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What Is A 3D Printer Design File?

3D Printer Design Files Explained

A 3D Printer Design File is simply a file filled with the information that tells your 3D Printer what to print. The file tells your printer how to use the filament to print the object What_Is_A_3D_Printer_Design_File|CADCrank|https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cad_crank.jpgthat you want. You can create your own Design File with Software or you can download it.  A 3D Printer Design File is commonly in the STL file format. The object in the file is commonly referred to as a 3D Model; this is the file format that can be used by most CAD (Computer-aided Design) software. An example of software that can create or manipulate existing files in this format is AutoCAD. There are many places where you can download these files, the best ones we have found are listed under the “3D Printer Design Files” link at the top of our home page.

 Not All Formats Have The Same Capabilities

Textures_and_3D_Printing|http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/Texturedm1a2.png/220px-Texturedm1a2.png
1 = 3D model without textures
2 = 3D model with textures

There are numerous formats as there are various CAD/CAM software from many different companies. The actual shape/structure of your object made with CAD/CAM software is referred to as the “3D Geometry”. 3D objects designed in CAD/CAM software are known as 3D Models. Simply, any object that has more than 2 sides (2D) is considered a geometric object.  As creating a 3D object is the reason for the existence of this type of software they all have 3D Geometry capability; there are some though that also have the ability to add color and

Sculpteo_CAD_File_Format_Comparison2|http://www.sculpteo.com/en/help/#3d-printing
Click To See CAD File Format Comparison by Sculpteo

Texture to the 3D object. Texture allows you to add details such as lighting and depth on your 3D object. Texture does usually imply that the software can add/work with 3D objects that have color but be careful when moving your 3D object from one software/format to another as some can perform all Texture functions except color.

 

Happy Designing and Printing!

2 Responses

  1. Nicolia
    |

    Oh, kind of like print preview on the computer? Or a microsoft word document template?

    • A3DP
      |

      Yes, it is the template that the 3D Printer follows so that it will know what to Print. Thank you for your comment!

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