How Do You Design a SOLIDWORKS Model for 3D Printing?

How Do You Design a SOLIDWORKS Model for 3D Printing? Andrew WheelerCommentsOctober 27, 2015 Before your 3D model can be printed, you have to consider a couple of things: the version of SOLIDWORKS you are using (student or professional), and the year of its release. For example, SOLIDWORKS 2015 has a built-in 3D printing command … Continue reading “How Do You Design a SOLIDWORKS Model for 3D Printing?”

How Do You Design a SOLIDWORKS Model for 3D Printing?

Andrew WheelerCommentsOctober 27, 2015

Before your 3D model can be printed, you have to consider a couple of things: the version of SOLIDWORKS you are using (student or professional), and the year of its release. For example, SOLIDWORKS 2015 has a built-in 3D printing command (which only works with Windows 8.1) that previous versions do not. Also, only SOLIDWORKS 2015 users will need the SP5 version to be compatible with Windows 10.

Another thing to keep in mind is what 3D printer you will be using, and what material with which you want to print. Doing your own printing can save you money if you expect to print a large number of objects. There are industrial 3D printers (expensive) and desktop printers (relatively cheap), and a wide range of materials available overall.

But lets step back. If you are modeling in any SOLIDWORKS edition for the specific purpose of 3D printing, there are some things you should keep in mind and know before you start.

1.) Know your 3D printer. You will need to know whether or not to create support structures.

Whether you are 3D printing from home or using a service, it is crucial to understand if the 3D printer that will be fabricating your object requires support structures in order to optimize the likelihood of a successful print. You will have to have a basic understanding of which type of 3D printer you will be using to print your part.

UP Plus FDM desktop 3D printer. Image courtesy of UP3D.

Form 2 SLA desktop 3D printer. Image courtesy of FormLabs.

If you have a 3D printer at home, chances are its either a fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer such as a MakerBot, Ultimaker, UP, DaVinci, or Cube printer; a stereolithography (SLA) printer such as a Form1 or Form2; a MoonRay printer; or a digital light projection (DLP) printer, and you are going to need to know how to create support structures. If you are using SOLIDWORKS 2015 with Windows 8.1, the default 3D print settings automatically create support structures.

B9 Creator DLP desktop 3D printer. Image courtesy of B9 Creations.

If you are sending it away to a third-party service such as Shapeways, Sculpteo or i.materialise, it is important to know what material and type of 3D printing process they will be using to complete your print. Most of these services have and use selective laser sintering (SLS) machines that print in a wide variety of materials including nylon, glass, ceramic and different types of metal.

EOS Formiga P 110 SLS industrial 3D printer. Image courtesy of EOS.

SLS printers do not require support structures. The reason they do not require support structures is because they are surrounded by print material (from which each layer is sintered) throughout the duration of the print, which acts as a perpetual supporting structure.

There are a few other types of 3D printing which are used by third-party printing services, some machine shops, universities and manufacturers that are important to keep in mind when it comes to the necessity of support structures. Selective laser melting (SLM), direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), and electron beam melting (EBM) all require varying degrees of support structures, but high speed sintering (HSS) prints do not.

All of these 3D printers work in the same basic wayby fabricating one layer or slice of a 3D model. FDM printers deposit one layer of a print in hot molded plastic from an extruder, SLA printers use a UV laser to cure one layer of a photopolymer at a time, and SLS printers heat up a giant pile of particulate and sinter one layer at a time. The same is true with every 3D printing process available today, no matter what material is being used.

These printers operate by depositing layer after layer of your model, which is sliced either by SOLIDWORKS 2015, or by a third-party software. (If you are not using SOLIDWORKS 2015, you will have to export your file as an .STL file.)

2.) Incorporate these 3D modeling practices when using SOLIDWORKS specifically for 3D printing

Each part has to have a thickness. Each printer has different capabilities when it comes to thickness, but this is just a reminder that making 3D models for show is different than making one to be produced, in this case by 3D printing it.

