came through great as well. Saved it as a maya file and closed it down. When I opened it up again, it took about the normal amount of time to open (for such a heafty file) which wasn’t near the 8 minutes it took to import…it was more along the lines of 30 seconds.


suggest you give the triangle route a try. having done both i found it to render faster. important when you have complex scenes.