Exporting to the PLY File Format

You can export SOLIDWORKS part and assembly files to the Polygon® file format (.ply).

To export to the PLY file format:

  1. With a model open, click File > Export As.
  2. In Save as type, select Polygon File Format (*.ply) and click Options.
  3. Select from the options described below, then click OK.
    Option Description
    File Format Displays the selected file format.
    Output as


    Files are smaller than ASCII files.


    Files are widely supported.


    Sets the unit of measure.

    Resolution Controls the output resolution of the model.

    Coarse or Fine

    Sets the resolution to preset Deviation and Angle tolerances.


    Deviation controls whole-part tessellation. Lower numbers generate files with greater whole-part accuracy.

    Angle controls small-detail tessellation. Lower numbers generate files with greater small-detail accuracy, but those files take longer to generate.

    A preview dynamically displays the approximate tessellation.

    Preview before saving file

    Displays a preview of the model in the graphics area before saving the file. Displays the Triangles (number) and File size information in the System Options dialog box.

    Include colors Includes the colors defined in the model's appearance settings.
  4. Click Export to export the document.