The different bodies that make up your model should not intersect. This will create a confusing situation for slicing operations (when software cuts your 3D model into printable layer instructions for your printer). You should create a model in solid modeling mode for ease of design, but you can transfer a surface model into a solid one. The reason its easier is that surface bodies do not have a translatable digital weight, so your computer wont be able to equivocate it physically. However, you can make sure a surface model is watertight and then convert the skin into a solid model, or you can use the thickening tool to expand your surface model into a solid model.

This phone speaker design does not have any intersecting bodies.

To start with building a model in solid modeling mode, create a new file, check off the Merge Result option and then check Selected Bodies. If you want to start with separate bodies, you can use a Boolean tool later on the software. To combine separate bodies, click Insertion, then Functions, hit Combine, then hit the Add option until you have a single solid model. In Cut view, you can verify that your models have merged if you see a bright blue flash between the two models with no spaces. If there is a space in the blue, then use the Combine function to merge them fully.

Merging two separate bodies in SOLIDWORKS is vital when designing for 3D printing. Image courtesy of Dassault Systmes.

Consider minimum thickness and hollow out your object where possible:

When your model is fully merged and designed, youll want to hollow your model to use less 3D printing material, which can be quite expensive if youre printing in metal, for example. To hollow your model, use the Shell function, but be sure to leave fragile parts and thin parts (available thickness depends on the limitation of the 3D printer being used). If you want to play it safe, make sure your minimum thickness is at least 1mm. Another important thing to remember when hollowing out a structure is to select a face to allow your object to be hollow. If you dont select a face, you have to add a hole for the material to drain out, otherwise SOLIDWORKS will interpret the model as solid and not hollow. This will add unnecessary material expense to your print.

Its true, most 3D printing material is expensive. FDM printers have the cheapest materials in general and they come in spools of filament. Most spools are interchangeable. However, some FDM 3D printers like the CubePro have proprietary filament cartridges. Photopolymer resins in SLA and DLP 3D printers are more expensive than FDM material, and SLS materials rise in price from nylon plastics to ceramics, porcelain and metals like aluminum, stainless steel (the cheapest), gold, silver, and brass (the most expensive). If you are unsure about thickness requirements, most 3D printing services like Shapeways and Sculpteo have helpful design guides based on the materials they offer and they include minimum thickness.

If you havent been measuring your file for some reason, be sure to use the Measure tool to measure the exact volume, angle, length, width, height and so on. You can also click on the Information tab to get more data on your model (weight estimations, global size, etc). One thing you should definitely measure is the distance between parts of a moving part or assembly. Be sure that the distance between parts is .5mm between surfaces. Any closer and theres a good chance that the 3D printer will fuse them together.

Using the measuring tool to determine an angle of a 3D model in SOLIDWORKS. Image courtesy of Dassault Systmes.

Now that you have your part or component completed in SOLIDWORKS, you are almost ready to 3D print.

Change the file format to an .STL file:

Depending on which edition of SOLIDWORKS you are using, the instructions vary for preparing a model for the best 3D printed version possible. In the last few editions, you can simply click Save As and select an .STL file.

Student version: Open eDrawing, which comes with every SOLIDWORKS edition. Open your .SLDPRT file by clicking File, then Open and then select your design. Finally, save your file as an .STL file by clicking File, Save as, select Save as type and then hit .STL.

Be sure to enable Export STL in eDrawings in the student version. Image courtesy of Dassault Systmes.

You can then take this .STL file and upload it to a home printers proprietary or open-source software, where you will add support structures, infill, layer resolution and so on. There will be an option for you to print, and it will send your SOLIDWORKS .STL to your printing destination, and then youre all set.

