Expand IntroductionIntroduction
Expand AdministrationAdministration
Expand User InterfaceUser Interface
Expand SolidWorks FundamentalsSolidWorks Fundamentals
Expand Moving from 2D to 3DMoving from 2D to 3D
Expand AssembliesAssemblies
Expand CircuitWorksCircuitWorks
Expand ConfigurationsConfigurations
Expand SolidWorks CostingSolidWorks Costing
Expand Design CheckerDesign Checker
Expand Design Studies in SolidWorksDesign Studies in SolidWorks
Expand Detailing and DrawingsDetailing and Drawings
Expand DFMXpressDFMXpress
Expand DriveWorksXpressDriveWorksXpress
Expand FloXpressFloXpress
Collapse Import and ExportImport and Export
Importing/Exporting SolidWorks Documents
General Import Options
Importing Documents
Importing Geometry
File Distribution Best Practices
Editing Imported Features
Expand Import Diagnostics OverviewImport Diagnostics Overview
Exporting Documents and Setting Options
DXF/DWG Native Format
Expand Publishing to 3DVIA.comPublishing to 3DVIA.com
Collapse File TypesFile Types
3D XML Files
ACIS Files (*.sat)
Adobe Illustrator Files (*.ai)
Adobe Photoshop (*.psd) Files
Autodesk Inventor Files
CATIA Graphics Files
CATIA Part and Product File Import
DXF 3D Files
Expand DXF/DWG Files (*.dxf, *.dwg Files)DXF/DWG Files (*.dxf, *.dwg Files)
Expand SolidWorks eDrawingsSolidWorks eDrawings
Highly Compressed Graphics Files
IDF Files
.IFC Files
Expand IGES Files (*.igs, *.iges)IGES Files (*.igs, *.iges)
JPEG Files
Mechanical Desktop Files
Parasolid Files (*.x_t, *.x_b)
Expand Adobe Portable Document Format (*.pdf) FilesAdobe Portable Document Format (*.pdf) Files
Expand Pro/ENGINEER FilesPro/ENGINEER Files
Rhino Files
Solid Edge Files
Expand Step Files (*.step)Step Files (*.step)
Expand STL Files (*.stl)STL Files (*.stl)
TIFF Files (*.tif)
TIFF, Photoshop, and JPEG Export Options
Unigraphics Files
VDAFS Files (*.vda)
Viewpoint Files
Expand VRML Files (*.wrl)VRML Files (*.wrl)
XPS (XML Paper Specification) Files
Expand Import and Export File Version InformationImport and Export File Version Information
Expand 2D to 3D Conversion2D to 3D Conversion
Expand DXF/DWG Import WizardDXF/DWG Import Wizard
Expand Scan to 3DScan to 3D
Expand Model DisplayModel Display
Expand Mold DesignMold Design
Expand Motion StudiesMotion Studies
Expand Parts and FeaturesParts and Features
Expand RoutingRouting
Expand Sheet MetalSheet Metal
Expand SimulationSimulation
Expand SimulationXpressSimulationXpress
Expand SketchingSketching
Expand Sustainability ProductsSustainability Products
Expand SolidWorks UtilitiesSolidWorks Utilities
Expand TolerancingTolerancing
Expand TolAnalystTolAnalyst
Expand ToolboxToolbox
Expand WeldmentsWeldments
Expand Workgroup PDMWorkgroup PDM
Expand TroubleshootingTroubleshooting
Hide Table of Contents

Mechanical Desktop Files

The MDT translator imports part and assembly information from Mechanical Desktop® (MDT) files as SolidWorks part or assembly documents.

You must have MDT installed on your desktop, but it does not have to be running, to use the MDT translator. The MDT translator is integrated into the DXF/DWG Import Wizard.

If you import large assemblies from MDT, SolidWorks recommends you do the following:

  • Start Mechanical Desktop and open the MDT file inside the MDT application before you import the file into the SolidWorks application.
  • Set the MDT temporary files path to a drive where you have sufficient space (1GB minimum).
  • Increase the paging file size to appropriate limits. This is relevant mainly for low configuration systems.

MDT files can contain a combination of part, assembly, and drawing files. The MDT translator provides different conversion options, depending upon the contents of the MDT file. The MDT translator supports import of MDT assembly relations.

The MDT translator supports the following items during import:

  • Large MDT assembly files, in excess of 130MB in size, depending on the complexity of the data.
  • All types of mates, including point-to-point and line-to-line mates.
  • MDT combined features, which are sometimes referred to as toolbodies.
  • MDT tapped hole features (cosmetic thread annotation).
  • MDT design tables (Design Variable Tables - Global Variable Sheets).
  • MDT Work Features (Work Planes, Work Axes, and Work Points).
  • MDT pattern features, which creates multiple disjoint bodies.
If you have been using AutoCAD on your computer, open Mechanical Desktop before opening an MDT file in SolidWorks so SolidWorks recognizes the file as an MDT file and not an AutoCAD file.

Importing .mdt Files

To open an MDT file:

  1. Click Open (Standard toolbar) or File > Open.
  2. In the dialog box, set Files of type to DXF (*.dxf) or DWG (*.dwg) files, browse to a file, then click Open.
  3. In the DXF/DWG Import Wizard, select Import MDT data from file (imports as parts, assemblies and/or drawings), then click Next.

    If you do not have Mechanical Desktop installed, the option to import MDT data is not available.

  4. On the Document Settings screen, select options for the Model and layout tabs, then click Finish.

Provide feedback on this topic

SOLIDWORKS welcomes your feedback concerning the presentation, accuracy, and thoroughness of the documentation. Use the form below to send your comments and suggestions about this topic directly to our documentation team. The documentation team cannot answer technical support questions. Click here for information about technical support.

* Required

Subject:   Feedback on Help Topics
Page:   Mechanical Desktop Files
*   I acknowledge I have read and I hereby accept the privacy policy under which my Personal Data will be used by Dassault Systèmes

Print Topic

Select the scope of content to print:


We have detected you are using a browser version older than Internet Explorer 7. For optimized display, we suggest upgrading your browser to Internet Explorer 7 or newer.

 Never show this message again

Web Help Content Version: SOLIDWORKS 2013 SP05

To disable Web help from within SOLIDWORKS and use local help instead, click Help > Use SOLIDWORKS Web Help.

To report problems encountered with the Web help interface and search, contact your local support representative. To provide feedback on individual help topics, use the “Feedback on this topic” link on the individual topic page.