STL, VRML, and 3MF Import Options

You can set import options when you import .stl, .wrl, or .3mf files as SOLIDWORKS documents. The VRML translator supports explicit normals, crease angle smooth shading, and color per vertex, which results in smooth blending of colors.

To set the import options:

  1. Click Open or File > Open.
  2. In Files of type, select STL (*.stl), VRML (*.wrl), or 3MF (*.3mf), and click Options.
  3. Select from the options described below, then click OK.
    Option Description
    Import as

    Graphics Body

    Imports data as graphical data only. The translator does not attempt to create any features. The graphics icon appears in the FeatureManager design tree with the file type, for example, STL Graphics1.

    The imported graphics bodies are visible when you view them in HLR, HLV, and wireframe modes.

    Solid Body

    Attempts to import data as solid bodies. In many cases (especially complex models) some of the data does not knit into a usable solid, in which case the translators import that data as surface bodies. Therefore, in the FeatureManager design tree, you can potentially see a Solid Bodies folder, a Surface Bodies folder, imported solid body features, and imported surface body features.

    Surface Body

    Imports data as surfaces. The Surface Bodies folder and the imported surface body features appear in the FeatureManager design tree.

    Unit Select the unit of measure for the SOLIDWORKS document. The available units are Millimeters, Centimeters, Meters, Inches, and Feet. The translator does not convert units during import. For example, if the unit of measure of the original document is meters and you import the document with the unit Millimeters, an edge that measures 1 meter in the original document will measure 1 millimeter in the imported document, not 1000 millimeters.
    Import texture information (applicable only for VRML, applies only when you select import as Graphics Body) Imports texture information, which if contained in the file, results in a high-quality, realistic-looking image. Choosing to not import texture information may improve performance.
  4. Select a file, then click Open to import the file.