SOLIDWORKS does not have the ability to create a mesh before exporting. However, when you export an .STL file, SOLIDWORKS automatically creates a mesh during the export. SOLIDWORKS will render your meshed .STL and give you an estimated file size as well as the number of faces on your object. If you are using a third-party 3D printing service, the file size is extremely important because of upload limits. Check the upload maximum on a third-party service to make sure your model is below it before finishing the export. You may need to reduce the size of your model if it is too large.

Open your STL file, click File, then 3DPrint. This will open the Print3D property manager dialog box and show you a list of 3D printer drivers available through Windows. If you are printing from home, this dialog box allows you to select your printer (if its supported by windows 8), set your print resolution settings (higher equals more detail but takes longer), infill percentage (sets the amount of material inside a solid model, i.e. a higher percentage will yield a stronger model but take more time), and allow you to add or remove support structures (the default settings add them automatically). Then all you have to do is press Print and watch your digital model slowly become a physical object.

If you are using a third-party service like i.materialise, Shapeways or Sculpteo, you will need to export your model file first and then upload it to the service of your choosing.

To 3D print in other SOLIDWORKS versions:

If you are not using Windows 8.1, or are using a SOLIDWORKS version that does not have the newer built-in 3D printing capability, you can always save your 3D model as an .STL file. You can also download and use a free analyzing and mesh repair software like MeshLab or send it to a cloud repairing service like netfabb.

Performing a standard analysis of a 3D model to ensure quality that will fix damaged parts of the mesh and optimize it for 3D printing. Image courtesy of netfabb.

These applications and others will ensure that your model is fit and optimized for printing. You can either upload it to a third-party printing service or open it from open-source or proprietary printing software for your printer at home. Either way, if you are a SOLIDWORKS user, these guidelines may help improve your 3D printing experience no matter what material or 3D printer you use.

Andrew Wheeler is an optimistic skeptic whose lifelong passion for computer hardware has led him to 3D printing and his latest technological passion, Reality Computing.

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How 3D Printing The Human Body Works [Infographic]

As some of you know, we here atBit Rebelsbelieve that 3D printing is the next big leap in technology. Not only will it present new lifestyles and change the way we shop both online and offline, but it will also change how we keep ourselves healthy and in good condition. The technology today allows us to print pretty much anything down to around 40 microns and up to 14 simultaneous materials. Whatever you can think of, you can now scan and print it to make your production line a whole lot more efficient. But that is not where it all ends. 3D printing technology is not just limited to the gear and gadgets around us. It has a significant impact on the medical field as well.

Imagine for a second that you are suffering from some kind of liver illness that reduces your liver function to 10%. In order to recuperate, you would need a liver transplant or another fix that increases your livers function. In the future, that could be entirely possible thanks to 3D printing. As a matter of fact, scientists and engineers all say that it wont be long before we can print custom made full organs to replace the non-functioning ones.

That is a huge leap for patients who are in dire need of an organ donor but cant seem to find one. When this technology will be available is of course hard to say, but the leaps within this field send a clear message that it wont be long before we start to see real medical implementations of this highly effective technology. So how does it work? What is it that makes bioprinting a possibility?

Thanks toPrinterInks, we have been allowed into the intricate process of printing organs and tissue, cell by cell. This infographic calledPrinting The Human Body: How It Works And Where Its Headedtakes us on a journey of where things are heading in the future. It will allow you to delve deeper into this inspiring technology that will no doubt have a huge impact on the medical condition of the human race.

So next time you are in an accident (which hopefully never happens), and you find yourself with a nasty cut or bruise, know that in the future that could all be fixed by bioprinting tissue to replace the damaged tissue in order for it to heal faster and make the wound seamlessly blend in with the rest of your skin. As if 3D printing technology wasnt cool enough when it comes to products and online services, here is yet another example of the incredible impact 3D printing will have on our lifestyle, and how we solve even the most fatal problems. Its an exciting time ahead, and I am going to keep a dedicated eye on where all of this is heading.

