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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Solidworks Student Edition to STL for 3D printing

From Solidworks Student Edition to STL for 3D printing

If you are a student and learning how to work with Solidworks , your school most likely provided you with the Student Kit version of Solidworks. The Student Kit is student edition of Solidworks and has full access to all its features but prevents you from using for anything beside Solidworks. So when you’re done with your design in Solidworks you can only save the model as a .SLDPRT. A .SLDPRT file is scripted to be used in all Solidworks versions as a single part, but can’t be used in any other CAD software.

Now when you would like to print your design, but you’re stuck with a Student Edition you can turn your .SLDPRT file an .STL file. STL is the most popular file format for 3D printing. This tutorial is meant to let more students upload to Shapeways. But, the information in the tutorial is also great though should your school have its own 3D printer or should you wish to use a 3D printing service bureau.

Step 1: Open E-Drawing

99 out of 100 students will have this software, because its included with the installation of Solidworks. But if you don’t, you can download it here.

Step 2: Open the .SLDPRT file

Open the .SLDPRT file by selecting File>Open Set the filetype to .SLDPRT

Solidworks 3D printing

Open the correct file

Step 3: Save

Then save the file as a .STL File>Save as… Select “Save as type” and choose .STL from the list.


Note 1: If the stl is not an options in the list. Close the file and open the .STLPRT again. If you have saved the file as an Edrawing file or any other file type you might lose the option to save it as a .Stl. That date will be lost once saved as a different filetype (see it like saving a Photoshop file(.psd) to a .JPG) all the background information will be lost.

Note 2: If you would like to save your part first as an Edrawings file(.exprt) Check this box to make sure you can still make it a .STL afterwards. Solidworks 3D printing

Posted via web from SolidWild's posterous


  1. Is there a way of doing this for an assembly?

  2. SolidWorks will generally run on any graphics card that supports OpenGL. For a production environment, using one of the "green-lighted" cards on their website is highly recommended.. . Using a non-recommended card will typically result in reduced performance, which could include all or some of the following symptoms:. * Slow and choppy zoom/pan/rotate.. * Bad repaint (leftover highlighted objects, mouse trails, blank dialogs, etc.). * Ghosting of document windows in the background showing through other document windows in the foreground.. * Frequent crashing.. . The SolidWorks software will typically detect an unsupported graphics card and automatically enable "Software OpenGL" mode. This mode reduces the demands on the graphics hardware and driver, resulting in increased stability but decreased performance (slow/choppy). You can manually set this option by closing all open documents and going to Tools > Options > Performance, and turn on "Use software OpenGL.". . Finally, if you're most interested in rendering (ray-tracing) using PhotoWorks, then the graphics card actually doesn't matter. Photorendering is done in the processor. A fast, dual-core CPU, and a good amount of RAM will help your PhotoWorks usage, not the graphics card you're using.

    Solidworks Support