Optimize 3D Printing from SOLIDWORKS with Print3D

Article by Rod Mackay updated January 6, 2022


Optimizing part designs for 3D printing production relies heavily on using the right tools. SOLIDWORKS has taken the initiative to create a 3D design software environment that is intuitive and aids manufacturers in designing 3D printed parts.

You can avoid additive manufacturing problems by leveraging SOLIDWORKS 3D design software tools, such as the Print3D feature, to easily manage, identify and correct issues before going to print. Learn how Print3D works in the video below:

How does SOLIDWORKS Print3D Tool help with 3D Printing?

Here are just a few ways you can save time and money with SOLIDWORKS Print3D:

Is your design too big for 3D Printing?

Partnering with Wohlers Associates, SOLIDWORKS provides a library of thousands of 3D printers with the corresponding build chamber dimensions. If your model is too big, red highlights show where it is outside the build envelope. Print3D also enables you to scale your model up or down to fit inside the chosen printer and even orient it to fit so you can maximize the size of the model without upgrading your printer.

Optimize 3D Printing

SOLIDWORKS Print3D for Stratasys F170

Detect 3D Printing issues early

Small gaps and thin walls may cause a design to print thicker than expected, not print properly or not print at all. SOLIDWORKS Print3D automatically helps you spot and avoid such issues before you send the job to print. You can also visualize the layers to see any potential “stair-stepping” that can occur with shallow gradients.

Support Structures

Support structures can harm the aesthetics or function of the areas they are connected to while adding material costs and slowing the build. The Print3D feature indicates which faces of a design may require support structures, thereby providing you the flexibility to tweak the design as needed to reduce them.

Save Print File as 3MF

Once your design is perfected for 3D printing, instead of exporting outdated STL files, now you can use a better format for 3D printing called 3MF. This full-fidelity file format supports geometry, colors, materials and much more. 3MF can handle anything your printer can print. The file sizes are much smaller than corresponding STL files, and files never need “fixing” on the back end. Plus, you can even see a preview thumbnail in Microsoft® Windows.

Get your SOLIDWORKS Files 3D Printed

Use the Javelin 3D Printing Service to produce your SOLIDWORKS designs. Simply send us your 3MF file and we will 3D print it from the material you require and then ship it to you.

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.