3D Printing Guide
Using a is 3D Printer is a complicated process.
The purpose is to learn how to use a 3D printer.
- How to use a 3D printer?
- What is 3D printing?
- Short history of 3D Printing
- Processes used in 3D Printing
- Materials for 3D printing
- Global Effects of 3D Printing
- Industrial effects of 3D printers
- Benefits of 3D Printing
How to use a 3D printer?
If you want to know how to use a 3D printer by the easiest possible way the read this beginner’s guide.
With this beginner’s guide to 3D printing, we want to introduce you to this world of 3D Printing to discover how amazing can be to print 3D models.
We want you to learn how to use a 3D printer. It will let you learn not only how to assemble and use a 3D printer, but how to scan 3D objects and to create rapid 3D models.
The beginner’s Guide to 3d Printing contains:
What is 3D printing?
Short History of Printing in 3D
Technology in 3D printing
Processes used in 3D printing
Materials for 3D printing
Global Effects of 3D printing
Value and benefits of 3D printing
Are you ready to learn how to use a 3D Printer?
If you feel not, let’s get started it with this beginner’s guide to 3D Printing!
What is 3D printing?
Everybody claims the vast potential to new 3D printers. Everybody says that the fact that everybody could use a 3D printer will be a revolution and, in fact, is a revolution already!. As you can see, thousands of 3D printers entered the market and advertised in social websites, newspapers and, even, television channels.
But, why is this 3D printing technology a revolution? The reason is that it could be the end of traditional manufacturing as we know it. Let us explain it. The reason for these thoughts is the new additive manufacturing and new materials process behind this new technology. And, this is just the key because 3D printing is radically different from actual production methods.
Those new materials for 3D Printing allow builds up parts in layers at the sub-millimeter scale. This fact is just the fundamental difference of new 3d printing from the existing traditional manufacturing techniques. But, why should I want to use a 3D printer and not another process to create a piece?
The good new is that 3D printers are going beyond manufacturing process or industrial prototyping. And, this technology becomes more affordable to small companies or, even, individuals. You can acquire now 3D printers for under $400 due to the scale economies and the increasing production of desktop 3D printers.
The exponential adoption rate of additive material techniques (also known as 3D printing) continues increasing on all fronts with new applications, materials, services and 3D printing courses (how to use a 3D Printer) for this new technological revolution.
You can be who can write the future of 3D printing, do you want to be part of it? Hurry up because it is a run with a lot of candidates where everybody needs to know to use a 3D printer.
Do you want to learn how to use a 3D printer or do you prefer to miss this incredible opportunity?
Short history of 3D Printing
The most interesting part of the history of 3D printing becomes when Open Source prototypes become affordable for everybody. It is just now and these next years.
Do you already know how to use a 3D printer?
At this point, it is just where we start to learn how to use a 3D printer.
First of all, the starting point of the process is to have a 3D digital model. It can be created using a variety of 3D software programs.
- 3D CAD software for industry (usually too expensive for particular users and it does not ensure better results)
- More accessible programs (even free programs like Blender, 3D Canvas, Sketch Up, K 3D, Wings 3D or Maya)
- 3D scanner or your phone camera to create the digital model.
How do they work? To use a 3D printer we usually want to replicate real objects. So, we need to get a 3D model within the three options we have shown above. Once it is on our computer screen, we would be ready to print it. It is just like when we type a text in our computer; only once we can see it on the screen, so can decide if we want to print it or not.
Then, once you create the 3D model, we should guide the 3D printer to follow printing trajectories. There are a surprising number of different types of 3D printers and different technologies. Not only that but also different materials that depend on the process and the final object desired. All commonly used materials for industrial prototyping or indoor applications are:
- plastics (PLA, ABS, Nylon, …)
- metals (aluminum, cobalt derivates, etc.)
- ceramics (require usual process after printing)
- a kind of cement mixed with sand (like the mixture used for building houses).
There are a lot of researchers looking for conducting 3D printing for many other kinds of materials such biomaterials, chocolate, flavor, etc.
