Autodesk Inventor 3D Tutorial: Prepare your model for 3D Printing with Autodesk Inventor

In this tutorial we’d like to underline, to Autodesk Inventor users, some peculiarities of the software that are better to keep in mind when modeling for 3D Printing.

In this tutorial, you will learn the best practices for modeling, correcting and exporting an object for 3D printing using inventor. At the end of this tutorial, you will learn how to:

Then, you will be able to upload your 3D file on our website and 3D print it!

Since in 3D printing we aim to produce correctly meshed models, to be exported as .stl files, it’s reassuring to know that a 3D model obtained through Inventor will almost certainly result in a closed manifold and correctly shelled mesh. But still, besides paying attention to meeting the design rules (Related to the material guides) some care is necessary in order to produce a correct .stl file in the exporting phase of the modeling process. These steps, along with the description of some tools to check the model and some other tips, will be covered in this tutorial.

Inventor is one of the world’s most used pieces of 3D mechanical CAD design software for creating 3D digital prototypes used in the design, visualization and simulation of products. It uses a parametric solid modeling techniques, that makes it very suitable for the design process of engineered mechanisms and geometric-like exterior shapes, allowing for quick changes and adaptation of the geometric characteristics through a very intuitive workflow. On the other hand, this modeling style is very unsuitable for the creation of free-form shaped products, i.e. more ‘organic’ shapes.

Previous, basic knowledge of the software is required in order to get the most from this tutorial. Autodesk provides lots of great videos and tutorials for getting started with Inventor.

The version used in this tutorial is Autodesk Inventor 2014. You can download the student edition of Autodesk Inventor for free. This version fully reproduces the features of the commercially available software, and doesn’t produce any kind of watermark or other limitations in the output .stl files.