How Do I Render in SolidWorks?

Rendering is a powerful tool in SolidWorks that allows you to create realistic and visually appealing representations of your 3D models. Whether you are presenting your designs to clients or showcasing them in a portfolio, rendering can greatly enhance the overall impact of your work. In this article, we will explore the various techniques and settings you can use to render your models in SolidWorks.

Setting up the Scene

Before diving into the rendering process, it is important to set up the scene properly. This includes adjusting the lighting, background, and camera settings to achieve the desired result.


Lighting plays a crucial role in rendering as it determines how your model will be illuminated. SolidWorks provides different types of lights such as point lights, spotlights, and directional lights. You can position these lights strategically to highlight specific areas of your model.


The background sets the stage for your rendered image. You can choose from predefined backgrounds or use an image as a custom background. Consider using a simple background that complements your model and doesn’t distract from it.

Camera Settings

The camera settings control how your model is viewed in the rendered image. You can adjust parameters like field of view, focal length, and depth of field to achieve different perspectives and levels of focus.

Selecting Rendering Mode

SolidWorks offers two main rendering modes: RealView Graphics and PhotoView 360. RealView Graphics provides real-time rendering with dynamic lighting effects, while PhotoView 360 allows for more advanced rendering options with greater control over materials, textures, and environment.

RealView Graphics

If you are looking for quick and interactive renderings, RealView Graphics is an excellent choice. It provides a realistic representation of your model in the SolidWorks graphics window. You can enable RealView Graphics by going to View > Display > RealView Graphics.

PhotoView 360

For more advanced rendering capabilities, PhotoView 360 is the way to go. This powerful tool allows you to create stunning photorealistic renderings with extensive control over lighting, materials, and backgrounds. To access PhotoView 360, go to Tools > Add-Ins and check the box next to PhotoView 360.

Applying Materials and Textures

To make your rendered models look more realistic, you can apply materials and textures. SolidWorks provides a wide range of predefined materials that you can easily apply to different parts of your model.


You can apply materials by selecting a part or face in your model and choosing a material from the appearance tab. Adjusting parameters like color, glossiness, and transparency can further enhance the realism of your rendered image.


In addition to materials, you can also apply textures to add depth and detail to your model. Textures simulate real-world surfaces like wood, metal, or fabric. You can either use SolidWorks’ built-in textures or import custom textures for more variety.

Tweaking Render Settings

To achieve the desired look for your rendered image, you may need to adjust various render settings such as resolution, quality level, and output format.


The resolution determines the number of pixels in the rendered image. Higher resolutions result in sharper and more detailed images, but also increase rendering time. Consider the intended use of your rendered image when choosing a resolution.

Quality Level

The quality level controls the overall quality of the rendered image. Higher quality settings result in smoother surfaces, better lighting effects, and more accurate reflections. However, higher quality levels also require more computational resources and may increase rendering time.

Output Format

When saving your rendered image, you can choose from various output formats such as JPEG, PNG, or TIFF. Consider the intended use of the image and any specific requirements for file size or transparency when selecting an output format.

The Final Render

Once you have set up the scene, selected the rendering mode, applied materials and textures, and tweaked the render settings, you are ready to perform the final render of your model.

To initiate a render, go to Render > Start Render. Depending on your model complexity and render settings, it may take some time to complete the rendering process. You can monitor the progress in the Render Manager window.

The rendering process generates an image that faithfully represents your 3D model with all lighting effects, materials, and textures applied. Save your rendered image and share it with others to showcase your design skills!

In Conclusion

In this article, we explored how to render in SolidWorks using different techniques and settings. We learned about setting up the scene with appropriate lighting, background, and camera settings.

We discussed the two main rendering modes, RealView Graphics and PhotoView 360, and how to apply materials and textures to enhance the realism of your models. We also covered tweaking render settings to achieve the desired look for your rendered image. By following these steps, you can create stunning renderings that showcase your designs in the best possible light.