Medium 9781457182938

Make: 3D Printing: The Essential Guide to 3D Printers

Views: 2731
Ratings: (0)

The 3D printing revolution is well upon us, with new machines appearing at an amazing rate. With the abundance of information and options out there, how are makers to choose the 3D printer that's right for them? MAKE is here to help, with our Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing. With articles about techniques, freely available CAD packages, and comparisons of printers that are on the market, this book makes it easy to understand this complex and constantly-shifting topic.

Based on articles and projects from MAKE's print and online publications, this book arms you with everything you need to know to understand the exciting but sometimes confusing world of 3D Printing.

List price: $15.99

Your Price: $12.79

You Save: 20%

 

42 Slices

Format Buy Remix

1. Getting Started with a 3D Printer

ePub

An introduction to 3D printer hardware and software.

Bill Bumgarner

Early in 2012, I picked up an Ultimaker, put it together, and joined the growing ranks of 3D printing households. It has been an adventure both filled with reward and rife with frustration. The goal of this article is to share what I’ve learned while studying the DIY portion of the 3D printing realm. The focus is on budgets less than $2,500, with a goal of producing parts out of various kinds of plastic.

Plastic parts are wonderful for prototyping. You can print that engine part in plastic, make sure it fits perfectly, and then send the 3D model off to a company like Shapeways to have your prototype turned into a production piece in the metal of your choice.

Most of the printers discussed here are hackable. Their designs are amenable to being modified and tuned to fit your needs. The software used to drive these printers is almost all open source, though there are commercial slicers and modelers commonly used in the 3D printing community.

 

1. Getting Started with a 3D Printer

ePub

An introduction to 3D printer hardware and software.

Bill Bumgarner

Early in 2012, I picked up an Ultimaker, put it together, and joined the growing ranks of 3D printing households. It has been an adventure both filled with reward and rife with frustration. The goal of this article is to share what I’ve learned while studying the DIY portion of the 3D printing realm. The focus is on budgets less than $2,500, with a goal of producing parts out of various kinds of plastic.

Plastic parts are wonderful for prototyping. You can print that engine part in plastic, make sure it fits perfectly, and then send the 3D model off to a company like Shapeways to have your prototype turned into a production piece in the metal of your choice.

Most of the printers discussed here are hackable. Their designs are amenable to being modified and tuned to fit your needs. The software used to drive these printers is almost all open source, though there are commercial slicers and modelers commonly used in the 3D printing community.

 

2. Software for 3D Printing

ePub

An overview of the necessary design, slicing, and client software.

Matt Mets and Matt Griffin

You’ve got a shiny new 3D printer and a brilliant idea for your first original design—now what?

Creating and printing your own unique 3D models requires three kinds of software. First, there’s the 3D modeling program used to design the shape of your creation. Traditionally, the use of software to prototype physical objects has been referred to as computer-aided design (CAD). Second, there’s the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) program (commonly referred to as a slicer) that converts your model into specific, mechanical instructions for the printer robot. Third, there’s the printer control software, or client, that sends those instructions to the printer at the right time, and provides a real-time interface to the printer’s functions and settings.

Probably the most important software choice you’ll make is what kind of modeling program to use. There are many to choose from, but they fall into four basic types: solid, sculpting, parametric, and polygonal. Each type will help you turn your idea into reality, but one may be handier for, say, designing a mechanical part, and another for sculpting an action figure.

 

2. Software for 3D Printing

ePub

An overview of the necessary design, slicing, and client software.

Matt Mets and Matt Griffin

You’ve got a shiny new 3D printer and a brilliant idea for your first original design—now what?

Creating and printing your own unique 3D models requires three kinds of software. First, there’s the 3D modeling program used to design the shape of your creation. Traditionally, the use of software to prototype physical objects has been referred to as computer-aided design (CAD). Second, there’s the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) program (commonly referred to as a slicer) that converts your model into specific, mechanical instructions for the printer robot. Third, there’s the printer control software, or client, that sends those instructions to the printer at the right time, and provides a real-time interface to the printer’s functions and settings.

Probably the most important software choice you’ll make is what kind of modeling program to use. There are many to choose from, but they fall into four basic types: solid, sculpting, parametric, and polygonal. Each type will help you turn your idea into reality, but one may be handier for, say, designing a mechanical part, and another for sculpting an action figure.

 

3. 3D Design for the Complete Beginner

ePub

Use Tinkercad to design a robot-head pencil topper in minutes.

Blake Maloof

Three-dimensional printing offers exciting applications, from art to product design to rolling your own replacement parts. But if you’re new to this technology, the modeling software and printer hardware can be intimidating. The learning curve is steep as you go from concept to 3D model to printed object. If only you could create a simple design on your desktop, have it printed on a high-end 3D printer, and delivered to your door. Turns out, you can!

