Working with Mesh data in SOLIDWORKS 2018

Article by Vicky Guignard updated January 28, 2018


Anyone who has needed to work with mesh data knows how much of a pain it is to get anything from it inside of SOLIDWORKS.

SOLIDWORKS 2018 introduces new ways you can utilize mesh data offering many more possibilities than ever before. This works for a variety of formats such as STL, OBJ and AMF (Additive Manufacturing files).

It now supports material textures and RealView appearances. Because of this, we can now perform sections on graphical mesh data with any conversion needed. At the same time, we can now better visualize and fully understand our mesh geometry without all the previous headache!

Activating the Mesh Body Functionality

To use the new MESH BODY functionality in SOLIDWORKS 2018 you will need to set these options: Tools > Options > System options > Import

From the file format select the mesh formats. and then select to import as solid body

Import System Options

Import System Options

Working with Mesh Body files

When you will open your file. It will import as a solid body like this:

Graphic Bodies

Graphic Bodies

Allowing you to interact with the model and get effortless information like mass, volume, etc.

Section of a mesh body solid

Section of a mesh body solid

You can also use the body to sketch on, and add relations to the existing geometry!

Sketching on a mesh body solid

Sketching on a mesh body solid


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Vicky Guignard

Vicky has been working in the CAD industry since 2010 and has a background in machine design and steel structure design. Vicky works closely with the Javelin sales team, helping to solve complex customer challenges utilizing the SOLIDWORKS product line. She is also an instructor for Javelin and delivers private, and public training in Western Canada, as well as online through Javelin's JOLT training. Vicky has been an Application Engineer with Javelin since 2014.