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How To Prep and Upload a 3D Model with SolidWorks for 3D Printing with Shapeways


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Thank you, Rohit!

Another thing to double check when you're saving as an STL is the unit the STL is being saved in; Solidworks doesn't automatically create the STL in the same units you used to make the part or assembly.

When you click 'Save As' and then select STL under 'Save As Type' a button labeled 'Options...' appears near the bottom of the 'Save As' window. Click the button and an 'Export Options' window opens. At the top centre of the window the units the STL will be saved in is shown; you can pick from Millimeters, Centimeters, Meters, Inches or Feet from the drop down menu.

For 'Resolution' if you click on 'Custom' you can adjust the Deviation and Angle Tolerances to increase or decrease the number of faces created in the STL. The smaller the Tolerance values are for both items the more faces will be created and the curved surfaces on your print will be much smoother (1 million is the max number allowed by Shapeways in an STL). Make sure the box for 'Show STL info before file saving' is checked so you can see how many faces will be created before you finally save the STL. Click 'OK' to close the 'Export Options' window and click 'Save' on the 'Save As' window.

Once the STL is calculated a window will pop up if you checked 'Show STL info before file saving' in the Export Options window earlier; it will show info similar to this:

No of Files: 1
Total Triangles: 455304 (cannot be greater than 1 million for Shapeways)
Total File Size: 27765284 (Bytes)
File Format: Binary
Save?

If you are happy with the values click 'Yes' and the STL will be saved. If you need to make changes click 'No' and you can start over from the beginning and adjust the Deviation and Angle Tolerance values.
#1 GWMT on 2012-08-01 21:24 (Reply)

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