CAD 3D Printing

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A multitude of platforms exist for 3D design. In this class, students will be supported on the OnShape platform. This platform provides a free educational account and can be used within a web browser making it accessible from multiple operating systems. OnShape also allows users to share projects so that multiple members can edit simultaneously as well as allowing a TA to view designs to avoid early errors. Several tutorials [1] [2] exist for learning OnShape and it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the platform. New users will find it relatively easy to use the shape, dimension, and extrude features to quickly design a basic case prototype. More precise features are covered in the tutorial and can also be explored via OnShape’s expansive Learning Center[3].

You are free to use other CAD design packages such as Solidworks, Fusion360 or Autodesk Inventor, all of which are excellent packages. However, to avoid having to support mulitple packages, the TAs will assist with just OnShape. If you use another package, just make sure to export STL files for printing on the lab printers.

While many different CAD file formats exist, it is recommended that STL files be exported. The STL files will be then be used in Cura. Cura is software from Ultimaker that will be used to generate gcode files that the Ultimaker printers can use to print parts.

Printing in the Lab

Students should not use the printers in the lab without permission from the instructor. If you need to print something, export the STL files and send them to the following email address:

TAs monitor this address and will contact you if they have questions about your STL file and will notify you when the print job is complete.