View Full Version : Best bang for the buck 3d Printer for use with Solidworks?

09-14-2012, 12:02 PM
I need to print 3d prototype models from my Solidworks part files. The parts range from size of about 1" x 1" up to about 5" x 5".

What is the best value for your money in these systems?

09-18-2012, 07:06 PM
It's very dependent on the kind of resolution you want. Printers that extrude molten plastic can make a good working model out of hard material but the item tends to look somewhat rough. Shapeways use printers that operate by fusing powder which gives a cleaner result and finally there are the optical based units that use photosensitive resin and can make 50 micron layers for ultra high resolution.

If you just want to prototype some parts I'd open a Shapeways account and load your models up to them in .STL format. You will then have a choice of materials and colors. They are fairly pricey though.