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SOLIDWORKS Visualize Import Modes - Updated for 2022

Friday July 15, 2022 at 11:00am
If you have been using SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022 you may have noticed some subtle changes on the import geometry tab compared to the previous versions. These changes weren't listed in the What’s New documentation and were introduced a little under the radar. In this blog we'll explain what has changed and how it can save you time.

To review these changes, we will take a look at this extending dining table’s feature tree.
As you can see, this model has a number of subassemblies within the top-level assembly and even subassemblies within subassemblies. This is important to notice as the changes we will be reviewing in Visualize will change how it treats this kind of set up.

So first of all, what were the old options pre-2022?

If you have been on our training or watched any online videos regarding the import settings of Visualize, you’ll know that although there are quite a few different options that you can bring your model into Visualize with, if importing a SOLIDWORKS model we always suggest using the Automatic or the Appearance import options. Using the automatic import method would ignore subassemblies and just list all the parts as ‘groups’ within Visualize. Any different appearances applied to those parts in SOLIDWORKS would appear as blue part files under the group. The appearance import method would ignore the structure of the feature tree in SOLIDWORKS completely and just combine any parts, with the same appearance applied, as one part within Visualize.

The automatic method had to be used if you were to reimport the model but the appearance method was great if you wanted a more simple, quick and easy feature tree and you weren’t going as deeply into editing your part file. The issues were that both methods did not line up exactly with the SOLIDWORKS feature tree, meaning for example if you wanted to create an exploded view, an animation, or even just hide a subassembly within Visualize, you would have to multi-select all of the groups or create a new top-level group. This could sometimes also cause issues when the file was reimported.

So what’s new in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022?

Both import methods mentioned above are still available within Visualize 2022, however Automatic has now been renamed to 'Part/Appearance' and is no longer the default setting. The new default import method is ‘Component/Part/Body/Appearance’. This is essentially a rejigged and improved Group/Appearance method from 2021 that was traditionally for wire files. This new method follows the SOLIDWORKS Feature tree exactly; subassemblies become top level groups with groups inside them for further subassembly levels and part files. Even bodies become groups, which means that if you have something like a weldment part that has many different bodies inside a single part file, they are now easier to deal with when you come to Visualize.

This new method makes it easier than ever to bring files over from SOLIDWORKS to Visualize. It reduces the work that needs to be done within Visualize, especially for those who have Professional and want to create animations at different levels within the feature tree. Our testing also shows stability and performance improvements when reimporting larger models in Visualize.

Make sure to upgrade now for this and many other enhancements added in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022.

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