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sanchez

Problems 3D Printing my Solidworks files...self inflicted??? I think so....

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sanchez

Hello,

I have been using Solidworks for about 8 years and at times I make models for Inventors, and their prototypes. I save my files in the SLT format which is a requisite for most 3D Printers. I know that at times there are problems printing my files and I am wondering if the reason may be because of my models and the purity of their nature. By purity I mean that I am somewhat lax in paying attention to constraints and fully defining all of my sketches used in the models.If anyone here has any input on this subject I would appreciate your sharing it with all of us, as it may make us all better Draughtsmen. I have not been trained in the finer points of Solidworks and I suspect that it is finally showing up in the end-result of my work.

Diego Sanchez

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shift1313

Diego, can you elaborate on what are the problems with printing the files? When you send off your STL files what are your settings like?

 

It is important always to know the constraints and fully defining your sketches. Especially when dealing with organic complex models. I do leave some stuff underdefined in certain models but this is typically things that are not important to the design or things that need to change during the concept phase like the weight of spline handles.

 

Most of the trouble that comes from STL files and 3d printers has to do with really the basic setup of the file. When you save an STL file you have options to adjust the resolution of the file and the angle between polygons. For very curvature intensive parts i will typically set the angle between polygons somewhere in the 3degree area. For very basic or very large models it could be as high as 10degrees. Sometimes this resolution can be too fine or too course based on printer settings. If you are always using the same 3d printer it should be easy to get an idea what its resolution capabilities are. If you have something that can print 50microns per layer(0.05mm) but the resolution of your file is such that you have you only give it data for 100microns, or even the other way around you give it too much information it can come out looking off. It depends a lot on the printer, the type of printing(FDM is harder in this instance than something like SLA, SLS or polyjet) and who is setting up the print. Each time you use the proprietary printer software you can adjust the quality of the print which affect things.

 

Without knowing specifically what the issues are that is about as general as i can make it for you.

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JD Mather

Attach an example *.sldprt file and associated *.stl file that didn't print properly.

Someone will then be able to diagnose why you are having trouble.

In my experience - there should be zero problems with printing the stl.

 

If you have been using SolidWorks for 8 yrs and you are not constraining sketches - you probably have developed a lot of other bad habits that will need to be "un-learned". Attach your file here for suggestions.

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sanchez

Thanking you gentlemen for your reaction to my problem.

Unfortunately anything that I work on that requires 3D printing is governed by Document Disclosure, and therefore not for public view.

Your observation is spot on with my morphing into bad drafting habits, Sir. I know that I am going to have to start correcting immediately. Would use of the "Fully Define Sketch Tool"

be a good starting point to insure constraint of my preliminary sketches before modeling? Another question I would have is, would it be a good idea to set all my pre-STL settings to " defaults"?

 

Diego Sanchez

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ReMark

So in other words you want someone to guess what the problem is? Without a file to delve into pinpointing the problem would not be easy. How about something from a past project that you may have had a similar problem with?

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shift1313

Dont use fully define sketch as a bandaid. It makes assumptuons and in no case will it dimension in a way you would want to edit.

 

We cant give you general settings cause its based on what printer amd print method as well as the type of model. We really need a general example to be of any mpre help.

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JD Mather

The purpose of fully defining sketches it to set in stone exactly your design intent.

When you use automated tools like Fully Defined Sketches - you are allowing the computer to take control away from you and assuming that it will do what you would have intended.

 

There is no absolute reason why any sketch or feature must be fully defined - it is simply a technique of ensuring your design intent is built into the model.

When you send the job to the shop floor - the person doing the actual part should have all of the information that you built into the model.

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shift1313

And if you have "instant 3d" on you can drag around under defined sketch entities while in the model and not while editing the sketch. I use this to make "flexible " parts like springs.

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