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3D printed car model.

Why designers will love the new 3MF import in GrabCAD Print.

aaron pearson
Aaron Pearson September 10, 2020
September 10, 2020

We’re so excited to announce that GrabCAD Print now supports 3MF imports. This is huge news for designers, especially those who currently work with STL files and are utilizing a Stratasys Full color PolyJet printer. Unlike STL files (which don’t contain color or material information), 3MF is the file of choice for designers because it delivers a complete package of model information in a single archive.This includes data such as:

  • Textures
  • Materials
  • Colors
  • Mesh
  • Meta data
  • Information on the interior of the model

Basically, it holds all the information you need about a model, making it extremely useful for when you’re working between a variety of 3D modeling software such as KeyShot and SOLIDWORKS, or collaborating on multiple platforms. It also prevents data from getting lost in translation to your Stratasys PolyJet printers.

Ensuring that you bring your complete design intent to life.

Try it out in GrabCAD Print.

GrabCAD Print simplifies and improves the color 3D printing process by utilizing 3MF file import so your end part includes your full design intent. This new and improved color 3D printing workflow in GrabCAD Print allows for design teams to save time on prototyping, enabling more prototyping iterations, and ensuring end products get to market faster.

By utilizing 3MF file import, for SOLIDWORKS for example, GrabCAD Print supports:

For FDM:

  • Geometry
  • Assembly
  • Structure

For PolyJet:

  • Body appearance
  • Face appearance
  • Textures and assemblies

You’ll note that transparency isn’t supported (yet). Check out the new workflow in this video:

Design for realism.

3MF is the file import of choice for designers who are working with colors and multi-materials. There are other file formats, but they don’t compare to the ease of 3MF:

  • OBJ: A popular file format for multicolor printing since it can encode a 3D model’s geometry along with information about color, materials, and textures. However, it isn’t supported as much as STLs and requires additional plugins if you’re working with SOLIDWORKS.

  • AMF: This file format solves the problems STLs have, by using an XML format with a hierarchy of five elements, object, material, texture, constellation, and metadata. However, to date, it’s not as widely adopted and only a few major softwares can work with it.

But don’t just take our word for it. See how the process varies across multiple file types in this GrabCAD Tutorial: How to Import 3MF Files from SOLIDWORKS Into GrabCAD Print

We’re committed to the state of the art 3D file standard and our commitment to working with companies such as KeyShot and SOLIDWORKS that make the top 3D software programs used by our customers. Try the new 3D printing workflow for yourself by upgrading to the latest version of GrabCAD Print!

Also, don’t miss the 3D printing and design virtual event of the season. Join us at a special 30-minute virtual product launch event to see how 3D printing is disrupting the status quo to transform the design world. RSVP today!