Hot wo get a file

3D printing but no file available?

To produce a part in additive manufacturing, it needs a file suitable for 3D printing. If you have drawn your parts yourself in CAD, you can simply convert the file and check it. If this is not the case, there is the option of producing a file yourself or having it produced by a partner in the Jellypipe ecosystem.

    The easy way: get a 3D print file from Jellypipe

    Maschinenbau-Ingenieur konstruiert 3D-Druckatei

    In order for one of the partners in the Jellypipe ecosystem to be able to create a print file for your application, it is important that you provide all known information, properties, etc. including a 2D file (if necessary, also a photo or a detailed sketch). The more detailed the description, the easier it will be to create the desired file.

    Example: You want to have a component manufactured using 3D printing because it is very complicated and time-consuming in conventional manufacturing with turning and milling, cutting and planing. Consider which optimisations would be of benefit if there were no restrictions due to the manufacturing technology. Write down all this information in short keywords and create an "individual offer" on the Jellypipe platform of one of our Solution Partners. Your Solution Partner will be happy to advise you. This will provide you with a printable file allowing you to order your component.

      The following information is necessary/helpful:

      • Where will the component be used
      • Indispensable, important properties e.g. the surface finish
      • Desirable properties e.g. colour
      • Exact dimensions of the component
      • 2D file, photo, sketch
      • Optimisations: what exactly is to be improved e.g., reduction of the weight of the component

      The somewhat more elaborate variant: create a 3D print file yourself

      If you create a 3D print file for your component yourself, this is initially more time-consuming, but also offers the advantage that you learn more about 3D printing and the possibilities of additive manufacturing. The completed file is checked for printability at Jellypipes Printfactory and if problems arise, you will be contacted to find a solution together. If you are unsure, you can create a "custom request" on the platform, attach the 3D print file and ask questions.

      We obviously cannot provide you with comprehensive instructions here, but below are a few important points that will make it much easier to succeed:


       The most important principles for designing 3D printed models

      Note the following:

      • The minimum wall thicknesses must be observed (see following description).
      • All models must be "watertight" i.e., completely closed
      • There must be no open spots or edges
      • For smooth surfaces, a high polygon count is required in the model (high resolution)
      • Your 3D surface object should be defined as a triangle or quadrilateral mesh
      • If there are partial bodies, they must be completely closed, they can be "plugged" into the model
      • The minimum wall thickness is usually 0.8 mm to guarantee stability, but differs depending on the materials and technologies (see following description)

      In 3D printing, minimum wall thicknesses guarantee the necessary stability

      3D-Druckdatei Konstruktion stabile Aussenwände

      Example of SLS printing with PA plastic: a wall thickness of at least 0.8 mm is required, both for partition walls within the model and for exterior walls. Construction of stable exterior walls in a 3D print file Example SLS print: Intermediate walls in SLS print 3D models should be constructed to a thickness of at least 1 mm to ensure optimum stability of the printed model. Raised and recessed details must have a thickness of at least 0.5 mm in all components for 3D printing to guarantee a flawless finish.

      Suitable software for modelling a component for additive manufacturing

      If you want to create the plans for your models yourself, you need 3D modelling software. There is a large selection of free or paid software to choose from according to the level of your previous knowledge and requirements. There are many video tutorials to be found on the web to learn how to use the software, also attending a course can be very helpful.

      CAD software (standard applications used in mechanical engineering etc., chargeable)

      • Inventor
      • Siemenx NX
      • Catia

      A selection of other software tools for advanced users:

      • Fusion360
      • Meshmixer
      • Blender
      • OnShape
      • DesignSpark

      A selection for beginners in the creation of 3D print files (These solutions are partly intended for use in a non-professional environment, but are helpful as a start):

      • SketchUp
      • 3D Slash
      • Tinkercad


      3D printing at Jellypipe from a variety of file formats

      The STL format (= Surface Tessellation Language) has become established as the common file format for 3D files. With Jellypipe it is possible to print from various file formats. These are the following:

      .3dm, .3ds, .3dxml, .3mf, .CATPart, .dae, .dlv, .dlv3, .dxf, .exp, .fbx, .iges, .igs, .jt, .model, .obj, .ply, .prt, .skp, .slc, .sldprt, .step, .stl, .stp, .vda, .vdafs, .vrml, .wrl, .x_b, .x_t, .zcp, .zpr

      Ensure that information such as textures and colours are not lost when uploading to the platform. For example .obj files must be compressed and merged in a .zip folder so that this does not happen.

      We wish you every success and look forward to receiving your 3D printed component.

      Your Jellypipe


      Markus Grimm
      Chief Virtual Printfactory