For all of you students who are drooling to create 3D prints of your SolidWorks parts at school… tough luck. You can’t. The SolidWorks Student Design Kit (SDK) doesn’t allow you to export .STL files and if you complain to the teacher about he will start crying again.

So, besides downloading a free trial of a program like Rhino to import SolidWorks parts and then export, there’s another way that Shapeways user Mathijs van Beers has discovered. It’s simple and uses all the programs that come with SolidWorks SDK.

Mathijs walk you through the SolidWorks part to .stl process. Here are the major steps:

  1. Save the part as an eDrawings file (.eprt)
  2. Check option to Allow STL export
  3. Open part in eDrawings
  4. File, Save as… and select .STL

Besides doing this to get around the SDK limitations, it’s also a great way to transfer files to people or 3D print shops. It will allow them to review your design before exporting and provide feedback to you about anything needing a bit of modification before the actual printing.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.