As 3D printing technology progresses and prices fall, the prospect of every family home having a 3D printer has the potential to become reality. At PD Models, we have been carefully monitoring the progression of this amazing technology for many years. In doing so we have made note of both benefits and problems, and can now share what people need to know to get started with 3D printing in the home.
Choosing a Printer
New 3D printing enthusiasts have a wide variety of options available to them. My 3D Concepts has put together a guide on choosing the right 3D printer for you. One of the main considerations to make is choosing a printer is z resolution, or layer thickness:
“Layer thickness is the minimum thickness of a layer that a printer can lay down in a single pass. The smaller the number – smoother and more detailed the print is, but the process will be slower. Most desktop FDM 3D printers work with layer thickness of 0.1mm to 0.3mm, but are able to create layers thinner than 100 microns (0.1mm). On the other hand SLA/DLP 3D Printers can print with a resolution down to 20 microns (0.020mm). And some manufacturers claim that they can achieve precision down to the nano spectrum of the meter. Lulzbot Taz 5/6 can achieve 0.065mm that equals 65 microns.”
Choosing the Right Space
Once you’ve found the 3D printer you desire, the next step is to find the right space. As with any tool that requires patience and dedication, a quiet and productive environment will suit best. Garage space or even a well-maintained shed are both acceptable, as long as there is an electricity supply and some room to manoeuvre.
Work from the Ground Up
It can sometimes feel like a mammoth task to get your head around the concept and functionality of printing in 3D, but it really is so easy to learn. After a few YouTube tutorials from some amazing techies, as well as some 3D printing resources, you will be confident enough to really surge ahead.
Here are some great online resources you can head to get you started -
Lifehacker: How to Get Started with 3D Printing.
Popular Mechanics: How to Get Started in 3D Printing.
These are just a handful of guides, tutorials and courses that will help you understand the fundamentals of 3D printing. Like any craft, it requires a some dedication and know-how to succeed, but with time you will be printing at will.