Provide 3D print driver for SolidWorks

SolidWorks 3D CAD modeling software has an option to print the solid model direct to a printer, providing there is a driver installed.

Sure would be sweet if we can go direct from SW.

Happy New Years to the staff at Formlabs



I use Solidworks as well for my designing. How would SW control/interface with the printer for resolution and placement on the build table?

Very curious here for sure.


It wouldn’t work that great unfortunately. You would need a full integration with soildworks the only companies that can do that are companies that can afford to pay the price to Dissault systems (3d Systems/Stratsys) to get their engineers to create the code. Also you would need Soildworks to create the file, orient it, build supports, tell the machine where and when to run the laser, how long to run the exposure, and so on its too much for them to really care especially when you have a export option to stl or obj that will work in its stead.

I agree with Thomas. It would essentially amount to running preform inside of solidworks and that just doesn’t make sense. The reason they can offer 3d print support for FDM is that 90 percent of those machines run off the same code. So the only thing solidworks has to determine is bed size and speed of the build where SLA is an entirely different process that requires a different set of instructions for each machine.

Well… like the forum topic says “Feature Request”. And to clarify, SW in fact can write the gcode to SLA machines.

So all I’m asking is to put this request on the list for future consideration. It would be handy to go from SW to print without the need to save as STL (making sure the units match and the tessellation is refined) open another program and then print. That’s all I’m saying.

Think of it as the same as when you print a word document. You simply hit print right? You need the printers driver and that’s all you need. What if you had to first export your document, then open it in the printers software then print?

If you were to dump the object slices in gcode to the printer, you would of course be required to model in all of the supports as a part of your design. Not sure that’s what you had in mind.

I’m not sure i see the point of having a printer driver inside the CAD package.

These aren’t inkjet printers we’re talking about. There is no magic Print button with a number of copies box next to it. As simple as PreForm makes it look, it’s still best left to a separate application and absolutely no gain from having it as a plugin within a CAD app.

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