In any case, plastic is most current used material (like PLA, ABS, etc.). Even that, we could found a huge number of prototypes for 3D printing machines adapted to food and which creations taste excellent.
If you want more information about how to use a 3D printer, visit our 3D Printers Reviews to discover the specifications and availability of the latest 3D Printers.
Now, if you want to know how to use a 3D printer, you would probably know what the most commonly used processes for 3D printing are.
Processes used in 3D Printing
If you want to know to use a 3D printer, you should know what the process you will use in your 3D printer machine is. It depends on the materials, the available technology that you have and the result that you want to obtain.
Pros invented several 3D printing processes. From the beginning of this new technology, the printers were expensive, large and highly limited in what they could produce.
Nowadays, a large number of additive processes are now available. As mentioned above, the main differences between methods depend on the process to deposit layers and the materials that you use to create 3D objects.
Some methods soften or, simply melt, material to produce the layers. For example SLM (selective laser melting), FDM (fused deposition modeling), DMLS (direct metal laser sintering), SLS (selective laser sintering).
Others simply cure liquid materials by using different sophisticated technologies. For example, SLA (stereolithography).
While other only consists of a shape and join different materials such as polymer, paper or metal. It is called LOM (laminated object manufacturing).
As you should guess, each method has its advantages and drawbacks. That is the reason why most companies consequently offer different choices. For example, they let choice between polymer or powder for the material used to build an object. Nevertheless, other companies sometimes use standard processes to produce durable prototypes.
The primary considerations in choosing a machine are four (or maybe five):
- the cost of the 3D printer
- the cost of the end printed prototypes
- cost and choice of the materials (uses, colors, etc.)
- other 3d printing capabilities (optional)
For example, printers that directly work with metals are very expensive. However, depending on what you desire to produce, you can use a less expensive printer to create your mold. And, this frame will be used to make other metal parts by its counter-mold. How we use a 3D Printer depends on of the kind of materials and outputs we will use or need. Melting methods for plastics are very common and have commercial potential. But, other types of processes exist, and we can neglect them.
What process should I take to use a 3D printer? As we have said you above, another factor in deciding what process you should take to use a 3D printer are the desired materials.
Materials for 3D printing
There are available a lot of materials for 3D printing since the early days of the technology. Nowadays, there are a wide variety of different types of materials. Furthermore, they supply in various states (filament, granules, powder, pellets, resin, etc.).
Companies develop a lot of specific materials for specific platforms or applications (for example, safety materials able to disinfect can apply in the sanitary sector). Then, material selection becomes more precise since their properties for different applications.
There are too many proprietary materials from the many different 3D printers to cover them all in this post. Instead, we are going to look at the most used types of content in a generic way.
To use a 3D printer, what the materials could use? We hope you have learned that it depends on of the 3D printing technology that you have in your hands.
Well, at this point of this introduction you should have already a rough idea about how to use a 3D printer. We could observe now the global implications and how to use a 3D printer for many different applications.
PLA and ABS
We could differentiate two main used plastics in the world of 3D printers for particulars or small enterprises (even if large businesses commonly uses both also), the PLS (Polymer Layered Silicate) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).
ABS is the another common plastic used for 3D printing. It is a stronger than PLA plastic, and it comes in a wide range of colors.
The entry-level FDM (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fused_deposition_modeling) 3D printers use the filament form widely. In fact, you can buy it in filament form from a huge number of non-proprietary sources. That thing is one of the reasons because ABS is so popular.
PLA is another commonly plastic used with 3D printing. The main reason because it has gained traction with 3D printing is that it is a bio-degradable material.
It is offered in a transparent color or in a vaster variety of colors depending on what useful will be for your 3D printing applications. You can use it in resin form for DLP/SL processes or in filament form for the FDM process.
PLA is not as durable or, as flexible as ABS.
With the fused deposition modeling (FDM) process, Polypeptide (PLS) (or even Nylon) comes in the form of powder. Nevertheless, with the sintering process, people commonly use the filament form.
