How to Make Complex Material Assignments to an Assembly Using Digital Materials in GrabCAD Print
The Digital Materials selection pane in GrabCAD Print gives you the ability to create complex 3D print assemblies with a variety of colors and textures -- all on one tray. Learn how to use this tool so you can assign complex material assignments with ease!
Step 1: Add Your Assembly Files
By now, you're an expert at assembling and reassembling your parts to change material and color assignments. But this tutorial takes it the extra step when you want to make complex material assignments to an assembly.
- Before you start, be sure to import your assembly files in GrabCAD Print
- Next, un-assemble all the parts by unchecking the Assembly box.
Now you should see all the individual parts of the assembly spread out on the tray.
Step 2: Load the Materials You Want to Work With
Now it's time to select the materials you want to work with in GrabCAD Print!
- Go to Print Settings
- Click Change Materials
Here you can see the all materials that are "loaded" in, Loaded Materials.
To REMOVE a material from the list
- In the Loaded Materials column, select the material you don't want
- Click Remove Selected
To ADD a material from the list
- In the Unloaded Materials column, search for the material you want
- Select it
- Click Add Selected
Repeat this process until you have all the materials you want to work with!
Learn more about working with PolyJet 3D printing materials here.
Step 3: Assign Materials to Parts
Now that you have your materials locked & "loaded", you're ready to make complex digital material assignments.
- On the tray, select the part(s) you want to assign
- While it's still selected, go to Print Settings
- Navigate your mouse to the Digital Materials selection pane
Here you can scroll through the list until you find the material you want. When you select the material you want, you can then choose the color you want for that material
GRABCAD PRINT BEST PRACTICE & TIP: To save time, we recommend that you label your model files WITH the material/color assignments you want so you know what you want to assign for each part.
In the example above, you can see that the file name is FLXA CYT2-S70. This tells you that the color/material you choose, should also match that preset.
Repeat this step of assigning digital material assignments until all of your parts are complete.
Step 4: Digital Materials Copy/Paste Trick
GrabCAD Print has a cool trick that will help you save time scrolling through the list of material assignments. This is great for when you already assigned a part the digital material assignment -- but then realized another part needs that same assignment.
All you have to do is:
- Select the part that has the proper digital material assignment
- Right click, Copy Properties
- Now move your mouse to the part you want to change
- Right click, Paste Properties
Now you'll see that the part has the same digital material assignment preset as the first part -- and you didn't even have to scroll!
Step 5: Re-Assemble Your Parts
Once each part has its proper digital material assignment, you're ready to reassemble the model!
- Go back to the top of your assembly in the file box
- Check the Assemble Box
You should see that all the parts have been reassembled. BUT DON'T FORGET to Optimize your part for printing to make sure you lay it on the tray for the most accurate print time and finish.
Depending on the PolyJet materials you selected, these Optimization Tutorials can help you: