How to Improve Graphics and Speed by Adjusting Image Quality in SOLIDWORKS

How to Improve Graphics and Speed by Adjusting Image Quality in SOLIDWORKS
Posted in: Mechanical Design

Do you need to improve image quality, sharpen your graphics, or achieve faster speed in SOLIDWORKS? Have you ever had a SOLIDWORKS file that seemed to lag when you zoom or rotate? Have you ever noticed your edges looking too coarse?

This setting is for you!

The setting I’m referring to is the SOLIDWORKS Image Quality setting. This lives in Settings> Document Properties> Image Quality.

Where to find image quality settings in SOLIDWORKSWhere to find image quality settings in SOLIDWORKS

The image quality window has two slider bars. The top slider bar controls the display styles shaded and shaded with edges. The bottom slider controls the image quality for wireframe, hidden lines removed and hidden lines visible.

In the example below, you can see what some of the different positions look like on a model with holes in it. Keep in mind that the holes are circular but, depending on the position of the slider bar, they may be rendered with fewer or more edges.

For an example, I’ll start with my preferred setting, having my slider about 1/3 from the left-hand side. This gives me reasonable graphics without harming performance for most of my work.

Preferred image quality setting in SOLIDWORKSPreferred image quality setting in SOLIDWORKS
Ideal image quality settings in SOLIDWORKSIdeal image quality settings in SOLIDWORKS

At this graphics level, zoomed out these appear as circles, however once you zoom in, you can see some of the edges that get rendered. If you need to zoom in a lot for a screenshot and want a higher resolution, stand by for the finer setting.

Next, I’ll show what the farthest to the left looks like (I wouldn’t recommend it).

Finer setting in SOLIDWORKS for image qualityFiner setting in SOLIDWORKS for image quality

My circles are now rendered as pentagons, probably not what we are looking for. Essentially, this is where the software starts and as you go to the right it adds more sides to your circles (in graphics only of course).

Finally, I’ll show what I might try for a nice screenshot, over on the right of the slider. One quick note first though, if you go all the way into the red there is a warning that your performance will slow. Outside of the red over on the right will be slower than over on the left, but it shouldn’t be very noticeable for simpler models.

Utilizing document and image quality properties in SOLIDWORKSUtilizing document and image quality properties in SOLIDWORKS

I usually avoid going all the way to the right on the slider and might pick just next to the red.

Image quality options available in SOLIDWORKSImage quality options available in SOLIDWORKS

This gives me some nice circles zoomed out or zoomed in.

Zoomed in image quality in SOLIDWORKSZoomed in image quality in SOLIDWORKS
Image quality settings adjustments in SOLIDWORKSImage quality settings adjustments in SOLIDWORKS

Eventually if you zoom in enough, you can see some edges. If you need to go this far for a nice circular hole, SOLIDWORKS Visualize may be what you need!

For most day-to-day work, I recommend having the slider bar around the left third. If you need a sharper screenshot, bump up the image quality to the right, take your screenshot, then drop the slider back down.

Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems with any questions about your SOLIDWORKS software.

May 31, 2022
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