The truth of the matter is that 3D printing will soon become as ubiquitous as 2D printing, so you can either get with the times, or you can be stuck trying to catch up. When it comes down to it, 3D printing is getting more and more affordable – in the old days, only large businesses could afford 3D printers and thus could make prints using the three-dimensional printing model.
However, you can easily purchase a 3D printing machine for the cost of a high-end 2D printer. Before you purchase a 3D printer, it will help to know how it works and how to use the system. If you aren’t sure how to use it before you get one, it may be too intimidating – you don’t want to waste your money. Fortunately, 3D printing is easy and it won’t take that long to become proficient. Here are five beginner tips for 3D printing.
- Make sure that you purchase the right type of filament for your printer – some filament may be too low quality for your printer or the wrong size. Just like you would use a specific ink cartridge for the type of two-dimensional printer you have, you want to use a unique type of filament.
- Make sure that you practice with simple prints – you don’t want to jump into large prints because you may not know how to completely use your machine to the best of your ability. Indeed, it may take time to calibrate the machine and to perfect the printing methods. Usually, you can start with basic shapes – just to get your machine warmed up. Once you have the shapes, you can start going for more complex, multi-part prints. Doing a few test runs will also help you save filament, which can be expensive if you get into a wasteful habit.
- Make sure that you calibrate your system – most 3D printers will need to be calibrated when they come out of the box. This will take some initial tweaking, but soon enough you will be able to get the hang of things. All you want to do is change the settings so that they are according to your idea print requirements. It will take a few prints to really get things right, but this is an important first step.
- Make sure that you have a reverse scanner if you are in the business of replicating prototypes and other objects – a 3D scanner will basically scan any objects so that you can bring it into your 3D system and print copies. If you are in the business of making parts or developing objects, you may want to have this companion system set up. A company like TriMet makes excellent 3D scanners that will greatly improve your 3D prints.
- Make sure that your 3D printer is leveled – you may want to use a leveler to ensure that it is. If your system is not leveled, your 3D prints will be off. This may seem obvious, but many people don’t realize that even one degree off balance could put a wrench in the entire printing process.