Solidworks design for 3D Print tools

How To Use The SolidWorks 3D Texture Tool for 3D Printed Parts

Want to add texture to your 3D printed part? Check out this guide on how to use the Solidworks texture tool to make that happen!

How To Use The Solidworks Mesh Editing Tools

Guide showing how to use the new mesh editing tools in SolidWorks 2022 in order to edit STL files for use with 3D Printers.

How To Use The Solidworks Sketch Picture Tool

Need to trace a complex logo for use on your 3D printed parts? Check out this video explaining how to use this hidden gem in the SolidWorks software.

Full Presentation: Design for 3D Printing Manufacturing Processes

Design Guides For Printers Discussed in Presentation:

Questions? Contact us at:


3D Printing Glue Strength Guide

This 3D Printing Glue Strength Guide was built due to questions we have repeatedly gotten from customers over the years when they are planning to glue 3D Printed parts they have sourced from us together after they receive them. The most common questions are:

In order to do this testing we printed the same base part in a large number of the most common materials we produce parts in for our customers:

The glue joint design that was settled on was one that is considered a worst case scenario from a strength perspective, its called a butt joint. The flat area that made up the butt joint was .1″ wide, this is a common thickness we see for these types of joints and also acts as a worst case scenario due to its small size. For a look at other types of glue joints that are much stronger check out our HP Multi-Jet Part Design Guide and look at the section titled: “Glue Joints”.

We put both of these questions to the test with a collection of tensile strength and shear strength pull tests designed to come up with an approximate breaking force for each combination of materials. Check out the following videos and tables to see the results:

Tensile Strength Pull Test

Shear Strength Pull Tests

3D Printing Glue Strength: Adhesive Recommendation

Based on our research prior to filming this test we narrowed down the best all around glue to Loctite HY4070. It had the best average holding power across all of the different material and printing processes we tested it on verse other epoxies and super glues. This glue is also commonly available and can be found on

3D Printing Glue Strength

3D Printed Welding Fixtures

3D Printed Welding Fixtures for use with prototype or low volume manufacturing applications have become a reality in recent years. This is due to advances in the types of materials that are printable along with the machines that run them coming down in cost and increasing in speed. The reason we are seeing metal fabrication shops starting to use 3D printed details on there weld fixtures are the following:

The best process / materials we have found for these 3D printed details is the HP MJF printer coupled with either Nylon 12 or Nylon 12 with 40% glass in it. This was the machine used to produce the parts you see in the example below:

Thank you to Ludlow Manufacturing for helping out with this video.

It is important to note that these 3D printed details will not hold up as long as traditional steel details so they should not be considered for use on long running production fixtures. Instead, they are very well suited for things like prototype, low volume production, and service part production.

Forerunner 3DP / HP / Lubrizol Webinar Assets

You will find both the webinar recording (above) as well as the PowerPoint slide deck recapping the webinar “8 Robotic & Automation Applications Using Flexible 3D Printed Parts

Here are a collection of links to other pages on the F3DP website that are relative to the topics covered during this webinar:

Have questions? Our sales engineers (Paul and Dylan) would be happy to talk with you further! You can reach them at:


Design Guide: Threads In 3D Printed Parts

Printing the threads in 3D printed parts is possible, and as you can see from the testing video below it works quite well even in high load end use applications. Through testing we have done here at F3DP we have found its possible to print threads as small as 6-32 or M3 into 3D printed parts. This page will teach you how to go about designing in these threads for 3D printed parts.

Thread Strength Testing: Nylon 12 Material

Tensile strength test of MJF parts with larger printed in threads

Tensile strength test of MJF parts with smaller printed in threads

Thread Strength Testing: TPU Rubber Material

Tensile strength test of TPU Rubber MJF parts, helicoil thread insert vs. printed in thread

What machines is it possible to print threads into 3D printed parts with?

3D Printing for Automated Equipment
Threads in 3D printed parts using an HP MJF machine with Nylon 12

This guide will be specifically talking about threads for 3D printed parts coming off of the HP MJF technology. The MJF machine is unique in that it allows for very fine features to be printed in any orientation without the need for support while still being able to use high strength materials like Nylon. The next closest technology that would be able to produce threads would be SLS, but these machines can’t capture the same level of detail as the MJF so they are limited to 1/4-20 or M6 threads or bigger. Then there are the liquid polymer machines like Polyjet, SLA, CLIP, DLP, ect. These machines can absolutely print threads down to 8-32 or M4, but the hole must be oriented in the vertical direction from the print bed. If the hole is horizontal it will end up with support in it and the 3D printed thread will not turn out. Lastly, FDM technology is not suited to print in any threads under 1/2-13 or M12, and they have to be oriented vertically from the machines print bead.

What software is used to design threads?

Our in-house engineering group works with all the major CAD software’s, but the one that is the easiest to use for adding threads into a 3D printed part is Solidworks. The reason for this is that it has a built in tool that will automatically add in the correct thread profile for you. For this reason this guide is built around this software, and the following video is a tutorial that will walk you through how to add threads in 3D printed parts:

How To Design 3D Printable Threads – NUT
How To Design 3D Printable Threads – BOLT

Here is a really good tap / drill chart for reference.

For those not using Solidworks for their CAD design software we have also collected thread design how to video’s for a lot of the other major CAD design software’s on the market:

Designing 3D printable threads with Autodesk Fusion 360

Designing 3D printable threads with Autodesk Inventor

Designing 3D printable threads with CATIA V5

Designing 3D printable threads with PTC Creo

Designing 3D printable threads with Google SketchUp

Designing 3D printable threads with OnShape

Designing 3D printable threads with TinkerCAD

Want a second set of eyes to check over your design or have a question? We offer free Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM) consulting for our customers:

End use part with a 10-32 thread printed into it.

