Stratasys Insight and GrabCAD Print: An Introduction

Article by Eissa Ahmad updated March 30, 2018


Stratasys 3D Printer Slicer Tools: GrabCAD Print vs. Insight

In a previous post, I talked about the differences between Stratasys Insight and GrabCAD Print. I went over how these slicer tools are very functional on their own but can also increase that functionality by working together. In this post, I’ll explain in a little more detail just what I mean.

GrabCAD Print and Insight are both specifically tailored for Stratasys 3D printers. The main difference here is that GrabCAD Print was built for Stratasys’ Idea Series and Design Series printers and Insight was built by Stratasys for their Production Series printers.

Starting from Insight 

I won’t go too far into the workings and functionalities of Insight, as I’ve covered it all in my previous article. What I will cover, though, is how Insight project files can be transferred to and processed by GrabCAD Print.  


Depending on the version of Insight you have installed, generating the .cmb file for your object will be a little different. In the standalone version, you need to save the project as a Job. In the GrabCAD add-on, make sure to save the project as a Toolpath.  

Into GrabCAD 

Once you’ve saved your .cmb file, import it into GrabCAD either from the File dropdown menu, or from the keyboard shortcut: 


Once the .cmb file is imported, you’ll notice the 3D model looks slightly skewed or “damaged”. THIS IS NORMAL. Since GrabCAD already has the model data, it builds a silhouette of the modified object for better efficiency. Hitting the Slice button shows the modified layers in full detail.  

The one thing you need to remember is that once .cmb files are loaded, you are no longer able to import standard object files like .stl or .obj in the same project. Another thing to remember is that print properties and settings can’t be changed in GrabCAD once a .cmb is loaded. The program is already assuming you’ve set everything up in Insight, so it locks all other options like layer height and support style. The only thing you can change is the position of the object on the print bed.  

Apart from that, everything else is pretty much the same. Import the .cmb, choose where you’d like to place it on the build tray/sheet, and hit “Print”.  

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Eissa Ahmad

Eissa is an Additive Manufacturing Intern Applications Engineer at Javelin Technologies. Studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Automation Engineering Technology at McMaster University.