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Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide To 3D Printing

by Sam Frost of 3D Printer Plans 25. June 2014 15:45

Here's a nice beginners guide to 3D printing post Sam Frost of 3D Printer Plans has compiled and sent through...


3D printing is an awesome technology that has amazing potential to change the world for the better. From reducing waste in manufacturing to resurrecting skilled, highly-paying jobs, 3D printing definitely seems to be making the future brighter.

The meteoric rise of domestic3D printers that can be purchased for a couple of grand or less has also fuelled a desire for people all around the world to learn about 3D printing and how it works. Theres so much information online about 3D printing, and so many fantastic websites and digital communities sharing their knowledge, that it can unfortunately be a little overwhelming to know where to begin.

Thats why at 3D Printer Plans we decided to put together a comprehensive, free, and easy-to-understand guide to 3D printing for beginners. The aim was to create an all-in-one resource that will teach aspiring 3D printers everything they need to know to get started.

By the end of the guide you will:
*   Understand the history of 3D printing
*   Know its primary uses in a variety of fields
*   Have a sound understanding of how a 3D printer works (including how different printing processes work)
*   Be able to confidently purchase your first 3D printer
*   Have access to the basic software you need to get started
*   Know the accessories and hardware you need to produce great prints
*   Be able to use your new 3D printer safely; understanding maintenance and safe handling

Click here to read the beginners guide. I really do hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Sam Frost
3D Printer Plans


3D Printing

Slicing up the 3D object

by Ivan Sentch 1. October 2013 14:55

I've had a couple ask about this so here's what I've found (I don't do this professionally so this is just what I've discovered by playing around)

First off the object needs some depth, 3DS Max has a shell tool that you can specify a inner or outer shell depth (I think this tool effectively clones the object, scales it out or in then applies edges or sides) anyway it's pretty easy so long as you have a clean object with all the polygon normals facing the same way (normals:

3DS Max has a slice tool which is a plane you can move and/or rotate then create a slice, I usually slice from the middle out in one direction (top/bottom, left/right or front/back) in 105mm jumps as below 

Then once I've done all the slices along an axis they need to be detached and capped (use the element selection tool to select and detach a section and use the border selection tool to select and the cap tool to cap the open faces)

Sometimes this can get confused, this is usually because there is more than one angle in the open faces (i.e. if you've sliced multiple separate elements at once or if you slice more than one axis without capping it) but what it tries to do is cap both angles at once but it is never right (see below) 

This cannot be printed like this so you will need to fix it, to do this use the polygon selection tool to select the incorrect face and delete.

Then using the edge selection tool select the 2x end most edges on one angle then use the bridge tool to make a polygon from the 2x edges

Now using the border selection tool again select the edge (which now will be constrained by the polygon you created) and cap

So using this theory do another axis (remember to cap all the sections before moving onto the last axis or you'll have the issue I raised above)

Then the last axis

Now you've got all the sections which you need to rotate (to an appropriate angle that can be printed), align as many as you can into single print jobs, export, re-align (I use ReplicatorG to "center" and "put on platform" - this is so it's centered for the printer otherwise it'll try to go 2km to the left and break), convert it to GCode (I use skeinforge, takes about 2 hours but that's ok) and it's ready to print

(You may have noticed I've done the dash, I'll start printing that soon)


3D Printing | Design

Body printed

by Ivan Sentch 22. September 2013 19:47

The body's now fully printed and I've still got 12x 1kg reels left for the dash so that means the doors, boot, bonnet and body have taken 52x 1kg reels. No more assembly yet because I've been busy moving out of our house (which is done now & both cars relocated to their new home for the next year).

I'm preparing a post on how I slice up the parts which a few people have requested coming up soon


3D Printing | Miscellaneous

Printer back online

by Ivan Sentch 10. August 2013 13:48

The printer extruder got blocked a couple of weeks ago but while trying to unblock it I broke it and had to order a new part, the new parts have arrived and it's back online, printing has resumed!!! 46 days of rapid printing left before I need to relocate, that should be enough to finish the body and 30% of the dash

On the assembly front nothing has been done, with the house and the media coverage lately I've had no time, but I'm back into it now so if I'm a bit tardy replying to you it's because I'm trying to get some traction (I will eventually you'll just need to wait a bit)

For those coming in from the yahoo article, I'm not putting a bmw v12 in this (that's going in the 250 GTO I built a few years ago) also I'm printing a plug not the body of the actual car, also also once I've finished I still have about 5 years before I'm actually done (yahoo got it a bit wrong)


Body | 3D Printing

25% printed, 20% assembled

by Ivan Sentch 3. May 2013 19:43

It may not look it but the body is 20% assembled with another 5% printed waiting to go. 

I also noticed on the 3D printer Y axis pulley bracket that the pulley axel has been acting as a reamer tool and I now have a big groove which was very near to coming out the end. So I downloaded this and printed a replacement part (printing replacement parts, that's pretty cool):



Body | 3D Printing