SOLIDWORKS Importing and Exporting 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF)

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated October 15, 2016


SOLIDWORKS 2017 now provides us with the ability to import and export 3MF files.

3MF is a new 3D printing format that will allow design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models to a mix of other systems (both hardware & software). The 3MF specification will allow systems to bypass typical interoperability issues, and avoid the problems associated with other 3D file formats. 3MF files will fully describe a model and retain other internal information such as colour.

If you have Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 or greater, you can print directly using the SOLIDWORKS 3MF format included. Simply set the print options in the 3D Print PropertyManager and print to the 3D printer. A preview of the print bed and the model’s location within the print bed lets you modify settings before committing to a 3D print job.

To access the 3D print dialog box and specify print options, click File > Print3D.  The print dialog box that is available depends on your installed 3D print driver.



To learn about the new ways to incorporate this technology into your 3D printing workflow watch our on-demand webinar below:

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006 and migrated along with his team members to the TriMech Solutions team in 2021.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.