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From Designs To Prints: The 3D Printing Process

February 29th, 2016 by Tanbir Leave a reply »

sintering3D printing is here to stay and even if you don’t have a 3D printer, there are several ways you can print 3D objects now. You don’t necessarily have to buy your own 3D printer or purchase a 3D modeling software. Nevertheless, when it comes to 3D Printing, you’ll need to convert your 3D model designs by rendering the file so a printer will be able to read that design for reference.

The way to do it is fairly simple. Don’t worry about learning how to operate a 3D Printer or how to create a 3D model design. There are various 3D printing methods and resources you’ll find on the Internet. Some of them are quite affordable and again, you don’t even need to buy your own 3D printer.

3D printing works like this. A real object can be made from a 3D design model and this called an additive manufacturing process. For this to be carried out, a 3D design is rendered by a computer then sent to a 3D printer. Then the 3D printer goes to work on printing your design. This is done layer by layer. When the physical object is created, that’s it. It’s finished. So can be created or printed by a 3D printer? Well, basically anything that you can draw or design. Using different types of materials, a 3D printer can accomplish the task.

Even complicated objects can be made by a respected 3D printing company like Adaptive Designs that specializes in 3D printing, located in Orange County projects using state of the art 3D printers and the latest 3D printing technology.  If you still want to do it yourself, you can try to look for consumer-friendly printers on the market, but these can only produce smaller-scale objects which are printed by different types of materials. Some reliable websites exist where you can upload a 3D design model then order physical prints online. You have to remember though that consumer 3D printing is only limited to a few materials. Big government agencies such as NASA are currently in the works of developing printers that are able to print entire pizzas using food ingredients as materials. As of the moment, 3D printers generally use include ABS plastic, polyamide (nylon), glass filled polyamide, PLA, stereolithography materials (epoxy resins), polycarbonate, titanium, steel, silver, wax, and photopolymers.

As for 3D modeling softwares, consumers without any design experience can have access to them. You can experiment using 3D modeling software tools such as Tinkercad, Rhino, Sketchup or Blender. It will, however, take practice to become accustomed to 3D modeling. As long as you have a design in your mind, you can try to create it with a 3D modeling software as a tool. When you’ve finished designing it, the computer can render the file. Then all that’s left to do is upload the design to a 3D printer for printing. Different printers have specific instructions on how to go about uploading and completing the printing job.

If you’re not so keen at learning how to create 3D designs or don’t have the time to do it, you can search for 3D model render files similar to the one you have in mind from an online 3D model database, which is basically just like a search engine for 3D objects. It’s as easy as making a Google search and browsing through search results. You can then pick a 3D model design, download the necessary render files, and save it to your computer. Now you just need to upload it to a 3D printer for printing a physical version.

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