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Fracktal Works raises funds from Hyderabad Angels for all-in-oneFractory 3D printing service

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Fracktal Works raises funds from Hyderabad Angels for all-in-one Fractory 3D printing service

Indian 3D printing startup Fracktal Works has received funding from investment firm Hyderabad Angels in a pre-Series A financing round. The money will go towards 3D printer R&D and a new automated online 3D printing service called Fractory.

Founded in 2013, Bengaluru-based 3D printing and digital manufacturing specialist Fracktal Works looks like a 3D printing company to keep an eye on. Not only does the Indian startup produce its own like of 3D printers, it is also launching an automated 3D printing service, Fractory, which will give customers automatic quotes and repairs on their 3D models.

Its this ambitious and wide-ranging approach to 3D printing that has influenced investors like Hyderabad Angels to put money into Fracktal Works in a recent pre-Series A financing round. Although figures have not been disclosed, Fracktal Works says it will use the new cash to improve its 3D printers and help launch the new Fractory service.

Fractory, which will launch in the near future, promises to offer automatic file repair with learning algorithms, instant quotes and estimated lead times, and order tracking, which lets customers know when their 3D printed item is printing and when it is in transit.

The service, which will provide additive manufacturing as well as CNC milling options, will bring Fracktal Works 3D printing and digital manufacturing capabilities to a new range of customers who do not intend to invest in their own 3D printing equipment.

We believe Fracktal Works disruptive technology will help lower manufacturing costs and increase efficiency, commented G Ram Chaitanya Reddy, vice-chairman of Hyderabad Angels.

You might have heard of Fracktal Works 3D printers: its flagship machine is theJulia desktop 3D printer, released a few years back, but the company recently launched an upgraded version, the Julia+. This new FDM printer is compatible with a wide range of thermoplastics and has a filament sensing unit.

Its not just Hyderabad Angels that has been impressed with Fracktal Works rise up the Indian 3D printing ladder. The company has previously raised funds from 1 Neoteric Technology Solutions, and counts big companies like Cisco, Toshiba, and L&T amongst its previous customers.

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Do you have an imagination that pushes the boundaries of reality? Does your mind keep thinking of ways to test the limits of possibilities? Then bring your innovation alive in a 3D printed form to let the world see your brilliance at the biggest 3D Printing Olympiad ever held in the GCC!

From Passive consumer to active Innovator

Competition Theme: Design your 1st consumer product!

Registrations open until 30th November, 2017

(upload your STL file and PPT before the Registration closes)

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This is How voxeljets New HSS 3D Printing Process Works

a new 3D printing process they call HSS. voxeljet is known for their line of very large format 3D printers, which are specialized for the production of casting molds. Many companies use voxeljet technology to produce large cast metal parts, and in many circumstances, do so much more effectively than using conventional metal casting techniques.

But the new HSS technology from voxeljet actually doesnt involve metal or casting, for that matter. Its all about plastic.

voxeljet has adapted their existing technology to create HSS. Their core technology used to create large casting molds involves jetting binder on a powder surface, which hardens to form the mold. Now that same binder jetting technology can be used to create functional plastic parts.

Heres how it works: a flat layer of plastic powder is applied in the usual manner. A toolhead selectively jets liquid binder on to the powder surface.

Now the interesting part happens: the binder is designed to be highly sensitive to infrared light. When a layer is jetted, an infrared light source blasts the surface, whereupon the binder heats up. The heat is sufficient to melt the powder to which it was applied, fusing the plastic powder into a solid layer and binding it to those underneath. This graphic illustrates the process:

This is a very interesting approach, as it should be able to produce very strong plastic parts more efficiently than laser-based systems that must traverse every voxel of every layer. At top you can see some sample parts produced using HSS.

