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3D Printing, An Introduction

This is a basic primer to 3D printing concepts. I have created this along with my blog, aaronmontana.com, as I built my own 3D printer.

Aaron Montana

on 22 March 2013

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Transcript of 3D Printing, An Introduction

What is 3D printing? The process of additive 3D printing has been around for a while. The idea refers to printing successive layers of material upon each other to form a three dimensional object. What's going on here? The industrial process of 3D printing has been around for many years. Recently a community of "tinkerers" has begun to create their own extruding printers, sharing their ideas and designs. DIY 3D Printing What happens when anybody can create 3d objects? History. 3d printing was invented in 1984 by Chuck Hull - the process was known as stereolithography - this is where STL files get their name. Become a "Maker" In an effort to better understand the process and the future influence or 3D printing I embarked on building my own RepRap, now on its second major version. I've collected many of my experiences and interesting links about printing on my blog: aaronmontana.com

The amount of information that can be found in community forums is enormous and the community members are very helpful. For fun and profit! 3D Printing Fabrication from your desktop What is 3d printing? The field is intriguing on on a technical level, with multidisciplinary facets, while raising questions about intellectual property, ownership and safety.

I'll cover the basics of 3D printing and my experiences creating my own. This is in contrast to reductive printing, where solid media is carved away, like a CNC router. So while 3D printing can be done in a number of ways we are going to discuss the most popular method in the DIY 3D printing community. Additive printing, using an extruder that creates models layer by layer, usually using a heated material like plastic. The Model The Slicer Printer Controller Printing The Tool Chain 3D models are cad files. These files are often traded among 3D printing enthusiasts online. The CAD file, usually an STL file (more on that later) is sent to a slicing program. The number of layers the object is sliced into is essentially the resolution of the print, the thinner the layers the more detail. The printer controller actually talks to the printers - moving the extruder along the toolpath and also controlling speed and temperature among other things Next the printer goes to work. Liquid was extruded and hardened using light exposure - not easy, kind of messy. Many advances were made and the term 3D printing actually appears in 1993 when MIT patents its own inkjet like process for printing Fast forward to 2006, when an open source project named Reprap, was developed in England. The rep-rap was capable of manufacturing various plastic parts, roughly 50% of itself. Barriers to entry Cost: 300 and up. $300-500 will buy you a very nice kit, or you can skip the build and purchase and off the shelf printer starting at $1000. Tools: You will need at the least a soldering iron, a rotatory tool, screwdrivers, rulers and a caliper.

You should also have a voltage meter and a fire extinguisher. Knowledge and know how: You don't need an engineering background, programming or design. You will need to understand many concepts from each of these fields. Time and space: A whole desk and at least 30 hours of building time... Make that 50 hours. :) Print'n ain't easy Example printing video. More!! Arduino Open-source electronic prototyping platform allowing to create interactive electronic objects.
And has become the go to for creating print controllers.


Shout Outs! and Sources How does it work? Cost



Time and Space $ Watch them move. Pre-Flight Checks The RepRap community is really great - I'd like to thank Colin from MakerFarm.com as well as SeeMeCNC and kthnx from the RepRap IRC channel. Reprap.org is the progenitor of many 3D sources and you can view my blog for books and website suggestions.
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