3D printing is an amazing technology that is quickly spreading around the world. There are so many different advantages to 3D printing. It is truly a world-changing technology that will only get better, cheaper, faster, and more detailed as the next ten years go by.
Not only will 3D printing change the way parts are created, but it will also change the world of logistics.
Imagine this: you invited someone to your home, but you don’t have a chair for them to sit on. Instead of going to the store and buying a chair, you can print one and give it to them as a gift!
This is just one tiny example of the power of 3D printing. Not only can you create any object as long as you have the right materials and a reliable design, you no longer have to go to the store or order an item online and wait for it to ship to you.
Just press a few buttons, and in less than two to three hours, the object you need is right there in your home exactly as you like it.
We’re only just beginning to see the power of 3D printing and its potentials for the world. If 3D printing is to be as popular as the experts say, we need to learn all about 3D printing and creating and customizing designs. So if you are interested in the world of 3D printing, keep on reading!
What type of 3D printers are there?
There are four types of 3D printers: FDM, stereolithography or SLA, polyjet, and Laser Sintering. Each printing type has its advantages and disadvantages, and certain printers handle certain objects better.
FDM or Fused Deposition Modeling – This is the process of heating thermoplastic filament so that it is malleable and then pushing it through the nozzle and layering the hot filament in the exact shape of the object. Then the printer allows the filament to dry and harden before adding another layer. This type of printing is best for printing solid objects with minimal details.
If you need to print an object with very intricate designs and vivid detail, then the FDM 3D printer is not the best. However, high-quality detailing from an FDM printer is possible if it is a more expensive model.
SLA – an SLA or stereolithography printer uses the power of ultraviolet light to harden the melted resin in different layers to print an object. This type of printer does not move around like the FDM printer. Instead, the ultraviolet light is calibrated according to the design, and the ultraviolet light flashes all at once, creating a brand new layer.
Polyjet – This type of printing is like FDM and SLA printing combined. Tiny drops of polymer are placed on the printing base to create a layer of the object, and then the layer is hardened with the power of ultraviolet light. The printing style is extremely fast end can create extremely rubber-like objects that can be moved, twisted, and bent.
Laser Sintering – this is perhaps the most interesting type of printing. A small amount of specialized powder is placed on the printing face in the exact shape of the object’s layer. That powder is ignited, so the layer hardens. A brush removes loose powder, and another layer of powder lays on top of the hardened layer, and the process repeats again. This type of printing is only found in polyjet printers, which can cause tens of thousands of dollars.
What type of materials can I use in 3D printing?
The type of materials used in 3D printing depends on the 3D printer you own. As you know, the most popular printing material used by everyday consumers is thermoplastic filaments.
The original material is derived from plastic, but filaments come in different materials such as carbon, fiber, and wood.
Many printers require resin when creating 3D objects, but these resins can come in various qualities. There is a standard resin, which is usually at a low price, Mammoth resin to print large objects, transparent resin if the object that you want to print has to be see-through, or grey resin, which is very smooth to the touch.
Printers that require light or lasers to print an object may use nylon.
Does the average person need to learn any skills to operate a 3D printer?
There are two major skills that potential 3D printing enthusiasts must learn if they want to create models of their own. The first is how to work with 3D printers, and the second is 3D modeling.
Working with 3D printers
Working with a 3D printer is nothing like working with a regular document printer. It requires intricate knowledge and manipulation of printer settings for a 3D printer to print and not yet completely on its own.
In a different guide, we talked about how you can leave a 3D printer running for a few hours and never have to toy with it unless it needs more filament or resin. But its autopilot mode can only be realized if you know what you’re doing with the printer’s settings.
Plus, you need to know what to do if your model is not coming out of the way you envisioned it. A printer with bad settings can end up printing an object with a lot of working and defined lines that weren’t in the original design.
Learning how to create crisp-looking designs is a skill in itself.
To create designs for 3D printers, a person must learn to model and operate 3D software. The best way to do this is to study 3D modeling. There are many different YouTube tutorials, Udemy classes, and free courses online that center around the basics and advanced skills in 3D modeling.
If someone is an architect or video game designer, they already have 3D modeling skills. If you played a video game, then you have seen 3D models in action. The basics of 3D modeling don’t take a long time to grasp. With an hour of study and an hour of practice a day, anyone can get the basics of 3D modeling down in 2 weeks.
Also, you may want to brush up on your drawing skills as it will help you create better 3D models.
There’s no time like the present to embrace a new hobby and get into 3D printing. As of 2021, there are all kinds of different clubs to join if you want to learn more about 3D printing. It is a brand new technology that will change the world, so join the future and buy your first 3D printer!