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How to Export from SolidWorks to Maya?

Although Maya and SolidWorks are CAD programs, their use varies by industry. However, you can still use both CAD applications when working on a particular model or project. Before explaining how to export from SolidWorks to Maya, let’s have a small introduction explaining what Autodesk Maya is. 

Maya is a package of professional 3D animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering tools made for producing realism in characters and effects fit for the big screen. The application is a full-featured tool for modeling, animation, shading, and rendering 3D elements for still photos and animation. One of the top animation tools available in the 3D industry is Maya. Creating and editing complicated animations is easy by using the Time Editor, the Graph Editor, and other tools. Well-known in the video gaming and movie industries. Maya makes animation, 3D modeling for manufacturing, and video game creation possible.

Maya is used by animation artists in conjunction with other Autodesk programs, while professional artists use it to create digital representations of items or topography. So, if the project you are working on requires you to work with Solidworks and Maya, this article explains how to export from SolidWorks to Maya. Let’s get started.  

Solidworks – How to export your 3D models

There are different ways to export your Solidworks 3D model for various purposes. For example, learning how to export from SolidWorks to Maya allows you to integrate Maya features into your SolidWorks model.  

Option 1: For Solidworks 2019, use the Extended Reality plugin

All 2019 versions of the Solidworks applications have access to the Extended Reality plugin. You can export a GLTF file using the Extended Reality plugin. To upload the zip file to the Augment Manager, zip the output of the export GLTF and bin files.

Option 2: Export a Step file and convert it into OBJ

Utilizing a third-party program is an additional method for exporting your 3D SolidWorks model. The Open Cascade is a prime example of one. After installing the program, export a STEP file from SolidWorks and then use Open Cascade to open it. You can change your 3D model into an obj file—zip up the MTL and obj files. You may import it into Augment once it has been exported.

Option 3: Import your file in a rendering software

You should transfer your Solidworks file into Modo or Autodesk 3ds Max if you have any of those programs. Modo is the only platform that offers the necessary digital university or workplace experiences and is intended for quick launch and refining. Autodesk 3ds Max is a potent 3D modeling and rendering application for design visualization and high-quality animations. The integration tool in Modo is superior.

How to Export From Solidworks to Maya

A collection of expert 3D modeling, simulation, rendering, and animation tools called Maya is designed to create realistic characters and effects suitable for large-scale productions. You can follow the steps to learn how to export SolidWorks to Maya:

Step 1: Formatting Model in SolidWorks

You must export the Solidworks model in IGES format ( .iges or. igs). Select in Solidworks the assembly pieces you wish to export. Additionally, pick Save As from the menu.

IGES files (*.igs) should be selected in the Save As box, and then you should set the Options button. Set the Output to Trimmed Surfaces and the Surface Representation to NURBS in the IGES Export Options box. Nurbs and trimmed NURBS are used in Maya modeling. Choose High trim curve accuracy to prevent gaps between the surfaces and press the OK button.

To export just the chosen items, choose Yes in the popup.

Step 2: Maya

After editing the model in Solidworks, open Maya and then close SolidWorks. You can create a new project in Maya by selecting the menu, and file, then opening the section from the navigation menu. You should be able to locate the.iges file you just created. If this is unsuccessful, you may need to activate the IGS plugin. Open the menu, then select Window. Plug-in Manager may be found by choosing Settings or Preferences. Iges. All require that you turn on two checkboxes. You will notice a mess in Maya if you export an assembly. You may quickly resolve the issue by accessing the outliner and selecting and deleting any geometry nodes other than the groups.

You must specify two render stats properties, ideally not for each surface individually, to view reflections and refractions on iges surfaces. Maya offers a spreadsheet editor to set a characteristic for a group of covers. The outliner should be set to pick all characters, which you may accomplish by choosing Window from the menu. Select Attribute Spread Sheet under Windows’ General Editors menu.

Locate the Visible in Reflections and Visible in Refractions sections of the spreadsheet’s Render tab. To choose the column, type on instead of off in the first row of the Visible in Reflections heading. Rep the procedure for Visible Refractions. You can now make a quick test render.

Adding supplies and lighting

Decals And textures Issues

You will have considerably more influence over the outcome if you utilize an external tool, such as Maya or Blender, to apply textures to your model. However, using these applications doesn’t mean there won’t be issues after the export is completed. The following are some SolidWorks hints and problems you may face after exporting.

1. The decals will have a better chance of being exported if both sides of the SolidWorks model are attached to the edge.

2. If decals are not linked to sides, they will loop.

See also  How to Mirror a Feature in SolidWorks?

3. If there is rotation, decals will loop.

4. If decals are not tied to any side, they have essentially no possibility of being exported.

The exported models from Solidworks should be in OBJ or DAE format.


Even though SolidWorks is the best and most widely used CAD program, it has some limited capabilities. If your model needs characteristics SolidWorks does not have, you can export your model to a different CAD program. Maya is one such example. Maya will be a better investment if you desire a professional career in the video game business. If you are starting from Solidworks, you must learn how to export from SolidWorks to Maya. Maya was developed to generate realistic characters and effects ideal for large-scale projects.