Stratasys’ GrabCAD Print is a sophisticated 3D printing app that allows designers and engineers to prepare, schedule and monitor 3D printing jobs. Since its release, GrabCAD has continued to make exciting updates to this software; and we will be updating you every other month on its new features – as we transition out of summer and into fall we have seen some minor and major updates in GrabCAD Print with version 1.22 and 1.23.
Disable Auto Updates
Often it seems that at a critical time we open GrabCAD Print only to find that it wants to do an auto update. While this process doesn’t take more than a few minutes it can be frustrating, that is why you can now be notified when an update is available to install. This is accessed through File > Preferences > Updates.
Increase CAD Model Resolution
Also, under the preferences menu, we will find an option for “High-Quality Tessellation for CAD File Import” located through File > Preferences > Model Insert Settings. This allows GrabCAD to create smoother surfaces on CAD models by increasing the number of triangles comprising the model’s mesh during import. This makes for a much smoother and arguably more accurate model at the expense of slowing down the software’s performance due to the increase in model data.
Auto Orientation of FDM Parts
Previously, we could ask GrabCAD Print to auto arrange parts on a build tray- but now, it can auto-orient the parts. This feature focuses on limiting support material as the basis for orientation and is as simple as selecting the model and clicking on the “Auto Orient” button. The software will run a few quick calculations, analyze the part and then it will change the orientation to best minimize the amount of support needed. This will act as a good method for customers to quickly reduce overall part cost and in many cases decrease the overall build time.
New Machine and Material Options
With the release of version 1.22, we can print using Antero 800NA on the Fortus 450mc, meaning we no longer need to rely on Insight for this combination. With 1.22 we also saw that we can choose between model or support material options for the first layer of printed material on the build tray of an F123 series printer when printing with ABS or ASA at a .005” layer resolution. Lastly, we now have the ability to print with Ultem 9085 with a .013” resolution on the Fortus 450mc.
FDM Seam Visibility
When printing with an FDM printer we can see where the layer’s start and stop extruding when previewing our slices. While there is no current way to change the placement using GrabCAD Print, a user can rotate the part on the build try along the Z-Axis to try and find a more suitable location for the seam. For full control the seam placement, a user will have to resort to setting up the file within Insight if they have a compatible printer.
PolyJet Surface Finish Preview
Stratasys PolyJet technology has the ability to print parts in both matte or glossy surface finishes. The release of GrabCAD Print 1.23 now graphically shows the surface of a part as either having a gloss or matte surface based on the option you have chosen for the specific model. In the image below, we can see two identical blue drill casings, the part on the left is matte and the part on the right is glossy.
Scheduling and Job History Improvements
Lastly, we see various improvements and changes to both the “Job Queue” and “Job History” interfaces. Most notably, we can now see how much material will be left after an FDM job is completed when clicking on a job in the queue. For a full list of changes please look at the official release notes found by navigating to Help > Release Notes.
This latest update can change and improve the way you use your 3D printer as well as expand the materials and machine options you have available.
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