We use 3D printing every day in our studio, from prototyping, to formal exploration, to end use products it's really our go to for formalizing our ideas. As early adopters we've had to put up with a lot of trial and error and disconnections in the printing process. One of the major things we've found as a problem is the disconnect from modeling software to printer.
Step 1: What You Will Need:
Fusion360 is a free, cloud based modeling program. It fills a niche between inventor, sketchup, and Rhino, giving users a free, highpowered modeling suite directly integrated into CAM and 3D printing software.
Large volume, wifi and network enabled 3D Printer designed for pros.
Slicing software for turning models into 3D Printable files.
Step 2: Modeling in Fusion360
The part I'm working on now is a demo part for an upcoming injection molding project. You can see the first part here. I've got the part all modeled out in fusion, but before I go to mill the mold out of aluminum I want to check to make sure the parts are all going to fir together and work. Having access to a Series 1 we're able to quickly 3D print a part and iterate if necessary.
Step 3: Export From Fusion
Fusion is a solid modeler, in order to get a 3D printable file you need to convert that solid into a mesh. From the item tree on the left side of the screen right click on the Body you wish to print. It will turn blue. Go down to the option to "save as stl".
After clicking save as STL a box will appear on the right of the screen, this is your STL options. Make sure the Format is set to 'Binary'. You can preview the mesh and revise the resolution of the mesh if necessary, since this is a test part I've left the setting at 'Medium'.
Hit 'OK' and browse to the location to save.
Step 4: Slice Your Model
In order to get your model printing you need to 'Slice' it. Every printer has a different slicer but the Slicer I'm using with my Series 1 is called Cura for Type A Machines. The first thing you may notice is that the model might come in at a strange scale, this is because the units in Fusion may be inches(you can change this) but Cura is always in Millimeters. It's very easy to fix this in Cura.
Select the geometry, a toolbar will pop up on the bottom, hit the center button for scale, then enter 25.4 into the X, Y, or Z field. Your model has now been converted from inches to millimeters.
The next step is to orient the model so that it prints best, click the model and open the rotate tools. Rotate the model until it's flat on the bed.
You'll notice in the upper right every time you make a move there is a progress bar, this is your slicer. Cura automatically re-slices the file each time you move, so as soon as that bar is full you're ready to save.
You can save the file out to your desktop then upload to your printer or if you follow the steps in my 3D printer networking Series 1 instructable you can upload directly to the file system of your printer!
Step 5: Print!
Great! You're on the home stretch, Launch your browser and navigate to your printer. If you uploaded directly then your files will already be there, just hit print, your print will start right away!
I hope you enjoyed this walk though of using Fusion360 to Type A Machines Series 1, here are a few things you can use this for:
And many more coming soon!