3D Modeling3D Printing ProcessesColor 3D Printing

GrabCAD Print supports 3MF file imports for colors and textures

StratasysGrabCAD Print software is now able to import 3D printable 3MF files. This could be quite significant news for designers, especially those who currently work with STL files and are utilizing a Stratasys full-color PolyJet printer. Unlike STL files (which do not contain color or material information), 3MF, an XML-based data format, provides a complete package of model information in a single archive.

This includes data such as textures, materials, colors, mesh and metadata. Basically, 3MF holds all the information that a printer needs to know about a model, making it extremely useful for when working between a variety of 3D modeling software such as KeyShot and SOLIDWORKS, or collaborating on multiple platforms. GrabCAD support will also prevent data from getting lost in translation to Stratasys PolyJet printers.

GrabCAD print supports 3MF

As Stratasys is readying to launch a new system to give even more access to 3D printing to product designers, GrabCAD Print aims to further simplify and improves the color 3D printing process by utilizing 3MF file import so that the end part includes the full design intent. This new and improved color 3D printing workflow in GrabCAD Print will enable design teams to save time on prototyping, enabling more prototyping iterations, and ensuring end products get to market faster.

FDM – the other trademark Stratasys technology – will also benefit from 3MF support in GradCAD Print. By utilizing 3MF file import, in SOLIDWORKS for example, GrabCAD Print supports geometry, assembly and structure data. In PolyJet 3D printing the software will be able to control body appearance, face appearance, textures and assemblies. Transparency – another unique PolyJet capability – is not supported (yet).

3MF is supported within GrabCAD Print 1.40, while the upcoming GrabCAD Print 1.41 will include support for assembly structures. Here is a on how to Import 3MF Files from SOLIDWORKS Into GrabCAD Print.




Davide Sher

Since 2002, I have built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, I spent 12 years in the United States, where I received my Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree. As a journalist covering the tech industry - especially the videogame industry - for over 10 years, I began covering the AM industry specifically in 2013, as blogger. In 2016 I co-founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial, and market analysis & consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, and leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. I am also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

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