Sets of printed drawings are usually the primary deliverable for most design groups. But today, thanks to advances in 3D printing, you can obtain physical models of 3D objects created in AutoCAD. Three-dimensional printing, sometimes called 3DP, is an additive manufacturing process that takes a design file and turns it into a physical object. Starting with the base of the model, the printer applies one layer of material at a time until the model is printed.
You can send 3D models to Autodesk Print Studio for editing and printing. Print Studio provides the tools needed to prepare your models for specific printers and materials.
To begin the process, on the Output ribbon, in the 3D Print panel, click Print Studio. This tool is also available from the Application menu, by choosing Print > 3D Print.
When you click this tool, if you have not yet installed Print Studio, the program first displays a dialog box, informing you that Print Studio is currently not installed and asking what you want to do. To install Print Studio, click Install Print Studio. The program will then guide you through the process of downloading and installing Autodesk Print Studio. If you click Do not install at this time, the command ends.
Once you have installed Autodesk Print Studio, when you click the Print Studio button, the program displays a 3D Printing – Prepare Model for Printing dialog box and asks you if you want to learn about preparing a 3D model for printing or simply want to continue to output the model.
If you click Learn about preparing a 3D model for printing, the program opens the Help window and displays information about printing 3D models. If you have never produced a physical 3D model using a 3D printer or service bureau before, you should read the information presented.
Close the Help window.
When you are ready to output the model, click Print Studio, and then click Continue.
The program prompts you to select solids or watertight meshes. Click to select the objects you want to output. You can use any object selection method. When you are finished selecting objects, either right-click or press ENTER.
The program then displays a 3D Print Options dialog. In the Output Preview group box, you see a preview of the 3D objects that will be printed. You can use tools above the preview to pan, zoom, and orbit around the model. The tools in the Objects group box enable you to select additional 3D objects.
The information in the Output dimensions group box is important. Most 3D printers have a limited build envelope, the maximum area the printer can print. This determines how large of an object the printer can build, therefore, the build envelope dictates the maximum size physical model it can produce. You may be able to produce larger models by printing smaller individual parts and then assembling them to create the complete model. You need to be aware of the capabilities of the printer you plan to use and, if necessary, adjust the size of your model so that its overall length, width, and height fall within the build envelope. Note, however, that if you modify the output dimensions, the preview remains unchanged. For example, in the Output dimensions group box, change the Scale value to 0.1, and then click OK.
The program opens Autodesk Print Studio. Once open, you can use Print Studio to configure a 3D printer, make any necessary adjustments to the model, and either send the model directly to a 3D printer, or save a file for printing later.