Tinkercad is an intuitive, browser-based CAD modeling application that allows you to quickly box out your design and hit a Print button to send it off to 3D printing services like Shapeways or Sculpteo. You can go from concept to ready-to-print 3D model in minutes with little to no modeling experience.

To get you started and to show just how easy it is to make something fun and unique, I’ll walk you through the process for creating a robot-head pencil topper. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection.

 

3. 3D Design for the Complete Beginner

ePub

Use Tinkercad to design a robot-head pencil topper in minutes.

Blake Maloof

Three-dimensional printing offers exciting applications, from art to product design to rolling your own replacement parts. But if you’re new to this technology, the modeling software and printer hardware can be intimidating. The learning curve is steep as you go from concept to 3D model to printed object. If only you could create a simple design on your desktop, have it printed on a high-end 3D printer, and delivered to your door. Turns out, you can!

Tinkercad is an intuitive, browser-based CAD modeling application that allows you to quickly box out your design and hit a Print button to send it off to 3D printing services like Shapeways or Sculpteo. You can go from concept to ready-to-print 3D model in minutes with little to no modeling experience.

To get you started and to show just how easy it is to make something fun and unique, I’ll walk you through the process for creating a robot-head pencil topper. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection.

 

4. Getting Started with Slic3r

ePub

Slic3r is a free program that prepares STL files for printing.

Eric Weinhoffer

So you have a 3D printer and a 3D file, but now what? Well, you have to slice it up into layers and create a G-code file, which you’ll then send to your 3D printer. There are many software options for slicing 3D models in preparation for 3D printing including: Slic3r, KISSlicer, CuraEngine, MakerBot Slicer, and Skeinforge. (See Slicing Software for more on each of these options). Some of these “slicers” are integrated into printer control software and some, like Slic3r and KISSlicer can be used independently of control software.

Slic3r has become a popular option because it’s open source, cross-platform, free to use, relatively quick, and extremely customizable.

I’ll describe how each of the many settings relates to the actions of your 3D printer, and how to correctly adjust them to optimize your machine for your application. I don’t have experience with tweaking all of these settings (there are a lot), but I’ll do my best to describe what they do.

 

4. Getting Started with Slic3r

ePub

Slic3r is a free program that prepares STL files for printing.

Eric Weinhoffer

So you have a 3D printer and a 3D file, but now what? Well, you have to slice it up into layers and create a G-code file, which you’ll then send to your 3D printer. There are many software options for slicing 3D models in preparation for 3D printing including: Slic3r, KISSlicer, CuraEngine, MakerBot Slicer, and Skeinforge. (See Slicing Software for more on each of these options). Some of these “slicers” are integrated into printer control software and some, like Slic3r and KISSlicer can be used independently of control software.

Slic3r has become a popular option because it’s open source, cross-platform, free to use, relatively quick, and extremely customizable.

I’ll describe how each of the many settings relates to the actions of your 3D printer, and how to correctly adjust them to optimize your machine for your application. I don’t have experience with tweaking all of these settings (there are a lot), but I’ll do my best to describe what they do.

 

5. Creating and Repairing 3D Scans

ePub

Use the Kinect, ReconstructMe, and 123D Catch to capture 3D models of real world objects—then clean them up for 3D printing.

Anna Kaziunas France

Excerpted from Getting Started with MakerBot by Bre Pettis, Anna Kaziunas France, and Jay Shergill.

You no longer need an expensive high-end 3D scanner to create good-quality scans that are suitable for 3D printing. There are now an increasing a number of affordable ways to digitize physical objects.

Some of them require additional hardware with an RGB camera and depth sensors, like the Microsoft Kinect, Primsense Carmine or ASUS Xtion shown in Figure 5-1 (see Kinect vs. Asus Xtion for a comparison), but you can also use your phone or a digital camera to capture images. These images can then be converted into 3D models, cleaned up using mesh repairing software, and then printed.

As soon as the community cracked open the Kinect and made it do things it wasn’t intended to do, 3D scanning was one of the first items on the list. As wonderful and disruptive as the Kinect was, it wasn’t the only device of its kind. In fact, other folks brought the exact same technology to market. Scanning with the Kinect is powered by hardware developed by an Israeli company, PrimeSense. PrimeSense released a software development kit (SDK) called OpenNI (Open Natural Interaction) that some people, such as the folks behind ReconstructMe (PROFACTOR GmbH), have used to develop awesome software tools for Kinect. And the great thing about this is that their software can be made to work with other hardware that uses the PrimeSense technology.

