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Start 3D Printing

start 3d printing business

Normally, 3D printing is something reserved for the nerdy. If you want to start 3D printing ventures, read this article.

Some years ago, the average citizen had no idea what 3D printing is. This fact has changed nowadays, and now we are all be able to have a 3d printer in our house. The applications of 3D printers are mind-boggling.

Some questions beginners to the 3D printing world are:

  • What exactly is 3D printing?
  • Why is 3D printing useful?
  • Who uses 3D printers?
  • What do other people do with 3D printers?
  • Is 3D printing expensive?
  • What expertise is required to use a 3D printer?
  • What software do I need to make a 3D model?
  • Can I get someone to design or 3D print an object for me?

That’s a good start. Let’s begin.

What exactly is 3D printing?

3D printing is just like it sounds: machines that print 3D objects. Right now there are small 3d printers that you can buy, and learn how to use them to 3D print things yourself.

Why is 3D printing useful?

There are too many to list separately, so it’s better just to focus on a handful of the larger things people use 3D printing for:

  • Product development
  • Replacement parts
  • Creative projects

In general is about saving money with prototyping all kinds of things (from engineering equipment to toys)

Who uses 3D printers?

  • Designers
  • Engineers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Households
  • Schools and universities

What do other people do with 3D printers?

The applications right now are pretty impressive.

Is 3D printing expensive?

Here are some of the options I’ve found:

The most expensive one is almost $3,300.

But the cheapest one on there is $399. That isn’t that unreasonable, but I still bit expensive. Some options are:

Printrbot

So, it depends on how much money that is to you. Obviously, the cheaper one is going to be less quality. After reading a bunch of reviews, I’ve decided that the MakiBox A6 LT could be a good option for a birthday present. There are some bad reviews, but good enough to start and get your hands on a 3D printer.

What expertise is required to use a 3D printer?

You should be able to do higher level things on a computer (things like higher level computer programming, 3D modeling programs, video editing software, etc.).

You have to try 3D modeling software (3ds Max, Maya, Blender, Poser, etc). Basically, with no outside help or no idea how to attack learning these types of things you should start with youtube tutorials and videos. If you don’t know where to start learning, those are great resources. You should tackle 3D modeling programs to hands on a 3D printer.

It is becoming easier and more universal the 3D printing world, so youtube tutorials are becoming easier to follow up. If you fear you are not smart sufficient to use 3D printers, the modeling software, or the scanning software, then start with “beginners 3D printer tutorials” on Youtube.

What software do I need to make a 3D model?

Just like every other task using a computer, there are several tools for the process of making creating a model. Here is a list with many different options:

http://www.3ders.org/3d-software/3d-software-list.html

3ds-max

Can I get someone to design or print an object for me?

Yes, there are lots of services offering many solutions for helping you create or print something on a 3D printer. You can google for companies or freelancers.