Join Thom Tremblay for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up for 3D printing, part of Fusion 360: Designing for Plastics.
- [Instructor] Creating a mold and interrupting production to test a plastic part is not usually feasible. One of the earliest uses of Additive Manufacturing was creating 3D prints of plastic parts to be able to do a hands on design review. There are a couple of options for getting your 3D model out to a 3D printer. The first is to go to the body, right click, and select save as STL. This will open the save as STL dialogue, allow you to select the model, preview the mesh, set the refinement level to high, medium, low, or custom, set refinement options, and then choose whether or not you'd like to use an intermediary 3D print utility.
Clicking okay will allow you to store the data out to your hard-drive or to a network location. Another option which uses the same basic workflow is to use the make pull-down, and select 3d print. The dialogue will be slightly different, though the primary elements are the same, being able to preview the mesh, set the refinement level. But, this path assumes you'll be using a 3D print software.
I'll go ahead and download Autodesk Print Studio. After I set my refinement level, and the software is installed, I can click okay to launch the software.
The software will ask me to select a 3D printer type, so that it understands what sort of printing envelope is available. This will bring up a preview of the printer. I can center the model on the printer, re-position the model, and I can clearly see whether or not the model will fit on the printer bed. If it doesn't, I'm able to re-scale it, or to break it into multiple pieces.
I can use the repair utility, if there's any problems. In this case, the geometry has no problems. I can have it calculate supports, which it will develop automatically to support the structures that have overhangs, while it's being printed. And, when I'm sure that I've got the information that I need, I can even do a preview.
When the preview is complete, it will tell me the estimated volume for my material, which I could use to estimate the cost, and the estimated time. I can also see what the slices would look like, as this print is developed, over time. When I'm comfortable with the results, I can export this to a printer file. And, now I'm ready to print my part, and to make sure that the design is ready for full production.