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SOLIDWORKS AutoCAD related tech tips and tutorials

How to convert CAD to STL for 3D Printing

Pictured above the control panel for STL conversion in SOLIDWORKS.

How CAD files are exported to STL is an important process for accurate building of parts. The step by step process for converting CAD to STL was taken straight from the mentioned companies websites. STL Definition STL is the standard file type used by most or all rapid prototyping systems. A STL is a triangulated representation of a 3D CAD model, an example is shown below: Solid test Facet normal 0 1 0 Outer loop Vertex 0 4 0 Vertex 0.517638 3.93185 0 Vertex 0.5 3.93185 -0.133975 Endloop Endfacet Endsolid test The triangulation of a surface will cause faceting of the 3D model. The parameters used for outputting a STL will affect how much faceting occurs (figure 2 and 3). You cannot build the model any better or smoother than the STL file, so if the STL is coarse and faceted, that is what you can expect in the final…

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Is it time to consider making the switch to SOLIDWORKS?

Switch to SOLIDWORKS

We are in an age where technology is changing faster than we can consume it, this can make it difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest in the CAD market and you may not be aware that your CAD platform could be limiting your design and document workflows. With the ever changing landscape of CAD solutions we see many companies are making the switch to SOLIDWORKS. Here are the common questions we hear from companies that are re-evaluating their current 3D design solution: Software Licencing “We feel like our CAD provider is bullying us into a software as a service (SaaS) subscription license model!” With most of the industry switching to a software as a service (Saas) model, SOLIDWORKS is dedicated to giving you the choice of the best solution that suits your needs. SOLIDWORKS provides both Perpetual licensing for a permanent license that you own, as well…

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Why are you using AutoCAD or Microsoft Visio for Electrical Design?

Using Electrical Design

The price of anything in monetary terms is what we typically believe the cost is as well. For the longest time we believed the cost of oil and gas to be what we paid for it; the cost of a cigarette is what you paid to buy it. It took us decades but we figured out that the cost of cigarettes and burning fossil fuels is far reaching – not only does it affect your life but the overall society at large is affected. Similarly, the cost of using AutoCAD® or Microsoft Visio® for electrical design will linger far longer and is much larger than companies realize, not only is there no intelligence in the lines and circles, these non-intelligent items somehow become an integral part of the thinking and DNA of the design team.  I have seen Engineers, Designers and Technicians alike cling to these 2D CAD tools while automating…

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With Draftsight you can edit DWG files from any version of AutoCAD!

DraftSight Free DWG Editor

Looking for a free DWG Editor? Unable to open your AutoCAD files? We might be able to help you with DraftSight… One of the common frustrations that SOLIDWORKS users have is being unable to open and edit legacy DWG files, either because the files are too old, or they no longer have a license of AutoCAD®. I have experienced this issue first-hand as a designer, when I couldn’t open AutoCAD files that were newer than the software I was working with and would receive the all too familiar ‘Drawing file is not valid’ error message. This was always frustrating, involving phone calls and files being sent back and forth, or being saved as…or converted, etc. Presenting a FREE DWG Editor Dassault Systemes wanted to solve this issue and released a fantastic FREE DWG Editor called DraftSight, which is designed for anyone to help manage DWG files. Simply put, I love DraftSight. Oh, and did I mention it is FREE?  It’s…

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