Another interesting aspect is that the powder-based nature of HSS should permit use of any suitable powdered plastic. While Im pretty sure voxeljet will sell their own line of plastics, it should be possible to use virtually any thermoplastic powder in this system, opening up the possibility that HSS could produce very unusual parts.

voxeljets CEO, Dr. Ingo Ederer, explains more:

Our new high speed sintering process will initially be launched on our VX200 platform. With that, we are excited to offer to our customers great flexibility regarding process and machine parameters, as both can be tailored by our customers to their specific needs. We offer the option of open sourcing for materials, as our customers can choose various testing and validation services from voxeljet. ProPrint, our new and modular printing software, is available in a full access development-kit, allowing for even greater customization options. The availability and application of a wide range of 3D printable thermoplastic materials, including elastomers, makes this product line ideally suited for material suppliers, universities, and other institutions.

Thus it seems that HSS will be an option for inclusion on voxeljets line of large-format 3D printers. This is quite an interesting development because of the incredible size of the voxeljet 3D printers.

Their vx4000, for example, has a build volume of 4 x 2 x 1m (yes, meters), while the first system to use HSS, the VX200, has a build volume of 300 x 200 x 150 mm.

Im wondering if this process will be applied to their larger systems, beyond the VX200. If so, it would then be possible to 3D print enormous plastic parts at efficient costs. One possible issue facing voxeljet could be the control of the heating. The amount of heat collected by a build chamber during printing could take some time to cool down, limiting the throughput of HSS.

This is also a challenge for HP, who use a somewhat similar process. However, they overcome the difficulty by creating a removable build chamber, allowing you to continue printing using a second build chamber while the first one cools down. Its not clear if voxeljet will go this route for their larger units.

However, for now HSS will only be available on the relatively smaller VX200 system.

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3D Series for 3D Printing

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Inside GEs Brainy Factory Of The Future What Happens When You Link 3D Printing And The Internet?

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Inside GEs Brainy Factory Of The Future: What Happens When You Link 3D Printing And The Internet?

The industrial fringe of Greenville, South Carolina, isnt the most obvious place to go looking for a glimpse of things to come. But tucked behind railroad tracks and boxy factories youll find GE Powers new Advanced Manufacturing Works, which opened in April. Its changing how humans make things.

Larger than two football fields and emblazoned with a giant GE monogram, the facility is like a massive toolbox from the future. It holds a sleek microjet cutter that sends a laser beam through a thin stream of water and cuts shapes into the hardest metals that are so precise they look almost alien (see below). There are rows of industrial-grade 3D printers and ovens with argon atmospheres that cure parts made from light and heat resistant supermaterial calledceramic matrix composites (CMCs). Elsewhere, a robot nicknamed Autonomous Prime after the Transformers character Optimus Prime, scans its work area with LIDAR eyes the same technology used by Google in self-driving cars and services a computer-controlled milling machine. Much of the technology here comes embedded with sensors that stream data over secure Industrial Internet links into the cloud for analysis and insights.

The Laser MicroJet sends a laser beam through a thin stream of water and cuts shapes into the hardest metals. Image credit: GE Power

When GE Reports visited, machines at the plant were crafting sinuous compressor blades for theworlds largest jet engine, ceramic shrouds for gas turbines and other parts with shapes so complex and from materials so new that just a few years ago they would have been a glimmer in engineers eyes. This facility is the bridge between the lab and reality, says Kurt Goodwin, the GE manager who runs the plant. Its an incubator. We collaborate with engineers to allow them to realize their big ideas and help turn them into a process that you can do reliably over again at the right price.

Goodwin, who wears glasses, sports a gray beard and has the demeanor of a friendly university professor, says that Leonardo had the idea for the helicopter, but it took Igor Sikorsky 400 years to make it a reality. We have the tools to help our inventors figure things out here and now and get their ideas into mass production right away.

