Makersome would like to welcome you to the wonderful world of 3D Printing. We are in an exciting time where we can bring imagination to reality with the push of a button.
How 3D Printing Works:
You can pretty much think of a 3D printer as an advanced hot glue gun that is controlled by a computer. The object is made by extruding a thin layer of plastic (rather than glue) on top of a previous layer, bonding them together. It actually works a lot like the inkjet printer you might have at home except that after it draws its “image” it won’t load a new sheet of paper, a 3D printer will pick up the print head and print the next layer on top of the last layer giving a 2D print a third dimension. This process repeats until your object is complete. This method of making things is called additive manufacturing since one layer is added to the next and so on until your object is complete.
What you can make:
You can literally make just about anything that can be made out of plastic. The possibilities are virtually endless. You can make toys for your kids, projects for school, decorations for around the house, earrings for your wife, or a new bottle opener for your husband. There are tons of really cool free designs that can be downloaded off of the internet very easily. If you are ready to test your hand at being a designer you can download free software that will have you engineering your own creations in no time. You can use a 3D printer to make your dreams and wishes a reality. You can be the next great inventor, the latest new fashion designer, or the ultimate handy man / woman around the house. 3D printers can print their own upgrades or even parts for a new 3D printer. For more ideas of items you can make visit our Projects page
There are so many great options to fit your needs in today’s market. From the budget minded DIY’er to the professional manufacturer and anywhere in between. When talking about needs there are a few factors to consider.
What print volume are you looking for? (the size object you can print on the build platform).
What type of material do you want to print with? (Filaments or Resins in the case of SLA printers)
To get a better understanding of 3D printers check out our 3D Printers Guide
In the filament game there are a wide variety of materials that are being used to create with. The two most common materials that are being used are PLA and ABS but many new and exciting materials are being created every day.
PLA is an organic compound derived from corn and sugarcane processing. PLA is non-toxic making it an excellent choice when printing in a small area with poor ventilation and is though by many to smell sweet like waffles and syrup.
ABS is a petroleum based plastic. It is more flexible than PLA and has a higher melting point as well. It is a very durable material that can take abuse. Legos are one common product that is made out of ABS. ABS requires a heated bed on your 3D Printer. We recommend a large well ventilated workspace for printing. Check out The Scoop On Filament to get an in-depth description.
The software is one of the easiest parts of the whole process. The only software you need to 3D print an object is Slicing Software and the 3D Object File that you want to print. Some printers, like the Zeus 3D Printer have the slicing software embeded in the 3D Printer itself. The Slicing software takes the 3D object file you want to print and makes many thin segments or slices out of it almost like slicing a loaf of bread into many slices from top to bottom. These slices create the path for the 3D printer to follow so it can print.
Check out Software It’s Not So Hard to get a better understanding.