How 3D Printing Works

While the idea of printing something out in 3D right from your own printer at home may seem impossible, recent technology has made this extraordinary feat a reality. This new technology has given 3d modelers and artists the ability to design their very own products and then bring them to life with the help of a 3D printer. Although the process may seem tricky and complex, this is simply not true and anyone can make their own 3D designs as long as they understand how to work their 3D printer. All it takes is an initial idea and a little concentration, and you can be creating your very own jewelry, utensils, home décor, and plenty more in no time at all.

How it works

In order to grasp a basic understanding of the way 3D printing works, it’s important to first understand that unlike most ways we build or make things today, termed subtractive manufacturing, 3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing. This means that rather than sawing, drilling, and using other tools to break apart and re-arrange materials in new ways, additive manufacturing creates an object by continuously adding material together, layer by layer, until the object is finished.

The process

To begin your 3D printing project, you must first design and create a 3d model of your item in a computer aided design (CAD) or 3d art software program such as Solidworks, Blender 3D and ZBrush. 3D printers can only print files that are saved in specific formats such as .STL, .OBJ, and .WRL.  The options for exporting may vary depending on what 3d software you are using. If you don’t want to design your own 3d model but would rather use one that already exists, you can search for 3d printable models online.

After designing your own 3d model from scratch, or downloading / purchasing one online, you must decide what type of material you’d like your creation to be made of. Nylon, PLA, ABS plastic are just a few of your options. The proper way to load said material differs from printer to printer but you can find the instructions in your specific printer’s product manual. Be sure you have a full understanding of all instructions before beginning your project or you risk the possibility of all your hard work going to waste.

When your design is complete and the materials are loaded, you’re ready to print. The 3d printer software will divide your template into sections and send this information to the printer so that it will know how to print your design. The amount of time it takes your 3d model to print will depend on how tall your object is because the 3D printer starts from the bottom and works its way up. After the first layer is complete, it will dry and the printer will automatically begin the next layer and so on until your entire object is finished.

Although all 3D printers work off this basic printing concept for the most part, there are several different 3D printers you can purchase and they all have slightly different methods or printing, with varying results.

The most common types of 3D printing include:
• Fused deposition modeling
• Inkjet printing
• Selective laser sintering
• Digital light processing

7 Awesome Things You Can Make With 3D Printers

If you’ve heard of 3D printing but have yet to look into it for yourself, you’re definitely missing out on an amazing and advanced new technology. While 3D printing may seem too good to be true, or a mere thing of the future, that future is now! By utilizing a 3D printer, you will be able to choose from an almost endless amount of items to print, and you can even make the printable models for yourself from scratch. This not only allows you the opportunity to design and create your very own print-out items, but you can also choose exactly what material you would like your printed object to be made out of. Gold, silver, aluminum, stainless steel, and plastic are just a few of the material options you can select from.

Just 7 awesome things that you can make with a 3D printer include:

1. Jewelry— Whether you want a new pair of earrings, a ring, bracelet, or a necklace, you will be able to choose exactly how you want your jewelry to look. Better yet, you have the ability of creating completely new, never before seen pieces. Make that special someone feel even more special by creating them their very own, personalized piece of jewelry.

2. Décor— If your home is in need of some fresh artwork and new décor, try designing this décor on your own with the help of a 3D printer. Sculptures, ornaments, boxes, and candle holders are just a few of the things that you can create.

3. Personalized items— Because 3D printers enable you to design items all on your own, you can easily incorporate someone’s name, a school mascot, a company logo, and more into your creation. With a 3D printer, you’ll never wonder what to get someone as a gift ever again.

4. Models— Model planes, cars, and trains are just the tip of the iceberg. You can create smaller representations of virtually anything you’d like. This can be extremely useful to those working on large-scale construction projects or things of the like. You will be able to design, create, and view your project as a model before even beginning any actual building or construction. This will help to work out any kinks your project may have before making anything too permanent, which can save you lots of valuable time and money in the end.

5. Figurines— Design and create all of your favorite comic and cartoon figurines, or even make completely new figurines based off of your own ideas.

6. Utensils— From cups and mugs to plates, bowls, and forks, you can fill your kitchen and home with your very own utensil designs.

7. Missing pieces to objects you already own— Everyone knows just how annoying it is to be missing a piece to a game, a lid to a container, or pretty much missing a piece to anything in general. Recreate all of your missing items with a 3D printer and never go without a crucial piece to something ever again.

But don’t let your imagination stop there. The ideas and possibilities are endless with the help of a 3D printer.

3D Printing Metal – The Newest Technology

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Even though 3D printers have been in use for about 30 years or more, these perfect pieces of machinery are now available for $2000 and their price is gradually decreasing as well. This is why; the idea of printing plastic parts for cars or different kitchen gadgets is not as far fetched as you may think. However, one of the greatest evolution in this industry is that they are now able to do 3D printing metal as well for the people who need them the most.

Instead of using ink, these 3D printers melt the metal thread and blast off material in successive layers to create a perfect three-dimensional object which is exactly according to the digital design file of CAD drawing or any other. Because of these printers, people have already started to make a wide range of products such as jewelry, kitchen gadgets, and even quality car parts that can actually be used. In fact, you will also see many people holding iPhone covers that are made from this 3D printing metal because they are truly a delight to have.

Now if you are planning to go to a 3D printing company, or would like to own a printer of your own, you must remember that the actual time that it takes to print any metal or plastic objects depends on crucial factors such as the size and quality that you require. However, generally speaking, the more quality you want you 3D printing metal object to be, the more time it will need to process and print.

Another important point that you must remember is that even though you can always decide to print the 3D printing metal at home, the quality of the product wouldn’t be the same as when you have it designed by a professional. One the reasons why this happens is because even if you have a printer that costs $2000, a professional printing will always invest in a more quality printer which costs around $500,000 that will give you a more refined and detailed object. Moreover, because these organizations actually have a full fledged business, they will hire trained and seasoned designers who will be able to breathe life into the figurines or metal objects you need.

So if you are on the lookout for a company that will provide you with 3D printing metal objects, make sure that they don’t only offer the best prices but ideal products as well. Search for companies that give you the opportunity to customize and personalize your products so you can be more satisfied with the results.

Just a little searching on the internet will tell you that there are a lot of people who have already started to make use of these printers and technology. For example, there is a woman in Sydney, Australia, who actually used her printer to make personalized cookie cutters. So you see, you can be as creative as you like and print all the 3D printing metal that you require for your home.