PLS is a strong, durable but also flexible plastic material that has proved reliable for 3D printing. Unpigmented, it is white, but it can be easily colored re-printing (although it could also complete a post-printing). One of the options by using PLS is to combine it (in powder format) with powdered aluminum to get another commonly used 3D printing material for sintering, called ‘Alumide.’
There are other plastics to use a 3D printer like Lay Wood, a unique material developed for entry-level extrusion 3D learners. Lay Wood is a wood/polymer composite (WPC), and it also comes in filament form.
Metals for 3D printing
It is indeed a fact that 3D technology brought innovations and improvement to different industries around the world. Many people have the fun of using the 3D printing technology. Through the utilization of the said printing technology many projects, objects and other inventions became more appealing and attractive to the eyes of many people. The use of the 3D technology also became a general improvement in many sectors and industries.
Do you love some new and useful metal 3D curved? If you want things like that, then you must know that such things became possible and available to many people because of the use of the 3D metal printing technology. 3D printed metal products are part of the fashion trend and other business industries.
The technology using the 3D printing is getting more fascinating and advance. Today, 3D metal printing is part of the trend used by many people. The materials usually use for 3D metal printing are increasing from time to time in agreement with the purpose of creating 3D metal printed objects. The standard input materials for metal printing are stainless steel, Titanium, Aluminum and other types of metals. The metal prints can classify into four different surfaces such as Satin, High Gloss, Matte finish and Sheer. It is such a very impressive and stunning metal prints that the 3D metal printing technology can offer for many people.
3D metal prints may represent the new art medium that can be used to preserve photos by infusing dyes directly into an individual coated aluminum sheets. Yes, it is right through the utilization of the 3D technology you can now keep some of your photos by printing it to some metals components. 3D technology substantially made a blast to many industries and brought innovation to the life of many people. Here are some of the 3D metal products and functions of the 3D metal printing that became possible and available for many people:
- Medical equipment such as prosthetics. Such medical materials and products are being created and produced using the 3D metal printing. 3D metal printing technology is a very useful and practical aid to many people who need prosthetics materials.
- 3D metal printing technology is also an important factor in the industry of Automotive. Some parts of a vehicle need to have 3D metal curved to be able to achieve the desired design.
Here some of the reasons why 3D metal printing is right for many people.
- Durability of the product
- You can personalize it
- The object can be more eye appealing
- Luminosity to your photos and other objects
- Availability of the broad range in different shapes
- The object can be a magnificent decoration for the house
The 3D metal printing technology brought innovation to the life of many people. As the time passes by, the demand of the voters to these 3D metal printed products are increasing day by day. To meet such requirements and needs, there are many companies that are now using such techniques and strategies to be able to provide high-quality 3D metal printed products for many people.
Industrial grade 3D printing uses a high number of metal composites, and different types of metals. What is the most common? They could be the cobalt derivatives or the aluminum because of its high ductility.
On the other hand, we could find other stronger metals used for 3D printing like Stainless Steel. Because of the melting, EBM or sintering processes in the form of powder. Its color is like dark-silver, even if it could be plated with other materials to get a bronze or gold effect.
If you are thinking about how to use a 3D printer in jewelry, we are sure you think why not to use Silver and Gold. In fact, they have also used those in powder form. And, as you should know, these are both very conductive and durable materials.
Probably, the best option to use a 3D printer in industrial applications is Titanium. The reason is that is less expensive, and it is also unyielding.
Ceramics for 3D printing
Ceramics are one of the latest groups of materials that can be used to use a 3D printer, but not all of them have the same level of success.
The particular problem to this materials have is that, once 3D printing completes, the ceramic pieces need to follow the same processes as any real ceramic piece in the traditional methods of production. So, in the end, it causes the same elevated costs by firing and glazing.
Papers for 3D printing
We could differentiate two main used plastics in the world of 3D printers for particulars or small enterprises (even if large firms commonly uses both also), the PLS (Polymer Layered Silicate) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).
