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A Newbie’s Guide to 3D Printing – 5 Essential Points

It can be intimidating being new to 3D printing, as there a lot of new information to learn. However, my guide has made it easier for you. Discussed below are expert points and tips to consider before you get into craft.

Build vs Buy

Instead of buying a 3D printer, you can build your own. There are many kits available online. The 3D printing community is one of the largest in the world so there are many resources to help.

As you can imagine, buying a kit instead of a ready-made machine would save you cash.

Price

How much cash do you have to spend? The quality of the final product affects how much each 3D printer costs. Usually, they cost around $1000, but more professional options can cost around $2000.  As mentioned, though, a DIY kit will cost less than buying the printers readymade.

If you want to 3D print but currently don’t have the cash, don’t fear. 3D printing is getting more and more popular, and new brands in the industry keep popping up. It’s only a matter of time before the prices come down.

Of course, the mentioned prices do not include the plastic filaments that you would need. More professional plastics, like TPU cost more; they produce very flexible final products.

Filament

There are many different types of 3D printing filament. Most of the time, the filament you’ll need depends on the type of project you are working on. If you are making something that’s flexible, TPU plastic would be the best. Make note of the final finish the plasticyou pick up too.

Some filaments are hybrids, mixed with materials like bamboo, cork and brick. This affects their colour, texture and so much more.

Also, some plastics are easier to 3D print with than others. PLA is pretty popular with beginners, not just because it is easy to work but because it is inexpensive as well.

Generally, TPU, PA and PAHT are the best for commercial use, as they produce very professional finishes. How food-grade the filament you’re using needs to be considered if it’s for a commercial project too. ABS and PLA are generally food-grade, if there are no added additives.

Fumes

Depending on which filament you’re using, a lot of fumes might be released. ABS plastics are notorious for releasing obnoxious gases. Always 3D print in well ventilated spaces.

If your printer happens to malfunction and gets too hot, this can cause fumes too.

3D Model

Before you start printing, you will need a 3D model. You can either use a model you find online, or you can create one yourself. If you’re going the latter route, there are special software that you’ll have to download. Yes, you would have to pay for them.

Considering all the points discussed, there is a lot of information to consider beforehand. One of the most important is your budget, as well as the type of filament you’re using. Well, what do you think?

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