Ever since 3D printing has been invented, many people use it for a variety of purposes. Its first purpose before was to create prototypes faster and easier. Nowadays, it has a variety of uses such as printing replacement parts, creating new products, or even making cool stuffs as a hobby. 3D printing is definitely one of the great technologies that were ever invented in the history of mankind. If you’re considering making 3D printing as a hobby or a side hustle, here are some of the basics you should learn about.

How Does It Work?

3D printing is not a single step process. First, you need to have a digital model of the thing that you want to print. You can do this through 3D modelling software, app, or even a 3D scanner. You need to have a clear image of the object that you want to create. Once you have it, splicing software processes this model into thousands of layers in preparation for printing.

Next, you need to upload the processed model into the printer to start the printing process. Since a 3D printer creates the model 1 layer at a time, the speed of printing actually depends on how complex the object is. It usually takes hours or even days to print a complete 3D model.

Equipment Needed

To start your 3D printing hobby, you need to prepare these essential tools.

  • 3D Printer – The type of 3D printer you need depends on your purpose. There are 9 basic types of 3D printers available in the market. The most commonly used is the FDM or Fused Deposition Modelling. This printer uses 3D printing filament as its printing material. The 3D model will be printing one layer at a time, each layer being cooled first before continuing to the next parts.
  • 3D Modelling Software – You’ll need to have a 3D model of the object that you want to print. To do this, you need to have a good 3D modelling software. There are several options you can choose from. If you’re not sure which one to get, do some research to know what quality of 3D models each creates. You don’t need to worry if you’re still a beginner in creating 3D models because there are also some that are made for starters.
  • Scanner App – If you’re not into creating your own 3D model, you can opt for a 3D scanner app instead. Simply scan any object that you like to 3D print, whether it is your favourite action figure or anything. Before sending scanned models to the printer, you’ll need to do some editing first to make the model perfect.
  • Splicing Software – After getting the 3D model of the object that you want to print; it needs to be uploaded on splicing software to be processed into a thousand horizontal layers. These layers will serve as a guide during the printing process.

3D printing is a fun hobby to start with. When you have all the equipment and basic knowledge needed, you’ll definitely enjoy creating so many cool items that you like.


Image Credit: 3D Printing