In today’s fast-paced world, 3D printing has become a game-changer for businesses and hobbyists alike. And when it comes to 3D printing software, Onshape stands out as a reliable and powerful tool.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how you can harness the full potential of Onshape’s 3D printing capabilities, all while making the most of the trial version. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your journey into the world of 3D printing, this article is your roadmap to success.
What is Onshape?
Before we dive into the specifics of using Onshape for 3D printing, let’s take a moment to understand what Onshape is and why it’s gaining so much attention in the industry.
Onshape – The Future of 3D Design and Printing
Onshape is a cloud-based Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software that is revolutionizing the way designers and engineers create and collaborate on 3D designs. Unlike traditional CAD software that requires hefty installations and constant updates, Onshape operates entirely in the cloud. This means you can access your projects from anywhere with an internet connection, making collaboration a breeze.
Getting Started with Onshape
Signing Up for the Trial Version
To begin your journey with Onshape, the first step is to sign up for the trial version. Here’s how you can do it:
- Create an Account: Head over to Onshape’s website and click on the “Get Started for Free” button. Fill in your details to create an account.
- Choose Your Plan: Select the trial version when prompted. This trial usually lasts for 21 days, during which you can explore Onshape’s features without any financial commitment.
- Verify Your Email: You’ll receive a verification email. Click the link to verify your account.
- Set Up Your Workspace: Once your account is verified, you can start setting up your workspace and exploring Onshape’s interface.
Navigating the Onshape Interface
Onshape’s user-friendly interface is one of its key strengths. Here are some essential features you should be familiar with:
- Dashboard: The dashboard is your control center. Here, you can access your projects, documents, and notifications.
- Document Tabs: Each project is organized into documents. You can have multiple documents for various projects, and you can switch between them using tabs.
- Sketching Tools: Onshape provides a robust set of sketching tools to create 2D and 3D sketches.
- Part Studios: This is where you create and edit 3D parts and assemblies.
Let’s Make an Eccentric Spool
Designing in Onshape
Creating 3D Models
Now that you’re familiar with the interface, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of creating 3D models in Onshape. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Start a New Document: Click on the “+” icon to create a new document. Select “Part Studio.”
- Sketch Your Design: Use the sketching tools to create the base of your 3D model. You can sketch in 2D and then extrude it into 3D.
- Extrude and Modify: Extrude your 2D sketch into a 3D shape. You can modify and refine it as needed.
- Assemblies: If your project involves multiple parts that need to fit together, you can create assemblies and test the fit virtually.
Preparing for 3D Printing
Exporting Your Design for 3D Printing
Onshape makes it incredibly easy to prepare your 3D models for printing. Here’s what you need to do:
- Finish Your Design: Ensure that your 3D model is complete and error-free.
- Export as STL: Onshape allows you to export your design in various formats, but for 3D printing, choose the STL format.
- Check for Errors: Before sending your design to the 3D printer, use Onshape’s built-in tools to check for any potential issues like non-manifold geometry or gaps.
- Scaling and Orientation: Adjust the scale and orientation of your model as needed. Ensure it fits the build volume of your 3D printer.
By now, you should have a solid understanding of how to use Onshape’s 3D printing capabilities with the trial version. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you explore and experiment with Onshape, the better your 3D printing skills will become.