A Beginners Guide To 3D Printing

With the current technological advancements, 3D printing has improved greatly. Nowadays, 3D printers can print a wide variety of things including design prototypes, body parts, food, crafts, jeweler, and product parts. In the past, there were very few 3D printers because the cost of buying the necessary equipment like printers was very high. However, with time, the cost fell dramatically making it easy for numerous people to invest in 3D printing. If you want to start 3D printing, there are some things you should know and understand.

How do 3D printers work?

Even though different printers use different printing techniques, most consumer 3D printers use either of these methods:

i.            Fused Filament Manufacturing (FFM)

This approach is also known as Filament Deposition Manufacturing or Fused Filament Deposition. In this method, the printers use a moving print head to build layers of melted plastic element. The layers are built in the shape of the object. It is possible to feed the extruder of an FFM using different materials, for instance, ABS and PLA (Polylactic Acid). It is important to understand that these materials are available in a wide range of colors. However, since most printers have only one head, the entire object is usually printed in a single color.

ii.           Stereolithography (SLA)

Here, the printers use an ultraviolet laser to solidify resin that’s used in printing. As a result of their mode of operation, these printers are expensive, but they can produce models that are more accurate and detailed due to laser’s resolution and precision.

SLA printers have limited colors and materials to use. The choice of materials to use is dependent on whether the printer uses a DLP projector or ultraviolet laser.


What are the common limitations in 3D printing?

i.  Even though the cost of buying printers have fallen over the years, buying a 3D printer requires a considerable amount of money because good 3D printers’ prices start from around $300

ii.  Usability is a problem because you need a 3D model to get started. To get a 3D model, either you must use free STL files on the internet, buy a design from an online store or create your own 3D scans. If you are just getting started, this can be a daunting task especially if you don’t know where to start.

Getting started on 3D printing may not be a walk in the park. You need go through the manuals and understand the concept or get help from other professionals to hit the ground running. But you will learn. Buy 3D printers today from 13IT at affordable prices.