Best way to quickly iterate an MDL?

I’m a mechanical engineer, I use Solidworks. Solidworks Visualise, starting from the 2019 version, supports NVidia MDL files as a form of appearance, which makes the first time that some form of Solidworks renderer is able to render procedural 3D wood.

I’m no beginner to programming so I looked up how to write MDL code and started working on it, it’s going well (I’m quite disappointed the standard NVidia MDL library doesn’t have any 3D woods, so I’d like to submit mine for inclusion when they’re done). But the iteration time is very long…Visualise 2019 doesn’t support any kind of ability to alter defined parameters or to reload an MDL from scratch (and I can’t afford to buy another version of Solidworks), which means closing and reloading it, which takes at least a full minute, it’s a severe bottleneck to my work speed.

So I tried building the MDL SDK from scratch on an Ubuntu VM, since I thought that mdl_browser thing might be what I’m looking for (there’s no documentation for or description of any of the examples, so I’m not completely sure) and that’s not working out. It’s got some strange build errors about 96% of the way through that I don’t know how to fix the root cause of because I’m not a *nix guru. After a week of struggling with it, I’m giving up for now.

So I finally created an NVidia Developer account just so I can download the precompiled binaries, only for it to turn out the precompiled binaries don’t include any of the examples included in the SDK, which I feel is quite misleading.

So what is the best solution? I’d like a program which can render an MDL file on a simple model or models and quickly reload and recompile it from disk so I can reduce my iteration time.

Sorry for the late reply!
For commercial software, substance designer is a great visual authoring tool and you can also add your own handwritten MDL modules. It has no quick “reload” though
NVIDIA Omniverse is available for free to individuals and the create application can load and render MDL materials. Omniverse Enterprise Licensing & Pricing | NVIDIA . It requires a recent (RTX) nvidia graphics card for the RTX renderer

I indeed use the samples from the SDK. They are not prebuild since their main purpose is illustrating how to use the SDK and because some have dependencies to software with specific or commercial licenses (like the browser is QT based)
But for preview you need either the df_cuda, df_native or dxr example. dxr is the most feature complete example but DirectX (windows) based. df_native has the least dependencies (pure CPU rendering) so it might be the easiest to compile.