Above: The blue light 3D scanner allows engineers precisely monitor how parts with complex shapes like turbine blades change over time after they start working. Top image: GE engineer Vinson Blanton stands next to Autonomous Prime. The robot uses LIDAR eyes to move heavy parts around the factory. It learns the room, he says. It can actually see us. The new plant is training robots to handle dirty, difficult, dangerous and dull tasks. Images credit: GE Power

GE Power invested $75 million to build the plant. It stands right next to the companys huge Greenville campus, themassive factorywhere GE Power makes theworlds largest gas turbines, which weigh hundreds of tons but hold parts made to hairs-breadth accuracy. Its engineers, as well as their colleagues from other GE energy business, GE Oil & Gas andGE Global Research, will use the new facility to try new design and manufacturing ideas, quickly produce test components and then figure out how to make the best designs in large volumes. GE calls this exchange of knowledge and technology the GE Store.

The laser microjet machine uses a thin stream of water to focus a laser beam (the ruby light inside the machine). It was originally developed for the diamond industry, but GE Power adapted it to make extremely precise cooling holes in turbine blades and other parts (see below). Image credit: GE Power

Gas and jet engine turbines (see above) operate in extreme heat. Engineers designed an intricate system of cooling holes to keep them working at peak efficiency. The laser microjet allows them to use new designs that were previously impossible to manufacture. Image credit: GE Aviation

This is the second such GE facility to open this spring. Earlier in April, GE opened theCenter for Additive Technology Advancementin Pittsburgh, which is helping GE take additive manufacturing methods like 3D printing mainstream.

Goodwin says his business needed the Advanced Manufacturing Works to keep pace with customer demands. Its incredible how fast the world is moving, he says. The expectations for improvement from the market are mind-boggling. Our factory next door is the largest in the world and its already optimized to produce gas turbines at maximum capacity. The workers there have a lot of great ideas but they dont have the time to play around.

The laser microjet can also cut tough and heat resistant supermaterials like CMCs. Image credit: GE Reports/Adam Senatori

The tools here include the latest machines and big-data analytics, but also the right people. The plant, which will have 80 workers, already employs materials scientists with PhDs, engineers and machinists who spent decades honing their craft. We handpicked this team of people who are resourceful, solution-oriented and they dont panic when something goes wrong, Goodwin says. They know how to fail fast. Together, they can solve just about anything.

The typical task usually starts as a 3D computer-assisted design file, or CAD, of an early prototype that arrives at their workstations over the Internet. We want the designers to show us their ugly baby, when the design is just 80 percent finished, says Blake Fulton, a materials engineer at the plant. Weve learned that at this stage they are much more willing to accept feedback.

Fulton and his colleagues then proceed to make a 3D model of the design. It can be printed from plastic or metal, or even cut out from wood.

The plant can make CMC parts in ovens and autoclaves like those pictured above. Image credit: GE Power

In the past, designers would FedEx their files to contractors, who would produce the models and ship them back weeks later. The direct digital feed to Fultons 3D printers allows designers to make many drawing iterations in just days and see what they look like in real life. This is what we call rapid prototyping, Fulton says.

Goodwins workers are also test-driving entire manufacturing processes. GE Aviation is already putting3D-printed parts inside jet engines, but when Goodwin wanted to apply the same technology to gas turbines they include many of the same parts as jets but are much larger he started running into obstacles.

The type of 3D printer GE Aviation is using is called a direct metal laser melting machine. It uses a laser beam to fuse layers of fine metal powder together and grow the part from the ground up. But Goodwins parts were too large and took too long to print on DMLM machines to be economical.

There are rows of 3D printers at the new plant. Image credit: GE Power

The engineers gave them nicknames like Poison Ivy and Cat Woman. Industrial-grade 3D printing is still very new and each machine has its own behavior and character. Thet are are getting them ready for mass production. Image credit: GE Power

Additive manufacturing engineer Chad Dulkiewicz with 3D printed test bars. Image credit: GE Power

Goodwin told his team to find a more cost-effective machine. Since 3D printing is still so new, the only faster machine they could  find was a 3D printer with two laser beams that wasnt even on the market. We bought three of those, Goodwin says.

