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Hollowing an object - Methods - Printing - File extenstions

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icon10.gif  Hollowing an object - Methods - Printing - File extenstions [message #35064] Sun, 25 September 2011 14:18 UTC Go to previous message
avatar bennp113  is currently offline bennp113
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Registered: June 2011
Go to all my models
Junior Member
Hey everyone,

I'm making a 3D model (nothing too fancy Smile) of a "beach-pole" (not sure what it's called in English, Dutch word is "strandpaal"), similar to this one here:


and I just wanted to ask this question:

I am using Solidworks 2010 to make the model, and in order to save money, I want to hollow out my model.

Since I'm going to use the Color-Sandstone 3D printing method, I need to use a base, or else it'll "keel over". I made a hole of 3 mm in the centre of the base that the pole stands on. The rest of the pole just has four walls, and is already attached to the base.

Does this mean that the Shapeways system will now see it as a hollow object, or is there something else I need to do? I read about boolean subtraction and "extruding outer surfaces and creating scaled-down versions on the inside of the object", but that just seems like a lot of work...Isn't what I did already enough?

Another question, does the printer "print" from the bottom up, as in the usual x-y-z axes? This might be a silly question, but it is actually important for the design of my model, as its tip is pointed.

Also, the finished file I have now has the .SLDASM extension. (Solidworks Assembly File) What do I need to do in order to make it acceptable for Shapeways, while retaining color and all? I read something about .zip files and bitmaps, but it's still quite vague.

I'd like your feedback on these questions, please. Sorry for asking so many questions; I might know something about SolidWorks, but absolutely nothing about the world of 3D-printing! Smile

With kind regards,


[Updated on: Sun, 25 September 2011 22:16 UTC]

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