Leveraging SOLIDWORKS for 3D Printing
3D printing is taking the world by storm, metaphorically speaking.
Much like a literal storm, this newer technology is causing sweeping changes across many widely varied industries. From manufacturing to marketing, 3D printers are absolutely changing the game.
If you haven’t yet jumped on the 3D printing and SOLIDWORKS bandwagon, you definitely want to read on. This article will explain how this truly revolutionary combination may be just the ticket for moving your business forward.
Even if you’re already happily on the 3D printing and SOLIDWORKS wagon, you may be wondering just how to get the most bang for your buck. In order to get the most out of your 3D printer and maximize the benefits you need an industry-leading 3D CAD software suite to go along with it. Quality CAD software, like 3D printing SOLIDWORKS, can truly change the future of your projects and your business.
So, just how can you begin to leverage SOLIDWORKS to maximize the advantages of your 3D printer? Let’s dive into the details.
SOLIDWORKS and 3D Printing—A Match Made in (Tech) Heaven
Before we explain how these two technologies work beautifully in tandem and how to get the most out of your 3D printer and SOLIDWORKS combo, let’s look at them separately for a moment.
Types of 3D Printing
While there are many different printers available on the market these days, there are about nine common technologies used in 3D printing:
- Binder Jetting (BJ)
- Digital Light Processing (DLP)
- Electron Beam Melting (EMB)
- Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
- Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)
- Material Jetting/Wax Casting
- Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
- Stereolithography (SLA)
The most common amongst these are FDM, SLA, and SLS. The majority of 3D printers on the market will utilize one of these three technologies.
Nearly regardless of the technology involved, 3D printers are being used to revolutionize many industries by creating unprecedented, widespread efficiencies and savings.
A Bit About SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS is the leading 3D CAD software suites in the world, with over 6 million users globally. SOLIDWORKS is an industry leader that evolves quickly to embrace emerging tech and address ever-changing business needs.
Because the software is so simply integrated with add-ons and complementary programs, it is immensely dynamic. This innovation is just one reason that people love it, and over 6 million satisfied consumers worldwide can’t be wrong!
3D Printing SOLIDWORKS: Putting Them Together for Max Results
SOLIDWORKS assists you with quality 3D printing in a couple of key ways:
- It is very valuable and easy to use and even offers parametric modeling.
- It supports a variety of 3D printing options and evaluation tools.
Print3D is the primary SOLIDWORKS feature that will assist you with high-quality 3D printing. Within Print3D, you are able to prepare for easy file export with:
- A library that allows you to preview your 3D design (accounting for printer volume)
- A preview function that allows you to consider materials to use, angles, thickness and/or gaps, layer heights, slices, faces required and supports needed
- An automatic calculation of the maximum scale for your design
You’ll then be able to easily export to an STL, 3MF, or AMF file for quick 3D printing.
A few of the other tools that you will find useful when leveraging SOLIDWORKS for 3D printing are:
- Includes export resolution, which impacts your file size and end-product quality
- Use this feature to preview and choose the best resolution for your model, including deviation, angle, and max facet size
- Geometry analysis
- Thickness analysis
- Section View (includes section/slice properties and the measure function)
- Interference detection
- Clearance verification
These tools should be used well in advance of trying to 3D print your model.
As you’re developing your design, apply the above tools in order to maximize the efficiency of your design and printing process. Validating your model design as it relates to 3D printing requirements prior to actually attempting to print will drastically cut down on any issues with your model and printer’s compatibility.
By evaluating for printing compatibility early in your design process using the SOLIDWORKS features, you’ll reduce failures and the need for rework. This can also dramatically reduce your total costs, efforts, and time investment.
DesignPoint: Your Partner in Innovation
One thing is clear: employing 3D printing and SOLIDWORKS together creates positive impacts across the board. From incredible innovation to massive efficiency and savings, this is a combination made in technology heaven.
Leverage the 3D printing SOLIDWORKS features as you design your 3D model for maximum bang for your buck. Work smarter, not harder!
Are you ready to level up your 3D printing efforts? To upgrade to SOLIDWORKS or revolutionize your business with the latest 3D technology, contact us. DesignPoint helps you transform your business’s future with technology solutions for today.