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3D Printing for Beginners-How to 3d Print?

Written by Abigail    2022-04-27

Imagine you can turn your design into an object directly without costing high budget or wasting time. 3D Printing makes this imagination a reality. As 3D Printing technology is efficient, resilient, and affordable, it facilitates manufacturing to develop cost-effectively and sustainably. Nevertheless, as a beginner, you may find that it is difficult to understand this technology, and be eager to know what is exactly 3D Printing in a simple way and how to 3D Print your designs. Therefore, we are writing this article to help you understand 3D Printing easily, and introduce how your designs can be printed by 3D Printing services and if you can 3D Print your designs online! However, if you have known 3D Printing beforehand, here are some Cool & Fun Things to 3D Print for inspiration!

3d printing service

 

Part 1. What is 3D Printing? 

Have you noticed that some natural landforms are the deposition of sand, wind, or water, sand dunes, for instance. Imagine, wind is blowing and water is flowing, sand becomes a sand dune layer by layer. Is this a process of shaping a three-dimensional object? If so, what if we can print a three-dimensional object layer by layer directly, just by a printer? Then in the 1980s, printing a 3D model by printer comes true as the development of printing equipment and materials.

 

Basic Introduction of 3D Printing, 3D Printing Materials

Basically, 3D Printing is one of the Rapid Prototyping technologies and being able to print three-dimensional objects based on CAD models or digital 3D models under the control of 3D Printing machine and computer, which as known as Additive Manufacturing. It is a process of printing an object by adding materials layer by layer.

If it is too much to understand, you can assume that 3D Printing as similar as printing files from a printer, but using different technologies. Printing a piece of paper, you just need a document such as word, PDF or excel which are all 2D. While printing an object, you will need 3D model designs in STL file format and 3D printable materials. When 3D models, STL file, and 3D Printing materials are ready, 3D printer is being able to print your file layer by layer.

Besides, there are different 3D Printing services such as Stereo lithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Multi-Jet-Fusion (MJF), and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) to empower you to choose the right 3D Printing materials such as plastics, metal powder, and resin.

3d printing

 

Application of 3D Printing

As the popularization of 3D Printing in the 2010s, it is being applied to various industries, including automobiles, jewelry, medical equipment, architecture, and even aerospace.

For example, in 2014 Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg launched the One:1 which was used 3D printed components.

And in 2015, Airbus, one of the world’s biggest Airlines, announced Airbus A350 XWB utilized more than 1000 components that made by 3D Printing technology.

No matter if you want to work for one of these industries mentioned above or you are just eager to customize your own designs, 3D Printing is completely worth considering because it is a shortcut to shape creativity into reality.

 application of 3d printing

Image Source: Jabil

After having a basic knowledge of what is 3D Printing, the next topic is how to 3D Print which will help you understand 3D Printing technology comprehensively.

 

Part 2. How to 3D Print

There are 3 steps for you to understand the basic process of 3D Printing, and there are necessary elements to prepare such as 3D model designs, 3D Printing STL file format, and 3D Printing materials before printing as well.

 

Step 1. Create Design and Export STL File

As mentioned above, like paper printing, you have to own a file to 3D Print; but to distinguish from paper printing, 3D Printing prints a 3D object, which means you need to have a 3D model to print. That is why you need to create a CAD model before 3D Printing. Because 3D Printing is to print every layer of the 3D model so that triangulation of CAD model surfaces are the printing elements of 3D Printing. To print the 3D surfaces successfully, the printing file format should be in STL (as known as Standard Triangle Language) file. It is the file format of stereo lithography CAD software. Export the STL file, then you are ready to 3D Print.

In conclusion, before 3D Printing, the first step is to create a 3D design, then export the 3D design into STL file format. However, some may say they are also beginners of how to create 3D model and 3D design. Don’t worry about it, we have recommended top 10 Websites for free 3D models.

design for 3d printing

 

Step 2. Choose Materials and Parameters

In the 3D Printing introduction section, we have talked a bit about 3D Printing materials. However, 3D Printing materials include polymer, metallic material, ceramic material, and composite material. To be specific, polymer for 3D Printing contains engineering plastics, bioplastics, thermosetting plastic, photosensitive resin, and polymer gel. Resin is one of the most commonly used material in 3D Printing, it prints objects with high precision and smooth surface finishes. As it is liquid, resin needs support when printing. While metallic material includes ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals, of which alloy, and steel powder are widely used. At this moment, resin, nylon, and metal powder are the materials that widely used in 3D Printing. What’s more, you have to consider parameters such as wall thickness, size, and surface finish before 3D Printing your designs.

3d printing materials

 

Step 3. 3D Print

When you exported STL file for your 3D models, chose preferred 3D Printing materials, and decided 3D Printing services, you are ready enough to 3D Print your designs. Then the next step is about how to 3D Print. We offer 2 options to you!

Option 1. Own a 3D Printer

To print your 3D model successfully, the most straightforward way is to own a 3D Printer. With sufficient 3D Printing materials, you are free to print every design if you have a 3D printer. Nevertheless, the cost of buying a 3D printer can be extremely high, and the price would be tens of thousands of US dollars. It is really a high budget and this option is not suitable for everyone.

3d printer

Image Source: Formlabs

Option 2. 3D Print Online

However, there is another option for you to 3D Print your designs in a cost-effective and efficient way. 3D Print Online!

Wenext is a company that provides online 3D Printing service. We are dedicated to offering 3D Printing services to you as easy as online shopping. There are only three steps to get your 3D models in reality: upload STL file, choose material and printing services, confirm order. Then your order will be accepted by Wenext and your designs will be manufactured. More importantly, Wenext not only has capabilities to deliver products fast and efficiently, but also deliver an affordable price to reduce your cost on 3D Printing.

Wenext 3D Printing services include SLA, SLS, MJF, and SLM, and we provide a wide range of post-processing and various printing materials. We would like to be your one-stop online 3D Printing solution provider and help you turn every idea into reality.

 wenext 3d printing

 

And now, you may have basic understanding of 3D Printing and would like to try 3D Printing. If you are interested in trying Wenext Online 3D Printing Services, please do not hesitate to upload STL Files on our website and get instant quote!

Please feel free to try instant quoting on our website or contact us hello@wenext.com if you are interested.

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