When creating multiple iterations of a part, it can be helpful to apply a label for identification purposes. Using SOLIDWORKS, we can apply a label to our part with color and finish, then transfer those settings directly to our printer software for 3D printing on our Stratasys PolyJet machine.
For this example, I applied a label to the side of the part, extruding it, applying a separate color as an appearance and exporting a VRML file. The VRML file contains a mesh of the model, along with any appearances added in SOLIDWORKS. The next step is to import the model into GrabCAD Print, check to make sure the appearances carried over, and then send to your 3D printer.
With the model open in SOLIDWORKS, the first step of the process is to add a label to your part. The sketch is added directly to the model, and the label is created as an Extrude feature.
To apply a discretely colored label to the model, first apply an appearance to the entire model. From the Appearances, Scenes and Decals task pane tab, select White Satin Finish Plastic, and apply this appearance to the entire body.
Next, apply an appearance to the label. I selected Black Satin Finish Plastic and applied it to the feature created by our text label extrusion. Once applied, you're ready to export the file for printing.
Then, export the file as a VRML format, which GrabCAD Print can use as an input file. Make sure your version is set to VRML 97, and your units are set correctly. If either are set incorrectly, it can cause problems with how GrabCAD Print handles the files.
After importing the file into GrabCAD Print, check to make sure the material appearance carried through with the file. Once you have confirmed the appearance and color are correct, the file is ready to be sent to the printer.
That’s it! You now have a 3D printed model with a label printed directly onto the surface of the part, using the color capabilities of the Stratasys Polyjet 3D printers.
Interested in more 3D printing tricks? Check out our growing library of Video Tech Tips specifically for 3D printing.