The Beginner’s Essential Guide to 3D Printing
Got your hands on a 3D printer? 3D printers have a lot of potential in business, enabling creators to design and print products to sell to consumers. Consumers are drawn to these products because they’re novel and unique. But do you know how to use a 3D printer? Because 3D printing is still in its infancy, using this innovative technology to print 3D objects requires learning a few important skills. Check out the following guide from Deals499 for a quick introduction to 3D printing!
What is 3D Printing?
As BuiltIn.com explains, 3D printing involves the use of computer-aided design (CAD) to produce three-dimensional objects. This is done through a method of layering materials such as plastics, powders, or resins, working from the ground up to create the desired object. 3D printers can print rigid objects like sunglasses, flexible materials like phone cases, and everything in between!
Using 3D Printing in Business
3D printing has become a trendy business model in recent years. If you want to launch a craft business and sell unique items to consumers, consider using your 3D printer to print and sell items like jewellery, cosplay items, miniatures for tabletop games, phone cases, planters, eyeglass frames, toys, collectibles, tools, or even lamps. You can sell these craft items through platforms like Etsy and Amazon or build your own website and launch a standalone business. Just be sure to evaluate the start-up costs and potential profit margins you can expect with your craft business. Unless you already have a printer and all of the required supplies, launching a 3D printing business can be very expensive!
Choosing Modelling Programs
To get started, you’ll need to use modeling software to create 3D models to print. There are a few types of modelling software to learn, including CAD software and slicing software. You’ll use CAD software to design 3D models. Some popular examples include AutoCAD, Blender, and TinkerCAD. Next, you’ll use slicing software to convert your 3D model into a language that your printer understands. Slicing software divides the model into individual layers that your printer will read and print from the ground up. Make sure your slicing software is compatible with your CAD software and your 3D printer.
Preparing The Printer
Now that your model is ready, it’s time to prepare your printer. To get started, Popular Science explains that you’ll need to level the bed and feed filament into the printer. You can find plenty of video guides online to walk you through this process for your specific printer model. There are several things to consider when choosing 3D printer filaments, so be sure to research this as well. PLA and PET-G are both great filaments for beginners. Just make sure your printer supports the type of filament you choose!
3D Printer Safety Best Practices
Once both your model and printer are ready to go, you can finally print your first object! Remember to follow a few simple safety practices to avoid injuries. Because 3D printers work by melting filament, they run at very high temperatures. Minimize your burn risk by wearing gloves when handling your printer, protecting yourself with a printer enclosure, and being mindful of where your hands are when working on your printer. Only reach for your printer when you’re sure that it’s off. Not only will this help you avoid burns, but can prevent pinch point injuries as well.
Keep in mind that 3D printers can produce dangerous fumes as a result of melting filament materials. PLA and PET-G materials are known to be some of the safer filaments. Still, try to use your printer in a well-ventilated area to reduce your exposure to fumes.
Investing in a 3D printer and creating your own models could be a great way to launch a craft business! Before you get started, make sure you understand the basics of modelling objects and using your printer properly. There’s no shortage of online resources that can help you learn the ropes and become a printing pro!
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