 

5. Creating and Repairing 3D Scans

ePub

Use the Kinect, ReconstructMe, and 123D Catch to capture 3D models of real world objects—then clean them up for 3D printing.

Anna Kaziunas France

Excerpted from Getting Started with MakerBot by Bre Pettis, Anna Kaziunas France, and Jay Shergill.

You no longer need an expensive high-end 3D scanner to create good-quality scans that are suitable for 3D printing. There are now an increasing a number of affordable ways to digitize physical objects.

Some of them require additional hardware with an RGB camera and depth sensors, like the Microsoft Kinect, Primsense Carmine or ASUS Xtion shown in Figure 5-1 (see Kinect vs. Asus Xtion for a comparison), but you can also use your phone or a digital camera to capture images. These images can then be converted into 3D models, cleaned up using mesh repairing software, and then printed.

As soon as the community cracked open the Kinect and made it do things it wasn’t intended to do, 3D scanning was one of the first items on the list. As wonderful and disruptive as the Kinect was, it wasn’t the only device of its kind. In fact, other folks brought the exact same technology to market. Scanning with the Kinect is powered by hardware developed by an Israeli company, PrimeSense. PrimeSense released a software development kit (SDK) called OpenNI (Open Natural Interaction) that some people, such as the folks behind ReconstructMe (PROFACTOR GmbH), have used to develop awesome software tools for Kinect. And the great thing about this is that their software can be made to work with other hardware that uses the PrimeSense technology.

 

6. Scan-O-Tron 3000

ePub

Use this full body scanning rig with a PrimeSense sensor to make a 3D scanning party “Photo Booth” to create full-body scans of your guests for 3D printing!

Fred Kahl

When the 3D scanning software ReconstructMe came out, I was really excited about scanning people, but the plethora of office-chair-spin 3D prints shared online left me a little disappointed. I wanted more!

Some people were doing full-body scans, but it involved painstaking work using mirrors or splicing together multiple meshes. I set out to devise a way to improve upon that and get a clean scanned mesh that can be ready to print in minutes. The result: the Scan-O-Tron 3000. (Why 3000? Because it’s better than 2000!)

Build this fast, full-body 3D scanning rig and use it with the Kinect, ASUS Xtion or other Primesense sensors and scanning software such as ReconstructMe or the new improved Skanect (which I’ll demonstrate here).

You can assemble it in about a weekend for between $100-$300. Pair it with my DIY heavy-duty turntable and you can be spinning, scanning, and printing your party guests in no time.

 

6. Scan-O-Tron 3000

ePub

Use this full body scanning rig with a PrimeSense sensor to make a 3D scanning party “Photo Booth” to create full-body scans of your guests for 3D printing!

Fred Kahl

When the 3D scanning software ReconstructMe came out, I was really excited about scanning people, but the plethora of office-chair-spin 3D prints shared online left me a little disappointed. I wanted more!

Some people were doing full-body scans, but it involved painstaking work using mirrors or splicing together multiple meshes. I set out to devise a way to improve upon that and get a clean scanned mesh that can be ready to print in minutes. The result: the Scan-O-Tron 3000. (Why 3000? Because it’s better than 2000!)

Build this fast, full-body 3D scanning rig and use it with the Kinect, ASUS Xtion or other Primesense sensors and scanning software such as ReconstructMe or the new improved Skanect (which I’ll demonstrate here).

You can assemble it in about a weekend for between $100-$300. Pair it with my DIY heavy-duty turntable and you can be spinning, scanning, and printing your party guests in no time.

 

7. Print Your Head in 3D!

ePub

Use digital photos and a 3D printer to make a mini plastic replica of your noggin.

Keith Hammond

Here’s a great project to get you started in 3D printing—create a 3D model of your own head and then print it out in solid plastic (Figure 7-1).

A 3D printer makes an object by squirting out a tiny filament of hot plastic, adding one layer at a time. Because it adds material rather than cutting away at it, 3D printing is called additive manufacturing. You send the printer a file that’s a 3D model of something—an iPod case, a bike part, your head—then it prints out the object for you. These machines are becoming affordable for schools, labs, libraries, and families, and there’s lots of software out there for creating 3D files to print.

We chose Autodesk 123D software because it’s free, it’s web-based so you can use it from any computer, and amazingly, it lets you create a 3D model directly from digital photos. That way, you can do it all from home, and you don’t have to get yourself scanned by a laser scanner or fiddle with a Kinect.

 

7. Print Your Head in 3D!

ePub

Use digital photos and a 3D printer to make a mini plastic replica of your noggin.

Keith Hammond

Here’s a great project to get you started in 3D printing—create a 3D model of your own head and then print it out in solid plastic (Figure 7-1).

