SolidWorks Reader

The SolidWorks Reader provides full access to the Assembly, B-rep, Visualization, View and PMI Data stored within a particular SolidWorks file. A file does not need to have a particular extension to be read correctly by HOOPS Exchange however the file extensions of SolidWorks files that you can expect to be loaded by HOOPS Exchange are:



Our readers are updated to the latest released version within 90 days of the release of the authoring software. You can see the exact version supported in the current release here.


Incremental load is supported by our SolidWorks reader. Full support for configurations is included.


SolidWorks uses Parasolid as its geometry engine. As a result the reading of the B-rep in our SolidWorks reader is based on our Parasolid reader which allows you to query the full topological and geometric model defined in a Parasolid file. HOOPS Exchange provides evaluators which allow you to direct query all the geometry types available in Parasolid. You can additionally ask HOOPS Exchange to approximate any specific geometry and provide it in a standard NURBS form.

The list of surface types available in SolidWorks is:

  • Blend surface

  • B-spline surface

  • Cone

  • Cylinder

  • Offset surface

  • Plane

  • Sphere

  • Revolution surface

  • Swept surface

  • Torus

The list of curve types available in SolidWorks is:

  • B-spline

  • Circle

  • Ellipse

  • Intersection curve

  • Line

  • UV curve


The SolidWorks reader can directly access the visualization data stored within a SolidWorks file. This occurs if the reading mode in HOOPS Exchange is set to tessellation only.


Our reader supports SolidWorks named views. Filtering is not supported.


HOOPS Exchange provides access to all PMI data available in a SolidWorks model file (Reference and DimXpert annotations).The only exception is Stacked Balloon which is currently not available.

SolidWorks Features Support

Feature tree reading is supported with SolidWorks, with access to detailed information for holes, patterns and threads. Pitch, handedness and tip angle data are not retrieved for threads contained in holes.

When available the feature geometry association (faces) is supported.


The SolidWorks reader supports diffuse textures.

Support for Decals

Decals are special textures generally used for displaying product markings on a model. As of 2023 U1, HOOPS Exchange supports the reading of Decals in SolidWorks through our materials and textures API.


Decals textures are projected using planar, spherical, cylinder or label projections. Label projections are a special type of uv texture-mapping that avoid stretching, which makes it suitable for text decals.

Decals mask

SolidWorks allows to provide a masking texture or a color to define the partial transparency of decals. This feature is supported within our reader by transforming masking information into alpha component for the in-memory textures.


Currently, our SolidWorks reader does not support multiple textures on a same face. This limitation makes Decal and texture supports mutually exclusive. The behavior in such case is that if a read face contains both a texture and a decal, the texture has precedence.

Multi-face decals are not supported.


Units for files up to SLW 2007 are by default expressed in g/mm^3.