Beginner's Guide to Getting Started with 3D Printing

3D printing is an amazing technology that can create almost anything you put your mind to. There has been plenty of headway made using the technology, from building 3D printed houses to body parts. 3D printing is also used to make education more interactive and fun. It also gives businesses a competitive edge with the affordability and efficiency that it provides to manufacturing and prototyping sectors.

It is an interesting technology to learn but it has a steep learning curve. 3D printing can be time-consuming as it takes several hours to finish a print. It can also be wasteful and pricey as the filaments you consume can be wasted if the print doesn’t go according to plan.

Don’t let this turn you off from 3D printing though. With our X3D’s Beginners Guide to Getting Started with 3D Printing, we will guide you step by step to make learning 3D printing easier.

What is a 3D printer?

A 3D printer allows digital designs to be created into physical objects made of plastic-based materials called filaments. There are different types of 3D printers, but we will be only tackling FDM/FFF printers since X3D’s focus is on them.

What are the types of 3D printer filaments?

There are many different kinds of 3D printer filaments. They can be infused with wood, metal and other components to achieve an authentic look and feel.

You can read more about the different kinds of 3D printer filaments here.

4 steps to creating your first 3D print

There is no better way to learn 3D printing than to start creating prints. Here are the 4 easy steps to creating your first print.

Find a 3D design

If you don’t know how to create a design on a CAD program, here are free and easy 3D designs.

If you know how to create a design through CAD, here are the best programs for you:

  • TinkerCAD
  • Cura by Ultimaker
  • SketchUp
  • Sculptris
  • 3D Slash

Prepare the materials you need for your print

Free online designs usually have their recommendation about the filament you should use for them. If you’re creating your own design, we have categorised our filaments so that you can choose your material according to your purpose, material, and colour.

Another important factor to consider when choosing your filament is strength. If you’re only creating 3D printed decors and models that don’t require durability or strength, you can choose PLA and other filaments for crafts and hobbies. For strength, you can use nylon, ABS, ASA, and other engineering filaments.

Prepare your 3D printer

You don’t have to own a 3D printer to start 3D printing. There are plenty of public libraries that give free access to their 3D printers. If you’re in the local Perth area, you can also drop by the SOLDER prototyping lab at Spacecubed in the city.

Start printing!

Load up the design and start printing. Since this will be your first time to 3D print, we recommend that you use an affordable yet high-quality filament that produces good results. The X3D Pro filament line is perfect for beginners since they are formulated to be easy to print with and creates high-quality prints.

Time to start with your first 3D printing project!

All it takes to start your first 3D printing project is courage and this helpful beginner’s guide. If you have any questions, you can contact us here.

3d printing

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