Advanced print prep with Insight and Control Center

For most FDM printers, GrabCAD Print is offered as an alternative to the existing Stratasys software: Catalyst, Insight and Control Center. GrabCAD Print already includes great print prep and printer management tools to take the place of Catalyst and Control Center, and with Advanced FDM, the capabilities of GrabCAD Print have expanded to include more of the capabilities that were previously only available in Insight. Use this chart to differentiate between the software offerings, and continue reading below for more detailed feature availability.

GrabCAD Print Advanced FDM (within GrabCAD Print) Insight & Control Center Catalyst EX
FDM Printers Supported F123 Series, F900, and all uPrint, Dimension, and Fortus printers F370, F900, Fortus 380mc, 380mc CF, 400mc, 450mc, and 900mc F370, F900, and all Fortus printers All uPrint and Dimension printers
File Formats supported STL and native CAD formats Native CAD only STL only STL only
Purpose Basic part preparation and printer management Advanced part preparation Advanced part preparation (Insight) and printer management (Control Center) Basic part preparation and printer management

Comparing Insight to GrabCAD Print with Advanced FDM

GrabCAD print already offers powerful printer management with Schedule View and Reports, and now with  Advanced FDM you can now have much finer control over how parts are printed. Not all features from Insight are available in Advanced FDM, however. The lists below distinguish the softwares. 

Features from Insight that are now available in Advanced FDM:
  • Controlling number of contours and infill density — Advanced FDM offers this functionality with much more intuitive controls for strength and rigidity than Insight.
  • Different infill in different sections of the model — Advanced FDM lets you pick bodies and faces from your part's native CAD geometry to define different areas. In Insight, you needed to define custom groups to achieve this. 
  • Seam control — Rather than picking a direction of preference for seam placement, Advanced FDM lets you pick a face to avoid seam placement. 
New features that are only available in Advanced FDM:
  • Make holes self-supporting
  • Manufacturing notes
Functions that are only available in Insight:
  • Advanced part preparation for Fortus 250mc and 360mc
  • Printing with ST130
  • Customizing supports such as removing sections or adding an anchor column or wall stabilizer
  • Customizing the toolpaths with custom groups
  • Manually editing the curve of an individual toolpath
  • Additional build parameters such as: raster width, contour width, number of contours, raster to raster air gap, part sparse air gap, visible surface finish, visible raster width, and internal raster width
Features that are only available in Control Center:
  • Rotating CMBs about the Z axis
  • Adjusting the air gap (gutter) between parts
  • Controlling the order that parts are built
  • Sending license key and license file to Fortus printer

How to use Advanced FDM

Please head over to this article to get started:  Advanced FDM.

How to use Insight with GrabCAD Print

Insight is contained within GrabCAD Print, so you can open it from the Apps menu. 

  1. In Insight, go to File > Open and select your file. 
  2. When you have made all the changes you want, save as a .CMB file. 
  3. In GrabCAD Print, go to File > Import File... and select the .CMB you just made. 
Limitations on imported CMB files:

You must begin with a new, empty project to import a CMB file. For performance, CMBs are simplified in Model View, but you can see the actual shape in Slice Preview. CMB files must be version 8.9 or later.

How to use Control Center

  1. In GrabCAD Print, use File > Export as... or hit ctrl + shift + E to export a CMB file
  2. In Control Center, File > Open and select your CMB

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