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Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

Hello Ultimaker Forum,

 

I am trying to print models designed by a collaborator who is working with SolidWorks.  The model has multiple parts.  The parts have been exported from SolidWorks as .stl files and sent to me as email attachments.  I am using Cura v. 15.04 create gcodes from the .stl files.  The imported .stl files appear to be fine when viewed in Cura, but when I print, approximately 1/2 of the parts are missing surfaces.  Has anyone had this experience, and if so, is there a work-around?

 

Many thanks in advance

 

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

I print many parts that start in SW2012 and newer.  There are quality settings when the model is exported as an STL that can affect the quality.  Maybe try turning up the resolution in the output settings.  I have never had an issue with missing surfaces coming out of SW

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

Hi mastory,

 

Thanks so much for the feedback.

 

I'm attaching a screen shot and a photo.  The screenshot shows the model as it appears upon importing the stl into Cura.

The photo is the actual print.  Surfaces seem to be missing; only the fill is present.  I'm afraid I don't anything about SW.  I have published the dilemma to a SolidWorks forum, but so far haven't solved the problem.  I think my collaborator may be creating the problem prints as inner and outer surfaces, which is subsequently combined, but I don't quote me on that.  As said, some prints come out fine.   A tech at a local 3d printer business suggested trying a Cura plug-in for SW.  We haven't tried that option.  Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

 

5aab4077d81c1_Curascreenshot-Cap.png.d9629382c5bd595d22b437fca04f723d.pngIMG_3223.jpeg.1fe3ea7348ea82ea4f86c3d917339777.jpeg

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

Do you have a file you can post? I can take a look at the STL file in a different package. Also see if you can get a copy of the same file in the solidworks formats too. This can give me a comparison. I have printed SW files before.

 

 

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

Hi kmanstudios,

 

Thanks for the feedback.

A couple of people on the SW also asked.  Let me ask the owner about posting the file.

 

 

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

Definitely post files that are allowed. Even a test file that is not actually used just to see how they are going out may be useful.

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

Having used SW for the past 4 1/2 years I have never once had a problem with it generating models for 3D printing - Lol that is why I keep telling myself it was worth the five grand!

This could be an optical illusion but your printed part sure looks thicker than the  Cura display. I wonder if the model walls are too thin. Best to check with your SW guy - ideally you want them to be at least twice the width of you nozzle. Set Cura to x-ray view - any red colouring displayed will indicate errors in the mesh, which would surprise me coming from SW. I have no idea if this view would highlight thin walls but it is worth checking. What is the diameter of the circle approx. ? Also can you look in layer view and see if the walls, presumably two of them,look OK.

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

Hi All,

 

The owner cleared an example of the problem .stl for posting, so here it is.  Thanks to yellowshark & everyone else for the feedback so far.  Any suggestions as to why the prints of this file are missing surfaces would be much appreciated.

cap as one piece_rev A-2018-Mar-16.STL

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

OK, I can tell you that the file you provided is coming into Cura as a collection of single walls and not providing good sampling thickness. I am in Cura 3.2.1 And I looked at it in 3DS MAX. Since it is already imported as STL. I cannot verify anything about what is going on with the Master SW file which is why it would be good to have it to look at.

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

Hi KS, 

 

I'm pretty sure I can get the SW files by this evening (maybe sooner).  Thanks so much for your time.

 

P

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

No problem. I actually enjoy the chase of a problem. But it just looks like the export, for some reason, did not crate manifold objects, just a collection of 2D shells. That is why I want to get the SW file to compare and contrast what is going on. I know @yellowsharkwould probably nail the issue in one try.

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

Lol, notwithstanding I am trying to get my new Canon printer to work properly, it prints ink onto paper, probably never catch on, happy to get a copy of the SW .prt file and have a nose around.

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

MUCH OBLIGED.  I've asked my compatriot for the file, as soon as it comes in I'll post it.

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks
1 hour ago, yellowshark said:

Lol, notwithstanding I am trying to get my new Canon printer to work properly, it prints ink onto paper, probably never catch on.......

:'D

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

For whatever reason the wall thicknesses of this model are too thin for a 0.4mm nozzle to print. You can see this if you switch from the solid view to the layers view.  If I switch to a 0.25mm nozzle in Cura 15.04 I can then see that all of the walls are being printed.

The problem lies not with Cura, or the printer, but the original design.  Either the wall thicknesses were not made thick enough in the original design, or the way the part has been modelled is as a collection of surfaces rather than a solid model, and some of those surfaces are not connected to produce a solid model.

 

I looked at this in Meshmixer and there were a couple of minor defects that it has repaired, but in Cura the surfaces will only print with a 0.25mm nozzle setting.  So I suspect this is a problem with the wall thickness of the model

Repaired File.stl

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Posted · Printing .stl files exported from SolidWorks

If you get us the .prt file we can check the dims in the model and what, if anything, in the export settings might cause the problem, although off-hand I cannot think of anything. Of course if you can get hold of him your SW guy can check the dims. for you.

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