The Workflow Problem
Amazing technology isn’t useful if you can’t take full advantage of its benefits. Achieving realistic 3D printed models from SOLIDWORKS shouldn’t require you to recolour files, rely on too many different software solutions, or manually add details after the part is printed. These extra steps take too much time and rack up costs.
The Solution: The Designer’s Toolkit
Stratasys PolyJet Technology™ is designed to meet all your form, fit, and visual modeling needs, from simple file preparation to design software integration and advanced colour and volumetric capabilities. The design realism software ensures a simple workflow powered by software solutions:
- SOLIDWORKS with 3MF File Format offers a powerful, more efficient alternative to STL files, letting you go to print directly from SOLIDWORKS. 3MF files deliver a complete package of model information in a single archive, including data on textures, materials, colours, and mesh.
- GrabCAD Print™ software makes 3D printing easy, accessible, and efficient with optimized workflow and communication from your design software to your 3D printer. GrabCAD Print supports a wide range of file types, including native CAD, STEP, Parasolid, OBJ, 3MF, VRML and STL.
- Voxel Print™ software allows advanced users, like academic researchers, to define data volumetrically for each 3D pixel, or voxel, throughout the entire model. This allows for an advanced level of control at a microscopic scale, enabling higher resolutions, fine-tuned colour placement, and shore value transitions within one part.
- Bump Mapping compatibility lets designers simulate surface finishes by generating physical textures. GrabCAD Print reads bump map information from OBJ and 3MF files, and translates it into a real 3D printed texture. This enables a new level of 3D printed realism, for parts that both look and feel like the real product.
3D Print SOLIDWORKS Models Workflow
Going from design to print is three simple steps using SOLIDWORKS, GrabCAD Print, and a Stratasys PolyJet 3D Printer:
1. Design in SOLIDWORKS
Many designers are still relying on STLs, which don’t contain any colour or texture data. This requires communicating information about Colour, Material and Texture (CMF) in other ways, including manual processes, extensive explanations, or additional software steps. But with SOLIDWORKS you can include that information in the 3MF file. Workflows that rely on OBJ and VRML files leave material, texture and finish out of the story, making them inefficient and time-consuming:
2. Export 3MF into GrabCAD Print
With GrabCAD print, it’s simple to import from industry standard CAD tools like SOLIDWORKS into the 3MF file format. This creates a compact file containing all the model information, including data on textures, colour, materials, and mesh. 3MF files can be imported directly into GrabCAD Print, which means you can be print-ready in just a few clicks:
3. 3D Print with a Stratasys PolyJet Machine
To achieve industry standard colour matching, GrabCAD Print offers PANTONE™ Validated colours and industry standard colour profiles. PolyJet 3D printers offer ICC colour profiles by X-Rite, which help ensure that your parts come out exactly the way you intended – and helps you keep those colours consistent for future work.
For fully accurate CMF models, go beyond colour to texture realism. PolyJet Technology and SOLIDWORKS software combine to enable bump mapping – bring physical textures to life in one easy-to-use 3D printing workflow.
It’s easy to do more with GrabCAD Print.
- A variety of file formats supported.
- Other native CAD formats
- File functionality.
- Support assemblies
- File fixing
- Control of support structure
- Tray and file preparation
- Customized colour and finish assignments.
- Colour picker
- Digital materials
- PANTONE Validated™ colours
- Glossy or matte finish
- Set core type
- X-Rite i1Profiler colour profiles
- Detailed part manipulation.
- Part scaling
- Add notes to parts
- Auto-arrange tray
- Intuitive print management.
- Multiple print modes
- Remote job queue management
- Navigate between multiple printers
Design realism – simplified.
With SOLIDWORKS, GrabCAD Print, and a Stratasys 3D Printer, designers have access to a simple, efficient workflow that brings designs to life. Whether they incorporate bump mapping, colour gradients, complex surface textures, or colourful graphics, design concepts can become reality in just a few clicks.
Want to get started with 3D Printing?
Our 3D Printing resources can help you to: