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Featured 3D Printing Articles

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Beginner's Guide to 3D Printing

3D printing is a rapidly growing and evolving phenomenon that can seem daunting to understand. Here is a simple, visual guide explaining how 3D printing works, the materials involved, and the industry surrounding it.

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Seven Practical 3D Printing Objects You Can Use

Novelties and doohickeys aren't the only things you can make with 3D printers. Here is a list of seven useful objects that you can print at home.

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Types of 3D Printing Materials

From ABS to PLA, we list all the filaments you can use in 3D printing. We explain what they are, what they're made of, and their advantages.

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5 Game-Changers in 3D Printing

3D printing presents endless possibilities of what can be achieved, from buildings to vehicles to body parts. Learn about 5 game-changers that will propel us into the next generation of 3d printed objects.

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3D Printing FAQs

What is 3D Printing?

3DP or 3D printing begins with a 3-Dimensional model that you design on your computer using a computer-aided design (CAD) software. Once your design is complete, 3D printer will start building your design from the ground up by using a process known as additive manufacturing. By placing materials, layer by layer, 3D printer transforms your design into a solid physical object that you can interact with.

3DP technology has been around since the late 1970s. It was not until recently that 3D printers became affordable and accessible to the consumer market. 3D printing is currently used for industrial uses (such as rapid prototyping) and consumer uses (such as creating clothes, music instruments, tools, etc.).

3D printing can be broken down into 3 steps: modeling, printing and finishing.

  1. Modeling – Before you can print your 3D object, you will need a blueprint of what you want to build. Modeling allows you to obtain a virtual blueprint by using either a 3D scanner on a physical object or CAD software.

  2. Printing – Next step is reading your virtual blueprint and building your design by placing down materials in continuous layers.

  3. Finishing – Final step is polishing up your 3D printed objects so that it actually resembles your design in terms of color, texture, and overall appearance.

What Do You Need for 3D Printing?

In order to start printing 3D objects, you will need CAD / CAM design software, 3D printer and 3D materials.

CAD / CAM
Software
cad cam 3d printing software CAD or CAM software is used to design your 3D objects and create your 3D printing blueprint that you can send to your 3D printer.
3D Printer 3d printer 3D printer is used to create your 3D object. Type of materials, product quality and printing time depends on the type of 3D printing technology your 3D printer uses.
3D Printing Materials 3d printing material 3D printing materials are used by the 3D printer to create your 3D printed product. 3D printing materials can be made from plastic filaments, metals or ceramic powders. Type of materials that can be used depends your 3D printer model.
3D Scanner
(optional)
3d printing scanner 3D scanner is used to transform real life objects into a digital file, which can then be manipulated by CAD / CAM design software.

What is 3D Printing Used for?

For industrial users, 3D printing plays a valuable role in rapid prototyping – technique used to quickly turn your innovative idea into a working model or prototype for testing and refinements. Rapid prototyping has been used by many industries, including automotive, fashion, aerospace, and consumer products.

In the consumer market, consumers use 3D printing to create practical household applications, which include the following:

  • Toys, Action Figures & Board Games

  • Electronics, Gadgets & Musical Instruments

  • Clothes, Jewelry & Shoes

  • Artwork, Models & Sculptures

  • Home Decor, Tools, & Spare Parts

  • Cookware, Utensils & Coffee Mugs