solidworks tipsSolidWorks 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.

Technical stuff
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.

flange-bearing-screenprint.jpg

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.

solidworks-pdf-export-options.jpg

Send to printer
solidworks-flange-tshirt.jpgThat’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.

Great printshops:
OnlinePrintHouse.com
PrintMojo.com
TheSignDude.com

Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, 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.