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Can You 3d Print From Solidworks? 3D Solidworks Experience

Can You 3d Print From Solidworks? Solidworks is a popular CAD software, but does it have the capability for 3D printing? Yes, but only if you’re using Solidworks Premium or Solidworks Professional.

These two versions of the software provide additional tools and features that are necessary to create a 3D model from scratch to be printed on a 3D printer. 

The post goes into detail about what exactly these two versions of the software do differently in order to facilitate this process.


Can you 3d print from Solidworks?

Yes and No, as for the most part you can export your model to a .stl file and print it using other software.

But there are a few things you should know before jumping in.

First off, I’m not going to explain how to use Solidworks because there’s plenty of tutorials on that (the biggest problem with those is finding good ones). What I will do is give some tips on modeling with Solidworks so you’ll get better prints out of it. This probably won’t help if all you care about is 3d printing but even then it can be helpful when trying to make something fit or work within the printer itself.

The first thing to remember when designing with Solidworks is that your design is finally going to be printed in layers.

Every piece you make will be made of a whole bunch of slices that the printer traverses over and over again until it gets to your finished size, most likely smaller than your model’s original resolution.

This means that any errors in the design will be multiplied by however many times it is sliced, so if you have a gap or hole on the lowest layer (which everyone does) then this gap is now filled with as many layers as required to compensate for its height.

If your gap was 0.1mm tall and there are 50 slices added per millimeter (most printers use either 200-400 slices/mm) then every point on the gap would end up being 5mm tall… and if you’re printing with a 0.4mm nozzle then that’s 20 points wide as well as all the filled-in areas between those points making it way bigger than it should be, which will make your print fail.

is solidworks good for 3d printing

Can You 3d Print From Solidworks?

How do we avoid this?

Well, first off try to use a slicer like Slic3r or Cura that has a variable layer height setting so you can at least control how fine or course each slice is made. And when designing remember that if something looks wrong on the lowest layer then it probably is, and you should fix it before moving onto more layers.

Generally speaking, most hobby printers aren’t accurate enough to notice details below 0.1-0.2mm at 100% scale but often those details are important to the design and may make a difference in how well it prints.

The next thing you want to avoid is making flat surfaces parallel to your print bed.

If Solidworks has a default setting of ‘not parallel’ then this shouldn’t be an issue, however, if it’s set on ‘parallel’ or worse yet ‘auto’ then each slice will be slightly larger than the previous one causing your print head to shift off-center and again cause huge errors as you go up through the layers.

This is another reason why I suggest using Slic3r with variable layer height enabled so you can manually fix these issues without having to restart your model from scratch.

And of course, there’s the whole business of scaling your model to fit your bed or printer, which is actually two things. First off you want the scale of the whole thing to be 100% so it prints at exactly the size you modeled.

Second, you may have missed something when moving it around, maybe a large flat surface that was supposed to be 10mm tall suddenly became 11mm tall… just jiggle things around until everything scales correctly before saving another STL file for printing.

can solidworks be used for 3d printing

Can You 3d Print From Solidworks? (cre: solidworks)

How to go from SOLIDWORKS to cura?

SOLIDWORKS has a tool called “Pack and Go” that will take all of your drawings/sketches, including configurations if you have them set up properly, and draw them into a single .dxf file that can then be imported into Cura or any other slicer. This feature saves a ton of time by only having to slice once as opposed to multiple times. Once you have finished making changes in SOLIDWORKS, the next step is to go from SOLIDWORKS to cura. The following steps illustrate how this is done:


3) Select OUTPUT DIRECTORY AND FILENAME . The file name needs to end in.DXF. 4) Select the “Export Options” tab.

5) Under Export Type, change Files Of Type to Drawing/SKetching File (*.dwg, *.dxf). 6) Under Document Properties, check the box next to Automatically adjust the scale so it is unchecked. 7) Check the box next to Use model color if no other color overrides are present 8) Check the box next to Merge internal parts so that there are no gaps between individual parts 9) Under Section Properties set Part thicknesses > Thinner for all thicknesses under 0mm 10) Set Part thicknesses > Current settings for all others

11) Click OK twice.


14) Close SOLIDWORKS 15) Open Cura, select OPEN WITH CURA, and select your .DXF file 16) Start printing

*****Cura 2.3***** Note – Cura 2.3 has made additional settings changes to the above steps so it is recommended that you download this version or newer if possible. 1) In the menu select PRINT > PREFERENCES… If you don’t see “Print” in the main dropdown menu on top of Cura it means that your version of Cura does not support XYZWare (XYZ IDE Plugin installation will not fix). Please update your machine’s firmware to 1.1.1 or later. For instructions on updating your machine’s firmware visit this page.

** Note – If you are using Cura 2.3/2.4, when you select ‘Print’ in the main dropdown menu you will see the settings shown below in red for Custom Mode Settings and Extruder 1 instead of ‘Machine Settings’. Once in Custom Mode click ‘Machine Settings’ to change printer settings then once in Machine Settings click on the red box next to Machine Settings to bring up Extruder 1 custom mode settings. **

Steps for setting up filament profiles in Cura 2.x – material for tool

1) In the Menu select PRINT > PREFERENCES…

2) Click on the FILAMENT icon.

