Starting your 3D printing business with SOLIDWORKS

3D printing is an enticing and exciting industry to be a part of in 2016, but are you prepared to embrace it? 

Maybe you're the head of an organisation that sees the value a high-quality 3D printer can bring to your manufacturing or prototyping team. Perhaps you're a young entrepreneur, about to maximise on 3D printing technology and want to design the future consumer products of our society. 

No matter what your intent, embracing and mastering new technology can be a daunting prospect. The first step, of course, before we even consider printing an object or prototype into existence, is to create a design using powerful software.

The first step towards a 3D printing business 

Alex Kok, territory technical manager for ANZ, said how, even with the most expensive printing hardware, the real key to 3D printing success stems from the design software itself.

CAD software is ultimately responsible for bringing 3D printing to life and making it approachable for individuals and businesses.

"You can't print something out of nothing, and that's where 3D CAD software starts – it's actually driving home the fact that you need a powerful yet simple to use product like SOLIDWORKS. It's a push and pull kind of interaction between 3D printing and design," he said. 

3D printers have allowed designers greater freedom when manufacturing a prototype. Currently, there is a strong fascination with what we can print – cars, shoes, food, a violin – even a 3D printed house. 

Designing the origin of the 3D printer 

With focus on the printing hardware, a question many aren't asking is: How did we design the 3D printer in the first place? 

Someone had to design the casing, someone had to design the mechanisms inside a 3D printer to make sure they move – CAD software is ultimately responsible for bringing 3D printing to life and making it approachable for individuals and businesses alike. But what would you need to pick up SOLIDWORKS and design your own masterpiece at home?

Powerful CAD software and 3D printing are mutually beneficial.Powerful CAD software and 3D printing are mutually beneficial.

"The software, you need the software. You can learn the basics of SOLIDWORKS online, free tutorials directly from SOLIDWORKS. A lot of people pick up tips and tricks online. Of course, there is always formal training available in most major cities, but the internet is a wonderful thing," Alex said.

To get started with SOLIDWORKS and discover what CAD processes can do to print your dreams into reality, reach out to Dassault Systemes today, or take an in-depth look at our software's innovative key capabilities.