Biomaterials for 3D printing
There is a massive investment in research to get 3D printing biomaterials for medical applications. We are sure you have already seen on television a lot of living tissue successes on experiments. In fact, a huge number of institutions are working hard in this kind of techniques. Some of nearest applications include external prosthesis for replace body parts or printing human organs.
Food for 3D printing
Now is the moment to speak about food because many experiments have been done to get print different food substances like chocolate or sugar. But not only that, one are of research is focused on developing lab-meat without killing any animal (good news for vegetarians!). As you should guess, these hamburgers should be printed at the end the process beautiful enough to be sold and eaten.
Do you imagine to use a 3D printer machine to produce our finely balanced whole meals?
Other materials for 3D printing (Stratasys case)
To finish up with materials, Stratasys offers a unique (proprietary) component to their 3D-printing system. Furthermore, with its standard Objet-3D-printing materials, you can combine them during the printing process (various specified concentrations) to get new 3D printing materials with the desired properties to your pieces. It is great because it comes up to 140 different Digital-Materials from combining the existing primary materials in many different ways.
Global Effects of 3D Printing
The truth is that 3D printing is having an extraordinary effect on the way that you manufacture products. This technology permits new ways of thinking. It has universally favorable results in the society, the economics and, even, the environment.
Now that you have a rough idea about how to use a 3D printer, we could see the global impact that 3D printers are producing in our society.
Industrial effects of 3D printers
We think that the key success factor of 3D printing technology is the closer that it is to the end consumer. It reduces the current supply chain restrictions and increases the product customizations which mean enhance the quality of the goods.
But it has not only advantages for final users, but 3D printers also allow to create small production batches in industry. It helps to offer products on demand, and it could be a way to engage your customers, reduce inventories and stocks.
Conventional goods or spare parts coming from one part of the world could become obsolete. It could be a significant impact in all our companies.
Our objective is to aim people to operate their 3D printer at home just like everyone does with a computer. We want that everybody knows how to use a 3D printer.
Nowadays, we have communities of users designing any (customizable) product. If you are not sure how to create your our 3D models, we can create whatever you desire or only write us to any consultancy. In any case, there are tons of information you can found on Internet, even millions of 3D models able to be printed. You can print it demand or download it to print it with your 3D printer as you desire.
In fact, the adoption of 3D printing could cause a reinvention of some already invented products. It means a bigger number of entirely new products.
Currently, we can create impossible geometries and shapes with a 3D printer. We think that the journey has only just begun. We believe that know how to use a 3D printer will become one of the always required skills not only for an industrial engineer but anybody. 3D printing has very great potential to inject innovation and growth to bring back local manufacturing.
Once we know what could be the global effect of 3D printing, even if it is not extremely necessary to learn how to use a 3D printer, we could mention what the benefits of this technology are.
Benefits of 3D Printing
Everybody speaks grandiosely about 3D printing but, usually, they do not explain why this technology is amazing. We would like being clear on affirmations. So, we want to tell you why we believe in this technology and let you discover how amazing it is by yourself.
In our opinion, the main four reasons because of 3D printing are better than other production techniques are:
- High level of customization
- Low level of the entry barrier
- Reduction of the level of complexity
- Environmentally friendly (sustainability)
This point is not necessary to know how to use a 3D printer.
In any case, 3D printing brings a bunch of benefits that other traditional methods of manufacture simply cannot; whether at a technical, personal or local level.
Once we have learned what the benefits of 3D printing are, even if it is not extremely essential to get to use a 3D printer, we could observe what its applications are.
Imagine you want to use a 3d printer but what can I create? Here, you will found the last 3D printer applications. With this post, you can get business ideas to open your new venture or simply to push your creativity:
This part is the end of our Beginner’s Guide to 3D printing. We hope you’ve liked it. What can I do now?
Go directly to get a 3D printer at the lowest price in the market but, be careful of the 3d printer quality.
Or, if you have already a 3D printer, you can learn much more 3D printing techniques in our courses.
We hope you like this guide.