Hello again and welcome. Today, I want to address those of you out there that are new to the 3D printing world. Whether you have a new 3D printer or are contemplating a new purchase, I put together this week’s blog just for you! In this article you will find links to various websites and articles that will help you better understand the 3D printing world. I discuss or point you in the direction of 3D printing terms, historical articles, and websites that you will likely find useful as you investigate…what exactly is 3D printing. At the bottom of this article you will find all of the recommended websites and addresses listed as well as within this article.
First things first. When learning a new subject matter it is very helpful to be familiar with some of the basic terms associated with the subject. For example, if you take a beginner’s accounting class, generally, you will be introduced to a lot of new terms on your first day. Hence, I have located 2 glossary websites I believe will be most helpful. The first is a glossary from Kent State which is simple, short, and a good starting point. The second is from 3D Printing Headquarters and is a bit more in-depth. On both of these websites you will also find other 3D printing related material and if you are curious, check them out!
Next, let’s look at the meat of this subject. The first website, www.3ders.org, has a brief lesson on the 3D Printing Basics. This webpage includes multiple videos as well as a solid manuscript explaining 3D printing, its history, and suitable 3D design software for beginners. If you want more information I recommend the 3D Print Plans website How to 3D Print – Beginner’s Guide To 3D Printing. Currently, this webpage has pictures, but no videos. It is very thorough and covers history, how it works, application of 3D printing, and much, much more. Another honorable mention, though this article only discusses filament, is from Boots Industries. This short article discusses the importance of filament tolerances, handling, and characteristics.
So, we now have the basics out-of-the-way. Let us turn our attention to software. There are two categories of software that you must consider for your 3D printer. The first category of software is the software you use to slice your design. This particular software category is required so that you can print any design that you download or create. You will open your design in this type of software package and it will drive your 3D printer. The first package I recommend is Makerbot’s Desktop and can be downloaded here . It is very straight forward and user-friendly. If you are using an Imaginator 3D you will select the Replicator Dual as the printer to use. Makerbot has not updated their manual for Desktop; however, the Makerware manual will be helpful because Makerbot Desktop is just the updated Makerware. Another similar software package in which you may be interested is ReplicatorG. This is the predecessor to Makerware, but is an open source package and if you are a programmer, you may modify this software to fit your specific needs. It has a descent user interface, but cannot display dual prints. However, it can slice and print them.
So, that sums up just about everything you need to know to get started printing your downloaded projects. The last classification of software that you may want to consider, though it’s not necessary, is 3D design software. This is the software that you will need to learn when you want to design and draw something you cannot find on any of the websites. I have discussed several of these packages in previous blogs and the most recent one here . Lastly, I’ll mention www.3ders.org because they have a pretty comprehensive list of 3D drawing software.
I hope this helps. If you have a question feel free to post it below the article and I’ll get back to you ASAP!
Kent State glossary
3D Printing Headquarters glossary
Boots Industries Filament