Exporting to solidworks?

What is the best file type for solidworks 2022, and what settings work the best along with which of the 3 output formats?

It’s X_T (Parasolid). Shapr3D is running on Parasolid just like SOLIDWORKS, thus the compatibility is guaranteed if you are using the Parasolid format.


Hi Ed,
I totally agree with Istvans answer: The best option is the Parasolid-format (I usually use .x_t [but it should not make a huge difference to x_b]).
STEP is the second-best option, because it is a universal exchange-format.
I would like to explain a little more…
I use the metaphore of language to explain why parasolid is working best:
Both SolidWorks and Shapr3D are running the parasolid-kernel, so the parasolid-format is their mother-tounge-language and both programs can handle that process very well.
STEP (as every other export-format) is a foreign-language to both of the programs - so the first program may pronounce some words wrong, so the second program has a relatively large chance to misinterpret the meaning of the sentence (what will result in faulty geometry).
Thats why it is always a good idea to stay as close to the mother-tounge as possible - in our case: Parasolid.
That being said: If there is no parasolid-file available, choose STEP over IGES, please. The results will be better from my expierience.
You should totally avoid non-solid-formats (like .STL) for exchanging data, because you will have trouble editing the files afterwards.
I hope that helps,
Cheers Matt


Yes. That helps me understand the process in a different way.

Another question: on the drop down i would use ascii not bianary?
Also, could you explain “include hidden items”, and “save each 1st_level item separately”. When you save separately why is it sent as a zip?

I export to a manufacturer, and am trying to make sure that i can answer their questions.

Lets say you have 3 Bodies in your design and one of them is hidden (the eye is dashed in the item-list).

  • having “include hidden items” turned off will result in the 2 visible bodies exported (in one file).
  • having “include hidden items” turned on will result in all 3 bodies exported (even the hidden one!) (in one file).

“save each 1st_level item separately” means that you’ll have seperate files for every entry in your item-explorer window on the first level. That means: If there are 3 different Bodies on first level, you’ll receive 3 different files. If there are 2 bodies inside a folder and a single body on first level you will receive 2 files (one with the 2 Bodies from the folder being in 1st level, and one of the single body).

I guess the Zip -File is created to make sure you have all the files of this export-operation all together (think about saving into a folder with already existing files - it may result in a mess and you may have trouble to differenciate the files you want to pass on to your manufacturer and old files.

Cheers Matt


Thanks for your help, your explanations are spot on for the way i think.