3D Printing and Inventor

Hello everyone, I’ve had some problems and I need some help. I am the design leader on my robotics team, and recently we purchased a new 3D Printer, a CubeX Duo to be exact. Now the problem is when we attempt to 3D print a part that we created in AutoDesk Inventor, the part was WAY too small. Instead of printing 1", it printed roughly 4mm. Assuming that this was a problem with units, we imported the English cad file into Metric, then attempted to print that. It worked in a way, where that instead of being too small, it was scaled up a little (but not nearly as much as it was scaled down before). Which brings me to my question; Has anyone else had this problem? Are there any solutions?

I have been exporting drawings right out of Solidworks in the .stl format, opening them in the Makerware software and printing them directly with no problems (Makerbot Replicator 2). I wonder if your problem is with Inventor or Cube?

Have you tried the Cubify software they have donated in the virtual KOP…I found that it works very well too…at least that will isolate your problem. (I’m sure you can import your Inventor file into the Cube software too.)

In Inventor, when you Save As -> Save Copy As -> STL you need to also click the “Options” button to set the STL Units and Resolution. Even if the Inventor file is in inches, I believe STL units defaults to mm, which is probably what is messing you up.


Let me know if Sanddrag’s suggestion resolves the issue.

It worked! The only problem now is that it looks like a blob in some places, but it printed the correct size. Give and take, but we’ll work with it. Thanks!

Inventor will screw up some files like that. I find it depends on the shape. There was a point in time that I had to make in IP save in Solidworks and then pull into Makerware to fix. On our Mendelmax we then had to save Makerware file as a “fixed” .stl pull into Sliz3r and print.

So much fuss…

Mesh lab is a free tool you can use to repair STL files, or Bing it into slic3r and it auto repairs it. It can then be exported again.

The ‘Save As’ in Inventor never worked properly for me - the reference plane was always messed up and the part would print on its side, even though the part was built ‘up’ from the XZ plane. However, I never noticed the ‘Options’ button that Sandrag pointed out.

What has worked for me in lieu of ‘Save As’:
File > Print > Send to 3D Print Service

It also allows for some tweaking, including scaling & converting to the units of the target 3D printer.

we have the cube 2 and we save the file normally but in the cube software we found if you scale down your prints by 39.42% we get the right size.