How to Render in SOLIDWORKS

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated September 9, 2021


There are a number of different ways to render an image in SOLIDWORKS. The option you choose will depend on which SOLIDWORKS version you have and which graphics card you are using. To get started, we’ll start with the options available in SOLIDWORKS Standard and move our way up to see what is available for SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium. We’ll be using the Raspberry Pi, a single-board computer, as an example. Let’s dive in!

RealView Graphics

If you’re working with SOLIDWORKS Standard, the go-to rendering option you have is RealView Graphics. First, make sure that RealView Graphics is activated, and you are using an approved graphics card on your machine. Next, with your library content panel open, simply drag and drop the desired material, or appearance, from the panel on any part in your assembly, and voila! Your part has a new look!

SOLIDWORKS RealView Graphics

SOLIDWORKS RealView Graphics

You can also insert a background into your image to give your model a more dynamic look and feel. To turn it up a notch and get a more realistic appearance, you can turn on the Ambient Occlusion feature. This feature creates shadows that cast from your parts. A nice way to get a shaded image from SOLIDWORKS Standard.

PhotoView 360 for Photo-realistic Renders

PhotoView 360 is a visualization and render tool included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium and is available as an Add-in. It is based on the SOLIDWORKS Intelligent Feature Technology (SWIFT). It’s a simple-to-use interface and provides an interactive environment for viewing designs as well as for creating photo-realistic renderings that can be used to showcase your designs.

SOLIDWORKS PhotoView 360

SOLIDWORKS PhotoView 360

PhotoView 360 allows you to create a rendering within the SOLIDWORKS window. When you mouse-click Render Tools and Display Manager, you will see options to create a scene, add and adjust lighting, and also the option to add a camera if you like. Once you’re finished, you can click on Final Render to invoke a PhotoView 360 rendering. With PhotoView 360, you don’t need a photography degree to create stunning images.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize for End-use Marketing Material

SOLIDWORKS Visualize provides industry-leading rendering capabilities with visual design-oriented features and workflows in place. This allows for fast and easy creations of visual content that communicates a designer’s vision and showcases your part in the most stunning way.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize Render

SOLIDWORKS Visualize Render

SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard is included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium. When you launch SOLIDWORKS Visualize, you see an enhanced environment where you have access to many adjustments and customization options. Visualize Professional also allows for more advanced file output, such as 360-degree rotations of parts and assemblies and even Virtual Reality content! The possibilities are endless to make your designs stand out from the competition.

The rendering tools in SOLIDWORKS offer many ways to generate photo-quality imagery and interactive animations. The rendering tools in SOLIDWORKS make it easier to communicate and showcase your designs and prototypes to others.

Want to learn more about Visualize?

Take a live online SOLIDWORKS Visualize Training Course to learn more about rendering in SOLIDWORKS.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

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