Once we model something in Fusion 360 we want to be able to 3D print it or manufacture it in another way. To do that with a 3D printer, we need to be able to export an STL file. Once you complete your model for 3D printing, the first thing you need to decide is if you want to export multiple components. You can determine what will be exported by selecting the visibility of the components.
Sometimes you might have a file with many many components and it can be cumbersome to go through and select all the eyeballs and visibility of your components. If you have many components and you really only want to print one part, you can leave everything visible. You can also export the STL by selection. Go to File > 3D print. That’s going to bring up a new dialog box. Make sure you select “selection” here. Then you can just pick the part you want to print. Now even though you can see other parts, only what you have selected is what is printing.
Then Fusion 360 has a couple refinement options. These include high, medium, and low. It used to be the case that you wanted to save disk space and processing power and have small STL files. Unless you have a very complicated design, it’s best to choose high. That will give you more triangles and a smoother STL file for printing.
If you click on preview, Fusion 360 will show the mesh that will be created. If you click it down to low, you can see it’s much more coarse and potentially less detailed. An STL on the low setting will still probably give a decent print but we have much more powerful computers and larger disk drives so go ahead and pick high unless you have a very complicated design and this will give you even an extra smooth STL file.
Uncheck the option to send to a 3D print utility unless you have Fusion 360 connected to your 3D printer. Label your STL file. Save it in your Downloads folder.
If you open the exported STL, you can preview the file to see what it’s going to look like. This is very convenient and then you can take this STL file to the slicer of your choice and 3D print it. You always want to double check your STL file before printing it. You’ll see it either in a preview program like this or in the slicer to make sure you have all the parts that you need.