It was a risky move and problems quickly popped up. We followed the instructions, but the metallurgy wasnt good. His team spent four months analyzing 200 different software parameters and made 400 hardware modifications before they debugged the machines. This spring, they used them to optimize the design of a 3D-printed fuel nozzle for GEs latest-generation gas turbine and bring it to production. The new design lowers the machines nitrogen oxide emissions and increases power output and efficiency. We were able to run through 10 design iterations in just a few months and then ship the final version into production four months later, Goodwin says. Normally it would take us a year.

GE uses itsPredixsoftware platform to stream data over the Industrial Internet into the cloud, analyze it and report problems and solutions back to the team.

These feedback loops are part of a concept GE calls the digital thread. Clay Johnson, GE Powers chief information officer, says the plant still shows only a fragment of whats coming. He says the digital thread will be constantly moving data from customers and suppliers to GE and back. The system will be getting real-time feedback from sensors on parts inside machines, Johnson says. In the future the part will realize its getting degraded, automatically can reorder itself to be made, and schedules the field engineer to be on-site to install it. Its Uber for industry.

But technology wont solve everything. Said Steve Bolze, GE Power CEO, after Fridays opening ceremony: We have robotics and 3D printers, but this place is really about the people who trust each other enough to take risks together and create the future.

This massive mill is making compressor blades for the worlds largest jet engine, theGE9X. Image credit: GE Power

GE Powers materials scientists use these two wind turbine blade forms to make stronger and more accurate with turbine blades from advanced polymers. Image credit: GE Power

They can test finished blades at a test stand next door. Image credit: GE Power

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Prototype Design (solid works) for 3D Printing

Second round of Prototype design. I need one file edited in order to add some groves. I also need a piece added to the design. I have working prototype designs from another engineer (.igs and .dft)

Bonus to have some knowledge and/or experience with weight lifting designs

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How 3D printing works

From the course:Learning 3D Printing

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Theres never been a better time to try 3D printing. This course draws a roadmap for getting started with 3D printing (aka additive manufacturing), from choosing a printer to learning about 3D modeling. After surveying a variety of commercial 3D printing technologies (filament-based, laser sintering, and more), author Kacie Hultgren walks you step-by-step through a variety of 3D design tools, including 3D modeling and 3D scanning. Youll also learn how to repair designs so theyre ready to print, with netfabb Studio, a 3D printing suite. This is a great course for both 3D printing novices as well as designers with existing modeling skills that want to enter the 3D printing marketplace.

Kacie Hultgren is a multidisciplinary designer, focused on set design for live performance.

Her experiments using early DIY desktop 3D printers for scale model building led to an online following in the 3D printing community, where she posts under the handle PrettySmallThings. She is passionate about teaching others to use digital tools and hardware to augment traditional craft and bring their ideas to life in three dimensions. Kacie lives in New York City. You can find her on Twitter: @KacieHultgren.

How do you take an idea and print it in three dimensions? In this video, well follow the four steps required to take a digital file into reality with 3D printing. First, you need a digital file. To create one, youll need CAD software. CAD means Computer Aided Design and it refers to a wide variety of computer applications that help a user create content. In our case, were going to be specifically talking about 3D modeling applications. And, later in this course, well talk more about the variety and styles of 3D modeling. But whats important to know now, is that you can use almost any 3D modeling application to create content for 3D printing. So lets take a look at a CAD file in Blender, an open source 3D modeling program. This is the Stanford bunny, and it was originally scanned at Stanford University. And its a really common file thats used for testing computer applications. This design is complete. And the next step is to export it to a format that is ready for 3D printing

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2. Introducing 3D Printing Technology

2. Introducing 3D Printing Technology

Introducing filament-based printers

Creating a design with solid modeling

Performing an automatic repair in netfabb Studio

Performing a manual repair in netfabb Studio

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