3-D printing in SolidWorks 2016

3-D printing enhancements.


We can directly transfer data from solidworks to 3D printers. Extensions supported as output in SolidWorks are .stl, .3mf, .amf.


3mf and amf provide more information than stl extension.


3MF file extension:


  • Describes a model as a whole.
  • Interoperable
  • Has ability to be used widely.

Direct 3-D printing was present in SolidWorks 2015 too, but with these new features, 3-D printing in SolidWorks got a lot better in 2016 version.


Let’s check these new features and what they can offer.


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For instance, take into consideration that this is the model which we want SolidWorks to convert to 3MF or AMF file, so that it can be read by the printer.


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Go to file-> click on print 3D.


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This is the menu option of 3-d printing.


Select the printer from the drop down.


Print bed location should be carefully selected,

This is the bottom most plane of the model.


Model orientation can be set accordingly.


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Selecting the print bed location.


Print bed location is the bottom face of the model, it defines that this face will provide the primary stability to the model.


Selection of this face should be done carefully.


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After base has been selected, in new solidworks 2016 you can see that a vertical structure will be generated, this is the maximum limit, where the model can be made. Beyond this limit, 3d printer will show errors and will not accept the file to print.


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Orientation in solidworks 2016, is pretty easy, moving a mouse with middle click pressed will set the orientation.


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One can set the orientation by entering a value too.

Orientation angle changes the angle between 2 axes which are perpendicular to the vertical axis of the model.

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Scaling of model in solidworks 2016 can be performed in printing wizard.


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Preview option in new solidworks 2016 is more advanced.


With options like transparent supports giving information about useful and faces which are not required help with building of the model more effectively.


This preview option also comes with the striations part.


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When these striations are turned on, striation lines appear which gives the idea about textures and smoothness of the printed surface.


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Density of striation lines can be manually set.


Contact us for more information and help on 3-D printing in SolidWorks 2016 at support@nccs.com.au or call 03 86770871