3D Printing for absolute beginners – how to do it at home
3D printing at home is still in its infancy. However, it is one of the most growing technologies out there. With this in mind, let us review some of the methods that you can use to 3D print at home.
What is 3D printing?
3D printing is a new way to create things. 3D printers take designs that are created on computers and turn them into real objects.
In order to make something using a printer, first you have to know how to tell the printer what you want it to make. The computer has to talk to the printer so that it knows which object to make. This is where 3D design comes in.
Designing in 3D is like creating an object out of clay or Play-Doh. You can build up the object, add details and colors, and change it until you think it looks just right. Then you can tell the printer which design you want it to print out by sending a file from your computer over to the printer. The file is like a map for the printer—it tells the printer exactly where each tiny piece goes in your design.
You might be wondering about what kind of things you can print with a 3D printer. You can make all sorts of things, from custom phone cases, bracelets and necklaces, toys, and more! All you need is an idea of what you want to create, some time spent learning how to design in 3D on your computer, and then you’re ready to start printing.
Setting up your printing workspace
You’ll need to set up a workspace based on the size and type of printer you’re using. There are printers that fit on your desktop, and others that take up large spaces in your garage or studio. The most important thing to remember when setting up your workspace is to be safe. You’re working with a lot of equipment and materials that can be dangerous for people and pets if you’re not careful.
You will have to prepare the materials beforehand. The printer will require a certain amount of filament for each print. You can buy a case of filament online or locally to keep on hand. It’s also important to know how much filament you need for each print, based on the size of your design.
Acquiring and Designing 3D Models
Acquiring a model is basically downloading any 3D model you want. There are many websites out there that offer free 3D models, one of which is Thingiverse, which offers over 2 million free designs both for personal and commercial use. Another option is to purchase a ready-made model from an online marketplace like CGTrader or Turbosquid.
Designing a model for 3D printing is more complex than acquiring one. Although it has become easier in the past few years, it still requires learning a software package like Blender, Maya, or Autodesk Fusion 360 and then putting in the hours to learn how to use it. The good news is that there are hundreds of free tutorials for these software packages on YouTube as well as paid courses on platforms like Udemy and Coursera.
After this, all you need to do is print the models! Good luck!