One of the greatest benefits of using AutoCAD for your 3D conceptual designs is the ability to reuse the drawing for many different purposes. For example, you can create a 3D prototype using 3D Printing functionality which is integrated into AutoCAD 2010. It provides improved output of stereolithography (STL) files and easy access to 3D printing services. You can produce STL files using the traditional STLOUT or EXPORT commands as well as the new 3DPRINT command. All of these methods for producing STL files enable you to select more than one solid and the model is no longer required to lie in the positive XYZ octant of the world coordinate system.
You can access the new 3DPRINT command from the output tab of the 3D Modeling workspace.
The 3D Print tool displays two options. If you select the option to learn more about preparing a 3D model for printing, a Help window displays valuable guidelines to help you avoid printing errors or broken parts when sending your model to a 3D printing service.
When you’re ready to send the 3D model to a printing service, choose the Continue option and select the objects (solids or watertight meshes) you want to print. The Send to 3D Print Service dialog box is displayed with a preview image and output dimensions, which you can modify. Select OK to specify a name and location for the STL file.
After creating the STL file, AutoCAD automatically launches a browser window where you can request a quote from one of the featured 3D Printing Service Providers. The result is a 3D prototype of your AutoCAD model.
- 3D Printing