Cerakote Express – AR Platform Part Pricing / Color Guide

Here at Cerakote Express we are specialist in applying Cerakote to a range of materials like plastics, metal, composites, and more. The coating can be used for adding a cosmetic finish, wear protection, or a low friction surface finish among other things. Unlike traditional coatings like 2K automotive paint or powder coat, Cerakote goes on extremely thin (.001″ thick or less in most cases) and is one of the must durable coatings on the market today.

Whether you need 1 part coated with a single color or a full production run of multiple parts with complex masking and multiple colors the team at Cerakote Express can help!

Stocked Colors:

Custom Colors:

If you would like a color other then one that is stocked in our inventory we can order it for you. Please check out the color list available from Cerakote, make note of the Item code (for example: H-190) of the color you want, and include that information when you reach out to us with your order.

Average Lead Time:

*NOTE: Lead time is based on an average size job, larger quantities or bigger projects may drive longer lead times. A firm lead time will be given at the time a formal quote is generated for a project.

Miscellaneous Item Price List:


Yeti Tumbler – Single Color

Yeti Tumbler – Multi Color

Other Firearms Price List:



Bolt Action Rifles

AR Component Price List:


Full AR Platform Rifle

Stripped Lower Receiver

Stripped Upper Receiver

Stripped Upper Receiver + Controls Kit

Stripped Upper & Lower Receiver

Stock & Buffer Tube Assembly


ESD Safe 3D Printing Options

Initial 3D Printed Part ESD Test Results:

ESD safe materials are those that prevent electrostatic charges from building up in a component. When you are shocked by a doorknob that is an ESD (Electrostatic Discharge). Those charges can damage electrical components. So all material in a facility that manufactures electronics have to be ESD Safe. This can be achieved with various ESD Safe 3D Printing Options we will cover on this page. But first lets go through some terms and there definitions.

When evaluating materials for ESD performance, the most important property is usually the surface resistance, measured in ohms. Conductive materials – typically metals – have a surface resistance generally less than 103 ohms, insulators such as most plastics are rated at greater than 1012 ohms, and ESD materials fall in the mid-range, at 106 to 109 ohms.

The best way to fully grasp ESD safe 3D printing materials, is to understand where ESD safe plastics have been used. There are three primary uses for ESD safe plastics:

The biggest demand is usually found in the electronics manufacturing industry where lots of new electronic devices are being developed and manufactured each day. Every one of these devices requires a multitude of custom jigs, fixtures, pallets, nests and assembly aids to produce. Traditionally these components are made in medium to low volumes with traditional subtractive manufacturing techniques (CNC milling). This results in long lead times and very expensive tooling charges. Additive Manufacturing is changing all of this by allowing manufacturers to design jigs and fixtures to be 3D printed with advanced engineering-grade materials that meet ESD surface resistance requirements. Lead times can be reduced from weeks to days and multi-component assemblies can be reduced into a single 3D printed part.

Options for ESD Safe 3D Printed Parts

There are 2 options for making ESD safe 3D printed parts, ABS-ESD7 material printed on an FDM machine or Nylon 12 material printed on and HP MJF machine and coated in an ESD safe coating. Each of these options has its pros and cons which we will cover here.

Need help determining what is the best ESD Safe 3D Printing option for your project? Feel free to reach out to our sales engineers for a free evaluation of your project:

Extreme Wear Testing of Nylon 12 With a ESD Safe Coating Applied

Curious about using 3D Printing for pogo pin nests? Check out this page that outlines all the pogo pin related testing work we have done.

3D Printed Pogo Pin Nests

Testing Results:



Since the advent of electronics companies have been struggling with the need to build end of line testers, specifically Pogo pin nests. This pain point is rapidly being solved with the advent of 3D Printed Pogo Pin Nests. On this page you will find the detailed research we have conducted along with real world examples of how 3D Printed Pogo Pin Nests are now being implemented by Forerunner 3D Printing customers across their business in order to solve their long standing issues with traditionally manufactured Pogo Pin nests.

To start, we should probably talk about what exactly a Pogo pin is! Pogo pins are spring loaded probes that can be pressed into a hole to connect two PCB boards together or to allow for a electrical connection to be made with a plug that had metal pins imbedded in it. We use pogo pins that are manufactured by QA Technology and Mill-Max Mfg. Corp. when we are designing 3D Printed Pogo Pin nests.

There are many different types of Pogo pins to allow for different connection strategies, as well as different signal types and amperages/voltages. Typically, there is a spring-loaded test probe that fits into a receptacle. The receptacle gets pressed into a hole in the 3D printed test fixture to retain and hold the probe in place. See the animation below for an example of how one of these nests is assembled.

How a pogo nest is assembled

3D Printed Pogo Pin - how a pogo pin works
Example of how to pogo pin (which is replaceable) is seated in the receptacle (which can be permanently mounted into the 3D Printed nest.

The block that the receptacle pogo component is pressed into as well as the cover that goes over the removable pogo pin its self and acts as a guide for it are both ideal candidates to be manufactured with either MJF and FDM 3D Printers.

Examples of 3D Printed Pogo Pin Nests:

Curious about the electrostatic discharge rating of these 3D printed materials? Check out this page that outlines all the ESD testing work we have done.


JOB TITLE: Additive Manufacturing Technician

REPORT TO: 3D Printing Manager

TYPE POSITION: Full-Time-Hourly OR Part-Time-Hourly

HOURLY RANGE: $12-$16            

BENEFITS: Medical/Dental/Vision/Life/Disability Insurance, Paid Vacation Days

GENERAL STATEMENT: Entry level position operating 3D Printing machines, post processing parts, as well as general assembly of finished goods, and shipping duties.








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    US Government CAGE Code: 805Z7

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