Why does my SOLIDWORKS Model look so dark?

Article by Saeed Mojarad (CSWE) updated September 16, 2017


One of the questions that I often receive is “Why does my SOLIDWORKS Model look so dark?”. It gets even worse if you switch to a ‘Shaded’ display style. Our customers ensure they have a supported graphics card and driver, and in most cases there are no appearances assigned to the model.

SOLIDWORKS Model looks dark?

SOLIDWORKS Model looks dark?

Fortunately, the answer is simple. The lights have literally been turned off!!! All you need to do is:

  1. Switch to the “Display Manager” tab.
  2. Click on “Scene, Lights, and Cameras” and then click on “Lights”.
  3. As you can see in the image below the “Directional1” light is grayed out which means it is turned off.
  4. To turn it on again simply right-click on the Directional light and select “On in SOLIDWORKS” from the shortcut menu.

And your model starts to shine again like a diamond.

Model illuminated

Model illuminated

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Saeed Mojarad (CSWE)

Saeed Mojarad is an application engineer at Javelin Technologies. He received his B.S from Mazandaran University, Iran; and his M.S. from École de technologie supérieure (ETS), Canada. He has several years of experience using SOLIDWORKS in different industries such as manufacturing and aerospace. Currently located in Calgary, he is helping SOLIDWORKS users all across Canada as a technical support and SOLIDWORKS instructor.