3D Printing Group

Created by Abe Gladstone on 15 February, 2018

Method to Nest Parts in GrabCAD Print?

The "Optimize" option in GrabCAD Print will nest parts, but only in two dimensions. The software does not take the 3rd axis "Z" into consideration. If a part falls within the "shadow" of another part, the tray is invalid.

I've come across the situation a few times, and so far the only solution I know of is to physically Combine multiple parts into a single body by running "threads" between them in the CAD software. The "threads" trick the software into seeing a single body, but are easily cleaned up after building.

I'd like to know if there is a way to force the software to build a project despite parts "overlapping".

Attached is a simple example problem of a "car" (the disc), and a "garage". GrabCAD Print will not place the car in the garage for printing. If I place the car in the garage, the result is an error message about the "object being outside the build volume". But that is not the issue. I can place the parts in the center of the tray and receive the same error. The problem is parts "overlapping", even if they are not in contact.

Could an option be added treat multiple selected parts as a single part once the operator has manually placed the parts? This avoids the more complex solution of adding a 3rd dimension to the the nesting method.

2 Answers

Hi Adam-

Sorry, there's no way to do this in GrabCAD Print right now. Actually, it goes beyond detecting z-dimensional interference, parts cannot be nested even within ring-shaped parts where there's no actual interference at all. We have it on our backlog of feature enhancements to look into, so I'll put a hit on it on your behalf.

Thanks Danny. I was afraid that was the answer, but was hopeful there'd be some cool trick.
Having a toggle to treat multiple selected parts as a single item could be a temporary "fix". Users would have to manually rotate and position parts, but at least the platform would build.
Another alternative is an option to ignore errors, and build the platform as it is. Maybe hide that option under the "advanced" menu so that most people won't find it :)