SOLIDWORKS 2017 provides direct import of 3D Scanned Data

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated October 23, 2016


If you work with 3D scanned data on a regular basis, we are certain that the ability to directly import 3D mesh files into SOLIDWORKS 2017 will be among your favorite enhancements in this latest release. Several types of mesh files can now be directly imported without the need for the ScanTo3D Add-In (which was required in previous releases, and is available with SOLIDWORKS Pro, or SOLIDWORKS Premium).

The mesh files that SOLIDWORKS will now import directly are: *.stl, *.obj, *.off, *.ply, and *.ply2 files.

As shown in the dialog below simply select File > Open and choose Mesh Files from the file type filter.

Open Mesh Files

Open Mesh Files

In the System Options under Import (Tools > Options > System Options > Import) you can specify how you would like to have the mesh file format imported, as either a:

  • Graphics Body
  • Solid Body
  • Surface Body
Import STL as Solid Body

Import STL as Solid Body

In many cases SOLIDWORKS will import a fully enclosed mesh and convert it directly into a usable 3D body that can be modified using direct editing techniques.

The end results are a reduction of steps and better mesh translations for all SOLIDWORKS users.

Imported Mesh File

Imported Mesh File

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Resources

Access our resources page to get everything you need to learn what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2017; including tech tips, demonstrations, and upcoming product webinars.



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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006 and migrated along with his team members to the TriMech Solutions team in 2021.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.