Three Minute Thursday: NetFabb Series Part 1 - Importing and Lattice Structures

[fa icon="calendar"] February 01, 2018 / by Cris Ivan

Cris Ivan, TPM Application Engineer

Hi everyone, welcome to a new Three Minute Thursday. My name is Cris Ivan and this will be a three part series on NetFabb. We will start with a SOLIDWORKS design, bring it into NetFabb and prepare it for 3D printing, then send it to our HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printer.


For those of you who are not familiar with NetFabb yet, it is a powerful, easy to use software which accepts a large variety of 3D file formats, such as SOLIDWORKS, Parasolid, IGES, STEP, and many more and of course STLs. It has to ability to enhance the design and prepare the it for manufacturing, especially 3D printing.

So, I will start in SOLIDWORKS 2018 and will create a quick, simple part.

And check its volume. 321 cubic centimeters.  So if you will 3D print this solid, it will take that amount of material.

I will name it Lofted Part, very creative, I know. I will save it both as a SOLIDWORKS part and an STL.

And now open NetFabb and start by choosing the 3D printer on which I will print this part. So the HP Jet Fusion 4200. This will load the build chamber dimensions so I can accurately position my part.


First thing I usually do is check that the mesh looks good.

Then, using the Latice Assistand, I will choose the shell thickness and what kind of lattice structure I want to create.

The preview looks good. So I will keep this change and also keep the old, solid part, which I can simply hide. Items that are hidden are not going to be part of the final build, so no worries.


I can see my result. BEAUTIFUL!


So let’s look how much material we saved. The modified part requires 113 cubic centimeters of material.

The original part, 321 cubic centimeters.

This comes out to a 65% reduction in material used.  And since the material dictates the weight, this also means a 65% lighter part, while still being strong thanks to the internal lattice structure.

This is all for today.

Next time, we will look at creating plugs for draining the excess material inside the part and at how to quickly add text or a logo or an existing part.

Thanks for joining us for TPM's Three Minute Thursday! Want to learn more? Check out our Training Courses created specifically for SOLIDWORKS users. 


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Topics: SOLIDWORKS, Three Minute Thursday

Cris Ivan

Written by Cris Ivan

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