SolidWorks is known for it’s exceptional 3D design functionality, but what if you want to take some of those amazing products you’ve created and get them printed for a display, brochure or screenprinted t-shirt? You can get a print quality image straight from SolidWorks and it’s simple as saving a file.
Typically a design department for a print shop or screen printer will need a file that is at least 200 dpi (dots per inch), which indicates the image resolution. the higher the dpi the higher the resolution. A vector (property-based) image is usually preferred, but you’ll only get a raster (pixel-based) image out of SolidWorks so dpi is important. Now, let’s get started.
Setting up your model
Say you want to get your favorite flange bearing printed on a t-shirt. To get a really good graphic out of SolidWorks you want to get it as big as possible on your screen. Set up your favorite view and hit F11 to go full-screen. Hit F9 and F10 if your FeatureManager or Toolbars are showing. Zoom your model out as far as you can, like the image below.
Save the file
Go to File, Save As…, and in Save as type select Adobe portable document format (*.pdf). Before you save it, select Options near the bottom right to bring up the Export Options screen. Make sure you have the below selected. Hit OK and Save.
Send to printer
That’s basically it. You will get a 300 dpi graphic that the printer or design department can work with. If you have a program like Adobe Photoshop you can open the image and tweak it a little here and there, see what it looks like on different backgrounds or change the color.