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Adobe Illustrator Files (*.ai)

You can import Adobe® Illustrator® files into SolidWorks and SolidWorks models and drawings to Adobe Illustrator files. Graphic objects are imported as outline shapes, and text objects are imported as SolidWorks text objects. Part and assembly models are exported as bitmap images.

To import an Adobe Illustrator file into SolidWorks, Version CS3 or later must be installed on your system.

You can copy SolidWorks parts, assemblies, sketches, and drawings to Adobe Illustrator by means of the clipboard.

To import Adobe Illustrator files:

Click Open (Standard toolbar) or File, Open and select Adobe Illustrator (*.ai) for Files of type.

To export to Adobe Illustrator files:

Click File, Save As and select Adobe Illustrator (*.ai) for Files of type.

To copy SolidWorks data to the clipboard:

Click Edit, Copy to Adobe Illustrator.


  • When you import an Adobe Illustrator object, it appears on the Front plane. You can copy the object onto other planes.

  • You can import Adobe Illustrator objects into SolidWorks part documents, but not into assembly sketches.

Typical uses:

  • Product concept sketches mapped to planes and traced to model styling characteristics of the product.

  • Decals placed on faces of a product for photo-realistic rendering.

  • Logos used in SolidWorks modeling commands to place the product logo in the part geometry.

  • Product labels (such as electrical characteristics or instructions for use) extruded into the part geometry.


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