3) Click on the ADD PROFILE button in the upper right-hand corner and browse to your filament’s gcode file.

4) Fill in the information for your printer into the FILAMENT PROFILES dialogue box: Filament Name, Profile Name (any name you’d like), Printer (select which machine you will be using this profile with), Machine Settings, and finally click LOAD at the bottom of this window to load it onto Cura 2.x.

5) Finally – select a Filament diameter by Dimensions> Diameter or choose a Custom filament diameter. To use this feature properly, go to PREFERENCES > FILAMENT and set ‘Measure Diameter’ to ON. Then enter your filament’s diameter in the Custom field. This is a very important feature for using accurate print profiles. Cura 2.x will automatically use this setting from now on but it only takes effect if you have ‘Measure Diameter’ enabled in Preferences so remember to turn this off when changing filaments.

6) That’s it! Your profile has been created and saved so check out how your newly created gcode looks compared to your original model in the viewer by clicking VIEW> SHOW FULL VIEW or CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+V.

how to use solidworks for 3d printing

Can You 3d Print From Solidworks? (cre: 3dnatives)

SOLIDWORKS 3D printing file format – How to connect?

SOLIDWORKS 3D printing file format has been made available for download in one complete package for all supported platforms (Windows PC, Mac OS X, Linux).

The file contains the original .SLDPRT SOLIDWORKS 3D printing file and many other interchangeable formats. The .STL binary mesh is also included here.

We are aware that some users have had issues with the Solidedge/SOLIDWORKS collaboration during technical previews of our files, but we are confident these issues should be worked out now. We thank you for your patience!

The Solid Edge/SOLIDWORKS collaboration has been very successful in the industry, with users all around the world, since its announcement in January 2013. This partnership guarantees the compatibility of both applications, allowing SOLIDWORKS assembly models to be seamlessly translated to an STL mesh for 3D printing purposes using third-party software packages with little to no data loss. That’s why this file format is one of our most requested items on our website. Our customers are able to use their SOLIDWORKS CAD files directly at their preferred 3D print service provider without any need to re-export them into other formats.

does solidworks work with 3d printers

Can You 3d Print From Solidworks? (cre: sculpteo)

3D printers compatible with SOLIDWORKS

The days of having to export STL files with your design data are over. A number of software manufacturers now offer solutions to bring your CAD data directly into their applications with the click of a button

Siemens PLM Software subsidiary Geomagic has launched its 3D print solution Geomagic Spark for SOLIDWORKS 2014, while Autodesk is reported to be about to release its own 3D printing module within the next few weeks after some limited testing within the beta version of AutoCAD 2015 .

Of course, there are other options available for those who have invested in either Magics or ZWCAD+ plus, but time is limited so here’s an overview of three free-of-charge options that work with the most popular CAD package on the market.

3D Systems’ widest range of 3D printers has been announced this week.

Cubify Invent (Build, Create and Share) for SOLIDWORKS 2013 and 2014 – Cubify Invent is a cloud service and 3D printer network compatible with Windows-based systems only. However, there’s no need to be concerned about it being Mac OSX compatible, as Cubify Invent makes use of IOS, which in turn supports both Gold Master versions of OSX including Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and Yosemite through iOS 8.4.

can you 3d print solidworks assemblies

3D Systems CubePro Trio – Check video on youtube

– Cubify Invent is not quite as easy to use as it could be, but then again it does give you access to a 3D printer that would set you back $10k if purchased separately, so perhaps we can forgive this little issue. If however your budget only stretches to $1k for a fully functional 3D printer ( or less in some cases ), there are one or two options available:

  1. make use of an online service like Sculpteo, which will allow you to design and order directly through their website; I’ve had several orders with them over the last year and have always been impressed with the quality of their work.
  2. Anycubic Photon – this little gem provides an excellent print service for under $400, but you will need to either run it as a Virtual Machine or dual-boot your system with Linux in order to use it. Of course, there are other options available for those who have invested in either Magics or ZWCAD+ plus, but time is limited so here’s an overview of three free-of-charge options that work with the most popular CAD package on the market. The days of having to export STL files with your design data are over…
  3. MakeXYZ – Although not strictly solution compatible with Solidworks, I’ve included it within this list as it can be used to find and order a 3D printer that will work with your system without too much in the way of cost: this service provides access to more than 150 different kinds of printers at more than 15,000 locations worldwide, although if you’re looking for something local then make sure you add your country code (for example GB) at the end of the site address when making use.

Of course, there are other options available for those who have invested in either Magics or ZWCAD+ plus, but time is limited so here’s an overview of three free-of-charge options that work with the most popular CAD package on the market.


Solidworks is the go-to software for 3d printing. With it, you can turn your ideas into real objects with a few clicks of the mouse and some basic design skills. We’ve learned that you don’t need to be an expert in CAD or engineering to use this powerful software; we’ll teach you everything from scratch! If you’re looking for a new career opportunity in technology or want to start making money on the side by designing custom products like jewelry and toys, check out our course today.

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