3D printing continues to hit the news, printing anything from replacement limbs to Hollywood special effects equipment. A piece of technology that was originally called ‘gimmicky’ even by the director of marketing at Stratasys, one of the two companies leading the world in 3D printing, is now having real life applications.
A 3D printer is becoming an increasingly affordable piece of equipment for businesses to own, but there are also online services for businesses to take advantage of 3D printing without the initial outlay of buying a printer.
3D printing can be set up on a number of software packages, but here is how to send a 3D Model to a 3D Printing Service using AutoCAD 2016. These instructions apply to the following pieces of AutoCAD software:
Applies to AutoCAD 2016, AutoCAD Architecture 2016, AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016, AutoCAD Electrical 2016, AutoCAD MEP 2016, AutoCAD Map 3D 2016, AutoCAD Mechanical 2016, AutoCAD P&ID 2016, AutoCAD Plant 3D 2016, AutoCAD Structural Detailing 2016, and AutoCAD Utility Design 2016
How to send a 3D Model to a 3D Printing Service using AutoCAD 2016
- Open the DWG file that contains the 3D model you wish to print.
- Optimize your model for 3D printing.
- Click the ‘Output’ tab, then ‘3D Print panel’, then ‘Send to 3D Print Service’. Then ‘Find’
- In the 3D Printing click Prepare Model for Printing dialog box, and then click Continue.
- In the selected DWG file, select the solids or watertight meshes you want to print.
- In the ‘Send to 3D Print Service’ dialog box, specify the output dimensions, including scale and bounding box length, width, and height. Remember, if you modify output dimensions, the output preview still remains unchanged.
- Save your prepared drawing as an STL file.
- Select a 3D printing service provider.
- Follow the directions on your service provider’s website to complete this process, this might including setting up an account if you don’t already have one, getting the prices, uploading your STL file, and ordering and paying for the model
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