11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 7, 2010 2:53 PM by jordanyte1 RSS

    Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??

    Lou Dina Community Member

      A customer has Solidworks 2010 (3-D CAD program) and created a complicated 3D model that he wants to use in a brochure. Solidworks creates color, shading and does a nice job, but the colors are ugly and apparently cannot be changed inside Solidworks.

       

      I need to get this image into Illustrator CS4 (Mac platform) in vector format so I can change the colors. They can send me a DXF format, which comes over as vector data, but it loses all color, shading, and each little line segment and curve is a discreet object. I found I can convert it to a smart paint object, but that is not really ideal and will take a lot of time to redo.

       

      Though Solidworks has a PDF, EPS and AI export feature, it rasterizes it first before converting, so it comes over like a digital camera image as one big bitmap blob. That won't work.

       

      Does anyone know how to export a full color vector based image from solidworks, and them import it into Illustrator so I can retain shading, etc, and just change the colors?

       

      Any help appreciated.

       

      Thanks, Lou

        • 1. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
          Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

          You would either need a plug in like strata has or bring it into Photoshop as a 3D Model.

           

          You can paint a model in Photoshop and keep it a 3D model.

          • 2. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
            Lou Dina Community Member

            Thanks for the response, Wade.

             

            The customer sent me a 3D PDF generated and exported from SolidWorks. I can open it in Acrobat Pro, rotate it in 3D, the lighting changes, etc...very cool.

             

            But I cannot open or place that file in either Photoshop or Illustrator. Or, more accurately, I can open or place, but I don't see anything at all. If I try to open the 3D PDF file directly in Photoshop, I get a clear background, with the words "Enable 3D View" and that's it.  I tried exporting and Save As from Acrobat Pro in EPS and PS format, but they come over blank in either PS or Illy.

             

            Neither the customer nor I have strata.

             

            Thanks,

             

            Lou

            • 3. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
              Lou Dina Community Member

              Ahaaa......I have CS4 but do NOT have CS4 Extended, so I suspect I am locked out of 3D-land. Would that explain why I can't open a 3D file in Photoshop or Illustrator?

               

              Curious, however, that it opens fine in Acrobat and that I can't export it in a vector format that will come into Acrobat (or just haven't figured out HOW to do it yet).

               

              Any suggestions?

               

              Lou

              • 4. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
                Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                Yes you need CS 4 Extended

                • 5. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
                  Lou Dina Community Member

                  Thanks, Wade.....

                   

                  but.....bummer.....I don't have it.

                   

                  Lou

                  • 6. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
                    Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                    CS 5 ill be announce on the 12th and perhaps this is an opportunity to upgrade.

                    • 7. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
                      Mylenium MVP

                      The whole workflow is wrong and unfortunately a typical case of where neither party involved understands the other (no offense), i.e. screwhead vs. artist. You have a number of options, but my advise is based on UG/ NX and AutoCAD, so I can't vouch whether it will work in SolidWorks.

                       

                      • CAD operator creates a "named view", then converts it to a 2D plan view/ elevation for export as a line drawing. Should take care of any obscuration issues, but may require to consolidate some of the specifics of the drawing
                      • Export a 3D PDF, but choosing to also embed all existing data as 2D, including custom views
                      • Create a 3D PDF, open it in DeepExploration. Create your own view and tracing by choosing a suitable fiel format (AI, PDF, 2D DXF etc.)

                       

                      If you have  Acrobat Pro Extended, you can also edit the 3D PDF in 3D reviewer and create your own sub-sets/ assemblies and export them as separate 2D drawings as high-res TIFFs. and of colurse, since you already have 3D data, using 3D features to render a bitmap file  or produce a tracing would certainly work, too.

                       

                      Mylenium

                      • 8. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
                        Mylenium MVP

                        Oh, sorry, just saw that you are on a Mac. That sucks. Utterly the wrong computer for any kind of CAD based work...

                         

                        Mylenium

                        • 9. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
                          Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                          With older CAD programs I woUld have the CAD operator save a view of the 3D model as a eps and import that.

                           

                          So Mylenium's suggesting is the way to go.

                          • 10. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
                            Lou Dina Community Member

                            I'll see what my customer can do. Thanks for the suggestions, folks.

                             

                            We tried a straight export to EPS, but crazy as it sounds, I received a rasterized file. Solidworks appears to have taken a snapshot and made it into bitmap before creating the EPS. The same thing happens with AI, PS and PDF export. I was quite surprised at that when I received their filesI have asked them to look for export options under each export model, but so far no luck.

                             

                            I'll see if they can save a view of the 3D model as an EPS. I saw some info on the internet from a company called 3DVision (I believe they are a SolidWorks reseller) and they confirmed that AI and other exports from SW convert to bitmap before putting it into the desired file format.The only thing that has come close to working is DXF format. I can make that work if I must.

                             

                            Mylenium, no problem with artist vs. screwhead....all too true. I'm both an engineer with a lot of experience, and a designer (sort of like a duck-billed platypus), but have zero experience with Solidworks.

                             

                            Lou

                            • 11. Re: Importing SolidWorks 3D Image into Illustrator??
                              jordanyte1

                              This is a reply to an OLD post, but the post *was* marked as unanswered, after all.

                               

                              The answer is - Dassault have written a plugin for  Photoshop (CS3 - CS5, both x86 and x64) called 3DVIA.

                               

                              This plugin allows Solidworks and Photoshop to talk to each other directly.

                               

                              I have not verified it's capabilities but if you want to install it and give it a try visit http://www.3dvia.com/products/3dvia-for-adobe-photoshop/

                               

                              Regards,

                              Ben.