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How to Import and Export 3D Printing Files on ideaMaker

The ideaMaker Slicing software makes it easy to slice 3D models into 3D printable files by offering pre-installed templates.  In addition to these easy to use profiles, you can also customize and share your settings, or use custom profiles created by members of the ideaMaker community. 

In this blog, we will explore how to import and export Filament Profiles, .idea files, and how to utilize the files from previously sliced models. 

Want to explore several available profiles and files? Visit the OFP (Open Filament Program) and the ideaMaker Library. The OFP has many calibrated material profiles approved by the filament manufacturer. In the IdeaMaker Library, you can explore even more filament profiles, sliced files, and 3D models submitted by the community. 


Filament and Slicing Profiles

Slicing templates are a collection of all of the slicing data you can choose in ideaMaker. Exporting a template will save this as a .bin file, but you can also recover this printing data from the .data files that are created when you slice your models.


How to Import .bin Files

To import or export .bin files, you will need to be at the “Select Template” menu that appears after pressing “Start” in ideaMaker.  You will see the Import and Export buttons on the bottom right of this menu. 

How to Import a File

To import a file, select your filament type from the dropdown and press the “Import” button. This will allow you to pick the .bin, .data, or .gcode file to use for the template. You can also drag and drop your file into this window.
Note, if you are adding a profile for a new material type, you may also want to create a new filament type before importing the settings by selecting the gear icon and adding any material-specific details. 

To export a profile, you will need to be in the “Select Template” menu.  Click the “Export” button on the side of this menu to save the template as a .bin file. 


Saved Projects – .idea files

When you slice a file, the final export that you make is typically to save the final 3D printable files.  If you intend to come back to this file and make changes, you may be interested in saving an Idea File as well. 

What is an Idea File?

An Idea File is a way to save the current project as it appears in the workspace including all of the imported models, as well as any changes that have been made to them.  This includes changes such as position and scale, supports, modifiers, group and layer settings, and other selections that you’ve made in ideaMaker.   

Why is Saving an Idea File Important?

Saving an Idea File is useful for complicated models that may have multiple placed models, custom supports or is a model that you intend to slice many times for different settings and materials. 

How to Save an Idea File

Saving an Idea file is simple.  When you are done modifying your 3D model in ideaMaker, press “File” in the top left corner of the menu bar and click “Save Idea File” or “Save Idea File As”.  

On your first save, both save options will allow you to pick the file location and name.  If you are working on a previously saved file, pressing the “Save Idea File” will skip the naming step and automatically replace the saved file with the latest version.

*Remember that a .idea file is designed to be opened with ideaMaker will not be printable as-is.  It will need to be sliced before it can be used for printing*

Opening an Idea File 

There are many ways to continue working on your Idea File.
To open a .idea file, you can double click the file and it will automatically open with the ideaMaker program. You can also open the “File” menu in ideaMaker and select “Open Idea File” to import this. Lastly, you can drag and drop the file into the ideaMaker workspace.


Sliced Printing Files – .Gcode and .Data files

Lastly, you can use sliced .gcode and data files shared with others as printable files, or use settings from those files for future prints.  To use the files as slicing templates, go back to the “Filament and Slicing Profiles” section.

If you are looking to print the files on your machine, you can place these files on a flash drive and print them directly. 

If you would like to preview the print file before printing, click “file” then “Open Print File” to select your sliced model and examine the preview.



For more tips like this, visit Raise3D Academy’s Technical Questions




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