Unleashing the Future: SOLIDWORKS Extended Reality (XR) – A Dive into Immersive 3D Experiences

Imagine the thrill of holding your 3D design in the palm of your hands or diving headfirst into a mesmerizing virtual world. Now, lets turn that imagination into reality.

Brace yourselves for the thrilling news, the Extended Reality (XR) exporter is now at your fingertips in both SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024 SP0! Get ready to elevate your design experience to unprecedented heights.

Think of Extended Reality (XR) as a magical umbrella that covers all the cool immersive tech like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR).

It’s your passport to a whole new dimension of awesome experiences!

  • Augmented Reality (AR) transforms your world by seamlessly blending digital information and virtual objects into your real-life surroundings.

Example: Arranging a virtual furniture item within an office space.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) takes you on a journey into a simulated virtual world. Whether through a VR headset, VR room, or haptic feedback device, dive into a captivating three-dimensional environment for exploration and interaction.

Example: Take a leisurely stroll through the luxurious interior of a private jet plane.


  • Mixed Reality (MR), also known as hybrid reality, brings together the best of both worlds, blending the actual reality of the physical world around us with the immersive power of virtual reality. Experience MR magic with devices like Microsoft HoloLens, Magic Leap, and other MR headsets.

Example:  Drop a 3D design right onto your table while you’re standing there. Feel free to spin it, move it, and dive into interaction. Experiment with different colors or even trigger an explosive view. Your space, your digital design playground!

All of this sounds incredible! Now, how can I craft and export my own XR experience?

  1. In SOLIDWORKS CAD 2024 Standard, Professional and Premium
  • Access it by navigating to “File > Save as type > Extended Reality” in the File Menu.
  • Our XR output will now use *.glTF and *.glb file types. They’re super light and can zip 3D stuff between apps at lightning speed. Fast runtime, quick uploads/downloads, and they make interactive 3D magic on web pages. They’re basically the “JPEG of 3D” because they’re just that awesome!
  • These innovative file formats (.glTF and .glb) seamlessly integrates advanced features from your SOLIDWORKS file, such as:

o   Geometry & Scene Hierarchy

o   Appearances & Textures

o   Lights and Cameras

o   Exploded Views

o   Motion Study Animations

o   Display States and Configurations

  1. In SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024 Standard and Professional
  • Navigate to “File > Export” to access it. In the “Save as type” option, you can export in formats like *.glTF, *.glb, and a Draco compression version.
  • The Draco extension to glTF allows creators to compress mesh data within glTF files, significantly reducing file sizes.
  •  If you’re a SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional user seeking Nvidia Holodeck output, I recommend using the “File > Export > Export to NVIDIA Holodeck,” option.

In a nutshell, Extended Reality (XR) rocks our world! It changes how we play with digital stuff, learn new things, team up with others, and explore the awesomeness around us. XR brings innovation to different areas, making our personal and work lives way cooler. And you know what’s super exciting? XR tech is only getting started.

Brian Muhlbach

Brian Muhlbach

Brian Muhlbach is a rendering solution specialist and part of the SOLIDWORKS Product Definition team. His main focus is on SOLIDWORKS Core Graphics, Visualize, PhotoView 360 and Composer. He is well versed in 3D applications and has provided 3D visualizations for Black & Decker, Porter Cable, Craftsman, and Bresslergroup.