Integrating Next-Generation Technology: Best Practices for 3D Printing

Note: This is part two of a five-part series on integrating next generation technologies into your design workflow. Read part one here

SOLIDWORKS provides many tools that can help optimize and guide your design decision process in Additive Manufacturing (AM).

In this blog post, we will look at Print3D, Clearance Verification and also revisit some design basics to help with AM.

Built-in tools such as Print3D can be used as a Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM) check before handing off the design for 3D Print. To access this feature, go to the File menu and select Print3D as shown below.

The Print3D tool has options to set printer build volumes, part orientation, printer bed selection, thickness/gap analysis and much more. A quick visual feedback based on support material requirements on the printed part helps to quickly understand overhang areas and make changes to the build orientation or to the design and reduce support material requirements, which in turn affect the print times.

Clearance Verification is another great tool to address printer guidelines and ensure materials do not fuse together during print.  In the image below, let’s say we need a fastener, such as a pin or a bolt between the two parts.

A quick clearance verification as shown below ensures that we have sufficient clearance provided based on the machine and process conditions used for the print operation.


Finally, AM is all about RETHINKING Design. SOLIDWORKS provides the perfect environment for design iterations and ensuring success with an optimal design configuration that minimizes both build as well as support material.  In the example below, the horizontal holes would need support material leading to additional post processing after print. However, adding a chamfer would mitigate the overhangs and, hence, the support material requirements.


Watch the video below to learn more about the topics discussed above and see how SOLIDWORKS provides some best practices for a successful 3D Print!

SOLIDWORKS enables you to make smart and efficient design choices for AM. Computationally driven design is a key part of getting optimal geometry for AM. In Part 3 of this series, we will explore Topology Optimization tools SOLIDWORKS Simulation and test-drive a simple idea to an optimized geometry, ready for 3D Print! To watch all videos in this series, click here or the below banner.

Ramesh Lakshmipathy

Ramesh Lakshmipathy

Senior Territory Technical Manager at Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
Ramesh Lakshmipathy

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