SolidWorks how to export file for using Makerware

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How to Export Drawing from Solid Works and import to MakerWare

To print out a 3D object with the Makerbot (like the Makerbot_Replicator_2 or the Makerbot_Replicator_2X), you need to be able to import your design file in Makerware. This software is free and available for download at: MakerWare supports three file types: .stl, .obj, .thing.

Saving .stl from SolidWorks

  • After completing your design in SolidWorks, click „File“ and „Save As...“.

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  • Then a new window will pop up.

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1. Click 'Save as type' and click on 'STL'.

2. When STL is selected the 'Options' button appears, click it.

  • In Options are mainly two things that you want to check:

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1. Unit should be in 'Millimeters';

2. If it is an Assembly then check the box for 'Save all components in a single file'.

Then click „OK“.

  • Click Save. Now you have a .stl file that you can import into Makerware.

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Importing .stl in Makerware


1. Add - Import file

2. Look - View angles

3. Move - Move object

4. Turn - Rotate object

5. Scale - Scale object

6. Save - Save file

7. Make - Print file in MB

1. Add Button When 'Add' is pressed a window opens. Now select the right file and click on 'Open'.

After pressing the 'Open' button, a new window appears. Select one of the two possibilities.

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1. Keep position – this keep the position of the object;

2. Move to Platform – this moves the bottom face of the object to printer platform.

2. Look button

If you click 'Look' once, you can rotate the view freely.

If you click 'Look' twice, you can choose Top view, Side view or Front view.

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3. Move button

If you click 'Move' once, you can move the object on the plan freely.

If you click 'Move' twice, you can set the length of object (from center).

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4. Turn button

If you click 'Turn' once, you can rotate object freely.

If you click 'Turn' twice, you can set the rotation of the object by a exact degree or 90 degrees at the time.

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5. Scale button

If you click 'Scale' once, you can scale object freely.

If you click 'Scale' twice, you can set the scale your object by millimeters or percentage.

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6. Save button

Here you can save your project (exporting file). You can choose between .stl file or .thing

The difference between .stl and .thing file is, that with a .thing file you can move objects individually after saving and opening it again in different software. But in .stl not. So if the plan is to keep working on position of objects, .thing file is recommended.

7. Make button

After pressing 'Make' button, a new dialog window opens. Here you can tweak the settings of the print resolution, speed, and temperature.

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1. Choose printer you‘re working with.

2. Choose printing material.

3. Check this box, to view the estimation of time and weight of the printed object before committing to a print.

Then click on the export button to confirm.