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pvcwizard

Windows 8.1 driver for SolidWorks

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So it sounds like there is no Windows 8.1 driver available which will all me to create the print file directly from SolidWorks. And it sounds like there will not be one developed. Is that correct?

So I need to save as an stl then import to Cura and print from Cura. I'm developing a workshop for middle school students and want to keep it as simple as possible.

To bad, this may be a deal breaker for purchasing the printer.

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Solidworks isnt a Slicer but a 3d program, so is normal that it doesn't make gcode files. Sorry but this happens with a 200€/$ machine and with a 200k machine.

Think fo Cura as your printer driver, but since 3d printing is far more complex than processing a 2d image, it needs fine tuning, love and care, because not all objects print equally and while Cura dev team tries to make their profiles as easy and reliable as possible, they can't make an universal profile for all objects. That could be a nice start for your workshop.

Long ago, when Postscript was something just for highend color printers, the print drivers where postscript procesors that actually did run on separate programs. Cura is something alike, but for 3D.

I remember at 18 when I was working on a company that sold postscript processors running on silicon graphics computers because to process a postscript file the fonts, curves, gradients, all that is vector information that must be processed to raster data on eah cmyk. All that complex processes now is possible with any computer, because there's enough cpu. Someday printing an object will be as easy as connecting a printer driver, but not yet, not today.

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At R&D, we have a proof of concept of a button directly printing from Solidworks. I don't know when it will be ready for prime time. But it is something that is getting attention.

It's not using the Windows 8.1 3D printing framework for multiple reasons. One being backwards compatibility (this solution also works for Windows 7), the other one is that Microsoft keeps changing their word on how we can interface with it.

From a technical standpoint, their 3D printing support is a mess, and currently cannot provide the user experience we want to provide. It forces an UI with limited options to use which is a step downwards from Cura in features and user flow.

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Hmn well it takes about 10secs to save an STL file from Solidworks and another 10secs to load the STL into Cura, hardly a big deal. I would rather have my model sliced by software built by a dedicated 3D slicer team than by fundamentally an engineering team providing an add on to their software.

Of course what they could do is just add an invoking function and pass the model (converted to STL) direct to Cura. Repetier Host has been doing that for a number of years to Slic3r, Kisslicer and Cura - of course from an stl file not an sldprt file.

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Hmn well it takes about 10secs to save an STL file from Solidworks and another 10secs to load the STL into Cura, hardly a big deal. I would rather have my model sliced by software built by a dedicated 3D slicer team than by fundamentally an engineering team providing an add on to their software.

Of course what they could do is just add an invoking function and pass the model (converted to STL) direct to Cura. Repetier Host has been doing that for a number of years to Slic3r, Kisslicer and Cura - of course from an stl file not an sldprt file.

Kudos to Yellowshark and Neotko for their historical perspective and how it is still practical even in today's market.

And, I have to second the idea that I would rather have a dedicated slicer than a poorly designed add-on that does not get much love or attention during developmental cycles when those programs are too busy adding things they want while treating add-ons like this as a 'way down the list of priorities'. To quote an Autodesk rep: "Maybe enough people haven't complained for us to consider it. Also, we have other programs that fill that void." And to be honest, so far, they have meshmixer, for free, that does focus on that process.

So, you would be not only at the mercy of engineers that are not really specialized in that field, just doing something adhoc or, them trying to get things done from a marketing perspective; i.e. "Why would we put that in when you can get this program and do it too?" Or in our reality, why would they put in features in their programs that do not promote the buying of other software?

To actually say something positive about 3DS MAX (I know, I know, it is a rarity for me, but I calls 'em as I see's 'em, good or bad), they do have a bang up STL checker that really does the job. It just does not interface with other slicers, because then they would have to provide hooks into the whole zoo of slicers and someone would complain their obscure slicer pref does not fit properly. So, they did focus on the proper prep for the files, and as yellow shark says, It does not take long to open a program, load a file and have it do dedicated work.

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