Importing Mesh Files

You can import a scanned file with mesh data into the SOLIDWORKS software without using the ScanTo3D add-in. The software imports the file and associated mesh data into a solid or surface body.

The SOLIDWORKS software can import and create multiple solid bodies from a mesh file, provided the mesh is closed. If the mesh is not closed, the Import as Solid Body option automatically creates surface bodies for all bodies that cannot be imported as solid bodies.

You can apply texture and appearances to mesh files that you import into SOLIDWORKS as graphics bodies.

You can select and reference the converted facets, verticals, and facet edges. You can also maintain the mesh as a mesh BREP model in SOLIDWORKS that allows graphical viewing of the mesh model.

The software can also render the imported graphics bodies along with solid and surface bodies.

To import mesh files:

  1. Click Open (Standard toolbar) or File > Open.
  2. In the Open dialog box, in Files of type, select Mesh Files (*.stl, *.obj;*.off;*.ply;*.ply2).
    You can also import *.3MF and *.wrl file formats as graphics bodies, solid bodies, and surface bodies.
  3. Click Options.
  4. In the System Options dialog box, set Import as to one of the following:
    • Solid Body
    • Surface Body
    • Graphics Body
    If you select Solid Body or Surface Body, this creates standard BREP geometry where each facet of the mesh file becomes a standard BREP geometry face. This can decrease performance for large models.
  5. Under Mesh body options, select one or both of the following for a solid body or surface body, and then click OK:
    • Create mesh bodies bounded by single faces

      Converts the mesh file to mesh BREP instead of opening it as a graphics body.

    • Group facets into faces

      The software attempts to group the mesh facets into selectable faces.

  6. In the System Options dialog box, click OK.
  7. Then in the Open dialog box, browse to a file and click Open.
    The file is imported.
When you view a mesh file in HLR, HLV, and wireframe display modes, it shows facets. In shaded with edges mode, the imported mesh displays facets.