Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category

When we are talking about 3D printing you should know that there are multiple different technologies available, the main difference is in the material and how the layers are built. We are going to quickly cover the three mostly used ones, though there are other technologies also available. Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is an additive manufacturing process or 3D printing technology that uses melting of thermoplastic material by heating and then extruding it to create the object layer by layer. This is the most widespread and affordable technology currently available though it is not the most flexible and precise one at least the more affordable consumer 3D printers, the fact that it is cheaper and easy to use is what has helped it spread a lot.

Stereolithography (SLA) is a 3D printing technology used for producing 3D models layer by layer by curing a photo-reactive resin with a UV laser. This technology is considered more expensive mostly due to the price of the photopolymer and the hardware required to cure it and does require some extra steps after the model is printed before it is usable, however it also produces higher detail level. SLA does also print support structures for more complex geometry models as FDM does.

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is another 3D printeing process similar to FDM that builds three dimensional objects by using a laser to selectively sinter (heat and fuse) a powdered material instead of thermoplastic like in the case of FDM. The main advantage that SLS has is that it does not require support structures to be printed, because the part being printed is surrounded by unsintered powder at all times, making it easier to print more complex geometry.

Apart from FDM, SLA and SLS 3D printing technologies there are quite a few alternatives available that can work with different materials and produce 3D prints from thermoplastics, nylon, photopolymers, different metal alloys and even edible things like sugar. But if you want to get into 3D printing with an affordable solution the fused deposition modeling-based 3D printers are probably the best choice.

3d-printed-shuttle-transparent-pla

3D printing is something that a lot of people are interested in already or are just starting to and no wonder as there is simply a lot of hype surrounding it. In the last few years 3D Printing has become much more affordable and thus widespread with many devices and printing consumables (filaments) from various manufacturers available. So you can get yourself a 3D Printer quite easy and without having to pay a lot for it and there are many options, but the real question you should ask yourself first is if you really need a 3D printer or not. A lot of people fall victims of the hype, get a printer and quickly find out that it is just too hard for them to use, because the easy part is to just get some already available 3D model and print it on your device.

The harder thing however is when you get tired of printing already prepared stuff and you want to print something that you need, but first you need to design the 3D model yourself and then to print it. This is the harder part and it is hard for a reason – not everyone has the skills for 3D modeling already available, sure you can learn, but not everyone wants to or can get the hand of things. Even if you make the perfect model in the modeling software, then you still need to manage to print it the way you want it to and that sometimes is not an easy task as well. In short, 3D printing, while it may already be quite affordable for normal users, is still something that needs learning and if you want to get into it you should be prepared to spend a lot of time trying out different stuff, reading tips and tricks from other users and learning a lot of new stuff.

So be prepared and know what to expect before you start, otherwise you might end up disappointed victim of the hype surrounding 3D printing. We just recently started getting in the world of 3D Printing and are ready to learn, but moreover we are ready to share what we learn as we go with you – the people that are considering getting in or are already learning on the go as we do. This is precisely why this website was created, as a means to share information and help each other, so feel free to share something useful or interesting you have discovered as well.


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