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An Introduction To 3D Printing

3D printing is a field that is slowly expanding in the industry. Most people interact with 3D printers daily. There is a wide range of technologies that exist in 3D printers. Introduction to 3D printing comprises a number of steps. These steps include;

  1. Technologies
    Most 3D printers usually create objects using various approaches with regard to depositing the material. The most common methods include; Fused deposition modelling which is a method that involves extruding molten material that usually melts together to create the part. It is one of the least expensive methods. Another method is selective laser sintering which is common in prototyping settings, powdered plastic and ceramic are melted by use of a laser, the process is done repeatedly to build the part layer by layer. Another form of technology is stereolithography which involves the use of an ultra-violent laser. This method can quickly create high definition parts which can be machined.
  2. Materials
    The most common materials used in 3D printers include plastic, rubber, ceramic and other materials commonly used for printing. The materials available mainly depend on the method of printing.
  3. Online Communities And Services
    There are a variety of online resources that can be used to locate 3D files. Such sites include Google warehouse, 3Dvia and 123D. In addition to these sites and databases, there are some companies which can print models thus offering you the advantage of having access to a variety of 3D printers and materials. Most of these companies can also provide you with places where you can sell and buy 3D files which you can be able to print out.
  4. Design And Print
    When it comes to the art of modelling 3D files for a printer the generally accepted format is STL file format. An STL format is basically a mesh composed of numerous triangles. You can also use software that you prefer to create a model. Such programs include Sketchup, 123D and Blender. The most preferred software is Sketchup since it does not export STLs. The models need to be watertight this basically means that the models should not have any holes in the mole which may result in complications when printing.
    Once you have come up with a design, the model is sent to the printer. Most printers are equipped with software that is able to convert STL to layers that the printer will be able to print.

These are the various points to consider when introducing someone to a 3D printer.