Introducing SOLIDWORKS Extended Reality

The explosion of affordable immersive devices and broad ecosystem of technology and experiences are enabling more powerful storytelling. Introducing SOLIDWORKS Extended Reality (XR) – a method to bring your SOLIDWORKS CAD data to life, virtually – empowering you with the future of design and engineering.

Do you feel limited by reviewing your 3D model on a 2D computer screen? Do you ever wish you could just “jump” into your CAD model to see exactly what you’re creating, at 1:1 scale? Now you can with SOLIDWORKS XR!

SOLIDWORKS XR encompasses workflows related to Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR). We’ve developed these new workflows to help establish more design confidence, and deliver a better overall final product in a shorter amount of time. Just imagine exploring design variations of your CAD model, overlaid on your conference room table top, right next to last year’s model you’re replacing using Augmented Reality (AR)! That’s the power of SOLIDWORKS XR, helping you experience and explore your design at 1:1 scale.

There will be new XR features introduced within SOLIDWORKS CAD 2019 and eDrawings 2019 throughout Service Packs of 2019. This blog post will focus on the new XR feature for SOLIDWORKS CAD 2019. And here it is!

SOLIDWORKS CAD 2019 – Extended Reality (XR) Exporter

What is the Extended Reality Exporter for SOLIDWORKS CAD? It’s a new export type in SOLIDWORKS CAD 2019 Standard, Professional and Premium, accessed via the “File > Save As > Extended Reality” command in the File Menu. This new file type (.glTF and .glb) incorporates rich features from your SOLIDWORKS file such as:

· Geometry & Scene Hierarchy
· Appearances & Textures
· Lights & Cameras
· Exploded Views
· Motion Study Animations
· Display States & Configurations
· Metadata including: per-configuration custom properties, per-node comments, per-node & document general and design tables

The resulting file can then be consumed directly in a variety of open AR and VR experiences, Web viewers and select SOLIDWORKS Partner applications. For example, you can view and interact with your SOLIDWORKS designs directly in Microsoft PowerPoint and other products that support glTF 2.0 OR re-play animations you created inside SOLIDWORKS CAD, toggle through pre-defined Display States, or trigger an Exploded Animations within supported SOLIDWORKS Partner XR experiences!

Model courtesy of Instron; Image courtesy of SimInsights


We are partnering with amazing companies that will help you create immersive, custom AR & VR experiences to:

· Improve internal design reviews
· Train customer to assemble or perform maintenance on your products
· Promote your products with exciting AR/VR apps to increase sales

**PLEASE NOTE: In its first release, the new XR Exporter is a separate download from the main SOLIDWORKS 2019 installer. You have to be on active subscription to access this download link. Please visit this webpage, login, and click the “SOLIDWORKS Extended Reality” link. Then complete the short web form, click the “Download XR Beta” button at the bottom, and then run the downloaded installer. Once installed alongside SOLIDWORKS 2019 or newer, this unlocks the new “Extended Reality .glTF and .glb” file types in the ‘File > Save As’ menu.


Make sure to check out this Tech Blog post to see what you can do with your new XR file from SOLIDWORKS CAD 2019.

Check out the What’s New XR webpage dedicated to this exciting new feature in SOLIDWORKS CAD 2019.

We know this workflow will dramatically simplify the path from SOLIDWORKS to Extended Reality (XR) experiences and can’t wait to see what you will create!

*Please note: Initial focus has not been on supporting large and complex assemblies. We will be continuously improving the XR Exporter throughout 2019 Service Packs based on your feedback to improve robustness.

To recap:

  • You have to be on active Subscription to access the download link.
  • The XR Exporter will only work with SOLIDWORKS 2019 and newer.
  • The XR Exporter will only be supported on Win10 – not Win7 for example.

Our commitment to enable XR workflows is strong and developed with you, our customer, in mind. We appreciate your feedback on our XR features, so we can make them better and more robust with each release. We are very excited to start this journey with you, and believe us, this is just the beginning. We can’t wait to see what amazing immersive experiences you’ll create! Visit the SOLIDWORKS 2019 website to learn more about XR and all of the updates in this year’s release.

Brian Hillner

Brian Hillner

Brian Hillner is a Senior Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS, responsible for Education and Early Engagement, and specializes in the intersection of business, technology & user experience. He focuses on creating customer-driven software products tailored for schools, educators and students to develop designers, engineers and dreamers of the future. Prior to joining the Education team, he was the Product Manager for SOLIDWORKS Visualize, eDrawings and the Extended Reality (XR) workflows.
Brian Hillner

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