SolidWorks

Section by Chris Thompson
SolidWorks 2015 added AMF export option, but there are some limits and failings. This is a news though, as SolidWorks is one of the most popular and powerful CAD tools out there used for AM.

Supported:

  • Material tags
  • Color tags
  • Mesh export

Unsupported:

  • Curved triangle export

Not implemented correctly:

  • Unit tag

Units:

We know that AMF files can include Unit information, and support for that feature is possible in SolidWorks, but is currently broken. Saving an AMF is similar to saving an STL and the Option dialog box is nearly identical. The "Output as: Units:" dropdown includes many options, but SW seems to ignore this input and export any AMF in meters with the unit tag reading: <amf unit="meter" version="1.1" xml:lang="en">
This seems like an oversight or missing implementation. SW uses m for all its internal calculations. AMFs generated in SW open fine in Slic3r, but need to be scaled 100000%.

Editorial:

I was able to print identical STL and AMF parts from SW on a RepRap. Slic3r was my toolpathing software, and besides the unit problem, the print pictured here was great.B9RmeKhIUAAQm2v.jpg I don't have access to an OSH dual extruder 3D printer, but that will change shortly. I am excited to print multi material parts and possibly design my own support structure. This is a big step forward for AM. -Chris