Ponoko

Starter Kit: Solidworks

Starter kit: SolidWorks

This tutorial is for SolidWorks 2010:

» How to export a STL design file
» How to export a VRML 97 design file

How to export a STL design file using SolidWorks

STL designs are good for all 3D materials.

1. Create a new Coordinate System

SolidWorks works with a “Y-up” system by default, which means your object will be printed laying on its side. To fix this, you need to tell SolidWorks to use a “Z-up” system by defining a new Coordinate System under Reference Geometry.

Select the Z axis, and select the Top Plane or a vertical edge of your part.

You may have to press the Reverse Z Axis Direction button to get your Coordinate system to line up correctly, like this:

2. Save as

Choose File, Save As, select STL (*.stl) from the drop down menu, and click the Options button:

3. Check the Export Settings

Check the Resolution is set to Fine, and make a mental note of the measurement units. You need to ensure the units you choose here match the units you specify when you upload the file. Change the Output coordinate system to the one you just made (Coordinate System1 by default) and click OK.

4. Export to STL

Save your file. If your model is part of an assembly, make sure you select the correct body to export and click OK.

You’re now ready to...



Upload issues?

My file is too big

Your 3D design file must be less than 20mb. If it is not, go back to the Options screen and select Custom settings under Resolution. Try increasing the Deviation Tolerance (which lowers resolution on whole parts) or the Angle Tolerance (which lowers resolution on smaller details). This will reduce the resolution of your model so after you upload it, check that it looks okay in our online product visualization tool.

Too hard?

Get in touch with us - and attach your design. We'll get back to you as soon as we can with a fix.

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How to export a VRML 97 design file using SolidWorks

VRML 97 designs are good for Rainbow plaster.

First, check your colors

Remember we do not support textures at this time. This means you need to apply your colors by using Edit Appearance:

And colouring your faces with the tools on the Colour/Image tab.

Now you’re ready to export ...

1. Save as

Choose File, Save As, select VRML (∗.wrl) from the drop down menu, and click the Options button:

2. Check the Export Settings

Set the Version to VRML 97, and make a note of the Units. You will need to make sure the units you choose matches the units you specify when you upload the file. Change the Output coordinate system to the one you just made (Coordinate System1 by default) and click OK:

3. Export to VRML

Save your file:

You’re now ready to ...



Upload issues?

My file is too big

(This is the same process for when your object resolution looks too low.)

Your 3D design file must be less than 20mb. If it is not, SolidWorks creates the VRML file based on the current display performance settings. To alter the appearance go to Tools, Options, and under the Document Properties tab, select Image Quality and adjust the resolution of the Shaded and draft quality HLR/HLV slider:

My colors aren’t showing up

Make sure your materials in SolidWorks don’t reference any textures (Image or Procedural.)

Too hard?

Get in touch with us - and attach your design. We'll get back to you as soon as we can with a fix.

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