How to Import and 3D Print Assembled Parts in GrabCAD Print

GrabCAD Print allows you to import multiple file types, including STL files, an assembly of STLs and even VRMLs. But if you're having problems working with complex assemblies, this tutorial will show you how to unlock your assembly so you can separate your parts. Then, you'll be able to make material and color assignments with ease.

  1. Step 1: Before You Start

    For this tutorial, you want these items ready:

    Next, check which version of GrabCAD Print you're working on. The first video shows the workflow for GrabCAD Print versions 1.39 and after.

    If you haven't updated to the latest version of GrabCAD Print, refer to the tutorial video below:

  2. Step 2: Importing an STL File

    To import an STL file, follow these steps:

    1) File

    2) Add Models

    3) Select the .stl file you want to add

    4) Open

    5) Your file is now exported and you should see it on the tray.

    You'll note that you can't make different material selections for one element or the other; you can only control them together as a single mesh.

  3. Step 3: Importing an STL File as an Assembly

    Importing a file as an assembly will allow you to select different elements of the assembly; for instance, each one could have a separate material designation. 

    To do this, follow these steps:

    1) File

    2) Add STLs as Assembly

    3) Select your .stl files

    Now you'll see that the part looks the same, but you'll notice that you can select different elements of the assembly. So each one of these can have a separate material designation!

  4. Step 4: Importing a VRML or OBJ File

    Importing a VRML file will allow you to have texture applied to the model. And now, in the latest version of GrabCAD Print, it's possible to overide your texture and make different material assignments!

    To import a VRML file:

    1) File

    2) Add Models

    3) Select a file from your VRML folder

    4) You'll see it in GrabCAD Print!

    When you want to override your texture:

    • Model Settings
    • Color Picker
    • Change the color to what you want

    If you aren't happy with your new selection, simply right click the part and select Restore Appearance at the bottom.

  5. Step 5: Unlocking Your Assembly

    When you unlock your assembly in GrabCAD Print, you can then make material and color assignments for individual parts.

    Here's how:

    1) Simply uncheck the Assembly box

    You know you've done it right, if your tray looks like this, with separated parts:

    Now you can make your material and color assignments on individual parts!

    Tips on selecting colors: How to Assign Colors in GrabCAD Print

  6. Step 6: 3D Printing Your Assembly

    Once you've made your material and color selections, you simply re-check the Assemble box and you'll see your parts assembled -- but with the changes you made!

    BEFORE Assembly

    AFTER Assembly

    Now you're ready to 3D print your assembled part!