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SOLIDWORKS Visualize Why Go Pro? 1- Configurations

Tuesday July 26, 2016 at 5:32pm

 SOLIDWORKS Visualize Why Go Pro? 1- Configurations


We have seen lots of interest in SOLIDWORKS Visualize since its release, particularly given the fact that Visualize Standard is included with every SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium license. However many of these same users have been asking either for additional functions or just what are the advantages of Visualize Professional? To try and answer these questions this is the first in a series of blogs exploring the many additional features in more depth.


What are Configurations in Visualize Professional?

 Configurations are essentially versions of a product, perhaps showing different colour ways or options available all within a single file (project in Visualize) They are actually more akin to Display states for those of you familiar with SOLIDWORKS terminology. You can change appearances, hide or show items, change lighting, backdrop etc. In Visualize Professional we have an extra menu where we can add a Configuration(version).

Below we will use an example of a child’s trike, this was drawn up as a modelling challenge by two of our placement students Hannah Barnes & Nick Barlow. 

The trick is to have a version of the SOLIDWORKS (or other supported  3D CAD data) with all the parts/ assembles you require. Then once imported you can hide or show the components you require. For instance I have 2 versions of the foot rest in the folded and extended state below, I will hide and show these and other components in different Configurations First get the appearances looking right, grouped correctly in the “Base Configuration” 


Once base appearances are assigned we leave this “Base Configuration”  alone as it is the master version, instead create new configurations for any changes.


First we want to illustrate an alternative colour scheme add a configuration and edit it to give the name “Alt Colour Way” 


Next we assign appearances as you would normally, these changes will only affect the current configuration, although we only add one you can add as many different colourways as you like., you can even lock configurations to prevent unintentional changes. 

Configurations can then be switched between using buttons or the dropdown menu.


Other Changes

Configurations can also control visibility of components, lighting, backdrop setup as well as associating a different camera view to the configuration.   Next we add additional Configurations that represent the different modes/ stages of this type of trike that changes as the child grows. We simply hide items that we don’t need in the various versions either from the screen or Objects tab (Feature Manager/ Design tree in SOLIDWORKS terms)

Finally we can create different shots for instance using a realistic HDR image or for lighting and the backdrop.  Simply select and manipulate the environment you wish to use. This configuration also uses a different camera, which is again is stored per configuration. 

These Configurations can be output on mass easily from the normal render command, simply choosing the “all configurations” options from the “Output Mode” drop down. 




 Stage 1

Alt Colour Way 


Stage 2

Stage 4


Presentation Mode is also a great way of communicating the different versions of a product by switching configurations in Full screen mode, You can also change cameras and much more beside. This is accessed from the view menu. 

Look out for more blog posts showing the additional features of SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional and note that we also now have a brand new training course for both Visualize Standard and Professional.


» Categories: SOLIDWORKS Visualize


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