3 Common SOLIDWORKS Import Geometry Problems (And Fixes For Each)

By David Arthur on

solidworks repair imported geometry

It’s extremely important to verify and fix imported geometry. This is especially true when the user plans to add features on top of the imported geometry.

Today, I will show three examples of common imported geometry issues and how to find a solution. 

Issue #1: Inability To Add A Simple Feature To A Part

Click to enlarge

The user may be able to add multiple features to the imported body without problem and then, out of the blue, they have a problem adding a simple cut or feature. No amount of reworking seems to help.

The first thing to do is create a copy of the file, delete all the features in the tree except for the imported body then run Import Diagnostics. More often than not, it will find errors in the underlying imported geometry.

In a case like this, the imported body must be repaired and the features recreated. Keep in mind that you can’t run Import Diagnostics on an imported body if any feature has been added to the FeatureTree. Be sure to correct all geometry errors before modifying the imported geometry, otherwise you might have to delete 15 – 20 features you’ve added.

Issue #2: Incomplete Or Corrupt Views On An Assembly Or Part Drawing

These problems can arise in various ways:

  • Parts not showing up in a particular drawing view
  • Odd geometry appearing in a view that does not appear at the part or assembly level
  • Section views that won’t complete
  • Missing geometry after printing or printing to PDF
  • Drawing views that drop back into Draft Quality (DQ) after High Quality (HQ) is selected

In most cases, the underlying problem is that the view will not go into HQ. The good news is, this is something easy to look for.

 Click to enlarge


Import diagnostics shows problem faces, click to enlarge 

When trying to find the file, many times the user has imported error-ridden geometry they received from a vendor or found on the internet. There are a few ways to determine if this is the case and find the specific components.

One method is to suppress groups of components at the assembly level and then check to see if the drawing view will go HQ. In most cases, as soon as you suppress the problem part, the HQ option on the drawing view will stick. This method can be used to narrow it down to one or more specific files.

Another quick check is to use the FeatureTree search at the main assembly level. Search for “Imported” then do a select all and suppress selected components. Go back and check the drawing view to see if it will go into HQ and stay. 

Issue #3: Slow Assembly Or Drawing Behavior

Supress Slow Components in SOLIDWORKSSometimes, SOLIDWORKS can be slow to add features and parts, open or rotate. The method described in Issue #2 (“Incomplete/Corrupt Views”) is effective for finding the problematic parts.

Start suppressing groups of components to see if the issue improves dramatically with certain components suppressed. Once the problem part is found, it can be fixed.

Don’t be fooled by hidden parts. Hidden parts are not suppressed and can still cause slowdowns and instability.

More Helpful Troubleshooting Hints

Close all files, clear all dismissed messages (Tools > Options > System Options > Messages/Errors/Warnings) and reopen the file, letting it rebuild fully. This alone will resolve many user issues where they have dismissed messages and aren’t being notified of (or given the opportunity to respond to) what’s going on the background.

Next, check and make sure your Default Templates are pointed correctly. Select each one to be sure. SOLIDWORKS can be finicky when it can’t find the default templates.

Although importing geometry can sometimes cause problems, it is an essential part of design and needs to be worked with rather than ignored. If you have questions or are experiencing import issues, leave a message below for our Tech Support team.

If you are looking to take your skills to the next level and master SOLIDWORKS, sign up for a training now!