Top 4 Ways to View Your SOLIDWORKS Files in a Virtual Space

   By TriMech Marketing on September 17, 2019

Artificial computer-simulated environments give users the feeling of being in a different dimension instead of the one they’re actually in. The idea is to trick the brain into thinking that that’s your new reality.

In the new extended reality (XR) file type in SOLIDWORKS 2019, you’ll have an amazing new way to experience your designs. SOLIDWORKS XR describes the process of viewing and interacting with your models in augmented reality, virtual reality or mixed reality experiences.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of viewing real-world environments through a special lens or headset. When using an AR headset, you’ll still see and interact with the real world, but you’ll also be able to see computer-generated information. For instance, your SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD model. This 3D model appears as though it exists in the real world, and you’re able to manipulate it as if it were in your hands.

software edrawings 2019

Virtual Reality 

In comparison to AR, virtual reality (VR) is an immersive experience. To use VR, strap on a headset and you’re transported into a completely virtual environment. There, you can teleport around a one-to-one scale SOLIDWORKS model and examine it for potential design improvements. This can be done with a proper VR headset and controller such as HTC Vive. Another way you can use VR is by using your smartphone and placing it in a Google Cardboard headset.

Software virtual reality

Saving your designs is very simple by using SOLIDWORKS 2019 XRX Porter. On your computer, click file, save as and choose either GLTF or GLB file types. This export utility is available for all users with SOLIDWORKS 2019 Standard Professional and Premium 

>> Click here to read our blog, The State of SOLIDWORKS and Virtual Reality 

>> Click here to read our blog, SOLIDWORKS Extended Reality Window

4 Main Ways to Experience the New Format 

The first way is to take this new XRF exported file, which is the GLTF, or GLB, and upload it to a game engine like unity or unreal. This will create its own custom AR or VR experiences.

The second way is to take that new GLB file and drag and drop it into an Office 365 product like Microsoft PowerPoint. It will have a completely interactive design and engineering review right away.

The third way is simply to open the XR file with eDrawings 2019 and view your designs using the supported AR and VR headsets.

The fourth and most exciting way is to utilize one of the SOLIDWORKS partner viewers to produce custom AR and VR experiences. For example, one of the partners, Meta, makes an AR headset as well as an amazing model viewer to use. With Meta’s model viewer, you’ll get the most from your AR experience with the added ability to view animations, change configurations, examined exploded views and a lot more. Other partners, such as Speedernet Sphere VR and Simin sights, provide amazing VR training experiences as well.

Experiencing XR Using eDrawings 2019

Using the new file open in the AR or VR command, users can plug an AR or VR headset into their computer, watch eDrawings 2019 and choose how they’d like to interact with their SOLIDWORKS files.

Open the SOLIDWORKS assembly in VR, adjust scene settings and put on a headset to jump right into your design. Clicking on the controller will teleport you from one location to another. This makes navigating through your design easy and fast.

You can virtually climb stairs, view sightlines, look over a platform ledge and feel what it’s like to be right inside your design. Additionally, you can grab objects with another controller click, use a pick and place method to disassemble or simply release to put them extended reality

Photorealistic VR experiences 

When we need to generate photorealistic VR experiences, we can leverage the power of SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Visualize. Visualize Professional 2018 added the ability to render 360-degree VR images and videos to experience immersively with the headset of your choice. This is a great way to convey to a customer what your latest design might look like and customers can visualize how the products look before they purchase.

>> Click here to see SOLIDWORKS Visualize Products

Visualize 2019 Collaboration with Nvidia  

With Visualize 2019, we are taking the concept up a notch by partnering with Nvidia and adding an option for export to holodeck. Nvidia holodeck is a cutting edge, new multi-user VR environment, developed specifically for engineering and design reviews. Inside of a Nvidia holodeck environment, you and your coworkers can examine an engineering model all at one-to-one scale, teleport around the model and make suggestions on where to improve the design. These holodeck virtual meetings often take place with users from all over the world, collaborating in a single VR session.

>> Click here to stream our on-demand webinar, Get To Know SOLIDWORKS Visualize 

SOLIDWORKS continues to bridge the gap between 3D CAD and XR. SOLIDWORKS 2019 gives users of both AR and VR, the ability to export their models and experience them in new and exciting ways. These new AR and VR capabilities will help to rapidly accelerate the design and development process, deliver memorable presentations and close more deals by leveraging the power of extended reality.

Related Products

Browse the TriMech web store for SOLIDWORKS software to design, analyze and manufacture your products on your desktop.


TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. InterPro became a part of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.

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