How to compress and zip files

 Why do I need to compress or zip files?

Not only are big attachments more difficult for the recipient to download, many mail servers also limit the storage capacity of each mailbox. After the file is compressed (ZIP,RAR etc), the file size should be smaller and more manageable to send. If you find your compressed file is larger than 5-8 MB then you should send via an online file sharing site like Dropbox. 

The other important benefit to a speedy email delivery is that 3D Systems Asia-Pacific can quickly process your quotation, avoiding any delays to your project.


Do I Need WinZip or WinRaR Software to Use Zip Files?

There are many different software products for compressing files, however the most popular are WinZip and WinRAR, either product will open, unzip, and create Zip files for you.  If your computer runs Windows XP or Max OS you can compress and uncompress files because they offer Compression utilities for doing just that (see below). What's more, the Compression utility can uncompress, or unzip files that were compressed with WinZip.

However, if WinZip or another third-party compression utility is installed on your computer, this will generaly be the default compression utility. If you try to use the Compression utility, Windows XP runs the third-party utility anyway.

Are there any other options?

Yes, there are plenty of file sharing websites online that will allow you to send larger files free or by paying a fee if you do this regularly.   For example:  Dropbox.  (see below 'useful links') 

 How to compress files for Windows XP or Mac OS  


* Put all the files you would like to compress in a folder. To create a new folder, right-click on the screen and scroll down to "New," and then to "Folder." Type in the name of the folder in the space where the text is highlighted.

 * Click and drag the files you want to compress into the new folder.

*  Right-click on the folder, and then click on "Compressed (zipped) Folder." A dialog box will appear that shows you the progress of the compressing files. Wait as the files are compressed.

*  Attach the compressed folder with the extension .zip to your email.

 Mac OS

*  Move the files you would like to compress into a folder. To create a new folder, open a Finder window, select the File menu and click on "New Folder." Type a name for the folder in the space underneath the folder icon where the text is highlighted.

*  Click and drag the files you want to compress into the new folder

*  Right-click on the folder and select "Create Archive."  Wait as the files are compressed.  You will see a dialog box indicating the progress of the action.

*  Attach the compressed file with the extension .zip to your email


How to Uncompress or Unzip files

If someone sends you a Zip, or compressed, file, follow these steps to extract the files:

1.  Right-click the folder-file.

Which command you choose on the shortcut menu depends on whether a third-party compression utility is installed on your computer:

No third-party utility is installed: Choose "Extract All" on the shortcut menu.

Third-party utility is installed: Choose Open With --> Compressed (Zipped) Folders. Windows Explorer opens the Zip folder-file in a new window. Now you can see the names of the files that you're about to extract. Click "Extract All" Files in the Explorer bar.

 2.   The Extraction Wizard dialog box appears.

Click the Next button.

If you want, click the "Browse" button and choose a folder for the files you're about to extract in the "Select a Destination" dialog box. If you simply click the Next button, the extracted files land in the folder-file where the Zip file is currently located.

Click the Next button.

The "Extraction Complete" dialog box appears.

Click the Finish button.

You see the extracted files in a new Windows Explorer window. From here, you can open a file or move files elsewhere. Click the Folders button to see where the folder with the extracted files is located on your computer.

The fastest way to uncompress files is to double-click the name of the Zip file. Doing so extracts all the files at once. 

Useful Links:

Popular software products:   WinZip   WinRAR   

Online sharing websites:      Dropbox   Boxnet


How to compress STL files

Very large STL files can be easily compressed by using the free software, MiniMagics. 

Click here to find out how easy it is to compress STL files using MiniMagics.