A 3D printer makes an object by squirting out a tiny filament of hot plastic, adding one layer at a time. Because it adds material rather than cutting away at it, 3D printing is called additive manufacturing. You send the printer a file that’s a 3D model of something—an iPod case, a bike part, your head—then it prints out the object for you. These machines are becoming affordable for schools, labs, libraries, and families, and there’s lots of software out there for creating 3D files to print.

We chose Autodesk 123D software because it’s free, it’s web-based so you can use it from any computer, and amazingly, it lets you create a 3D model directly from digital photos. That way, you can do it all from home, and you don’t have to get yourself scanned by a laser scanner or fiddle with a Kinect.

 

8. Plastics for 3D Printing

ePub

An overview of 3D printing filament—from rigid to rubbery to dissolvable.

Matt Stultz and Sean Ragan

Desktop 3D printing filaments used to be limited to ABS and PLA, but there are now a range of different materials on the market. Basic printing temperature ranges are listed here, but keep in mind that recommended nozzle and bed temperatures vary with filament suppliers and the printer used. In addition, when printing at accelerated speeds, the upper temperature range is recommended to keep the filament moving and avoid clogged nozzles.

For a list of vendors that sell 3D printer filament, see Printers, Filament, and Parts.

These filaments are typically used to create solid objects, but are often semiflexible when the model is very thin.

PLA is available in many colors and can be opaque or translucent. A popular choice for 3D printing, it is plant-derived (corn or potatoes) and biodegradable. LayWoo-d3, LayBrick and FlexPLA are all specialized varieties of PLA. All varieties of PLA also adhere well to heated kapton or glass at 60º, which produces a smooth bottom surface finish on the printed part.

 

8. Plastics for 3D Printing

ePub

An overview of 3D printing filament—from rigid to rubbery to dissolvable.

Matt Stultz and Sean Ragan

Desktop 3D printing filaments used to be limited to ABS and PLA, but there are now a range of different materials on the market. Basic printing temperature ranges are listed here, but keep in mind that recommended nozzle and bed temperatures vary with filament suppliers and the printer used. In addition, when printing at accelerated speeds, the upper temperature range is recommended to keep the filament moving and avoid clogged nozzles.

For a list of vendors that sell 3D printer filament, see Printers, Filament, and Parts.

These filaments are typically used to create solid objects, but are often semiflexible when the model is very thin.

PLA is available in many colors and can be opaque or translucent. A popular choice for 3D printing, it is plant-derived (corn or potatoes) and biodegradable. LayWoo-d3, LayBrick and FlexPLA are all specialized varieties of PLA. All varieties of PLA also adhere well to heated kapton or glass at 60º, which produces a smooth bottom surface finish on the printed part.

 

9. Industrial Materials and Methods

ePub

A materials guide for 3D printing services.

Stuart Deutsch

There has never been a better time to purchase a desktop 3D printer. Nonetheless, they are still too expensive for many users. If you can’t justify the cost of a personal printer, you may be able to access one at a local hackerspace, and there are many online 3D printing services to choose from, including Ponoko, Shapeways, and i.materialise. These companies use a variety of printing technologies to create physical objects from your digital designs and can print in many other materials besides extruded thermoplastic.

Powder bed and inkjet printers use inkjet-type print heads to deposit tiny droplets of liquid binder on top of a thin layer of powder. Once the build platform lowers, a roller spreads and compacts a fresh layer of powder across the surface. The final object is essentially a stack of powder layers finely glued together. Dyed binders can be used in certain machines to produce full-color display models (Figure 9-1). Treatment with super glue and UV protectants can improve model strength and reduce color fading.

 

9. Industrial Materials and Methods

ePub

A materials guide for 3D printing services.

Stuart Deutsch

There has never been a better time to purchase a desktop 3D printer. Nonetheless, they are still too expensive for many users. If you can’t justify the cost of a personal printer, you may be able to access one at a local hackerspace, and there are many online 3D printing services to choose from, including Ponoko, Shapeways, and i.materialise. These companies use a variety of printing technologies to create physical objects from your digital designs and can print in many other materials besides extruded thermoplastic.

Powder bed and inkjet printers use inkjet-type print heads to deposit tiny droplets of liquid binder on top of a thin layer of powder. Once the build platform lowers, a roller spreads and compacts a fresh layer of powder across the surface. The final object is essentially a stack of powder layers finely glued together. Dyed binders can be used in certain machines to produce full-color display models (Figure 9-1). Treatment with super glue and UV protectants can improve model strength and reduce color fading.

 

Load more


Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
9781457183546
Isbn
9781457183546
File size
3 KB
Printing
Not Allowed
Copying
Not Allowed
Read aloud
No
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata