How to Learn 3D Printing? – Start From the Beginning


Learning 3D printing is a really challenging task, but it is interesting. 3D printing is used to create a realistic model using filaments with more accuracy and quickly. If you do not have proper knowledge, you should start learning about 3D printing according to the below steps.

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Step 01 – Identify the Necessity of 3D Printing Learning

3D printing character Source:https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Er8Kv

This is the reason why we need to 3D print. So many DIY projects can be conducted with 3D printing. You can start a 3D printer as a hobby and business. If you start 3D printing as a hobby, you should be interested in that before you buy the 3D printer. If you need to do it really, you should buy that. ” One of my friends need to start 3D printing as a hobby a few months ago, and he bought a 3D printer” Now, it is in the corner of the room with spider nets coverings.

It is money wasting if you do not plan it well, even it is your hobby. Most hobbies are fully saturated with activities.

You can start 3D printing as a business. Business is really interesting, and it can generate profits. So if you need to start 3D printing as a business, you should think about other things also. If you plan a 3D printer for hobby small size (9″x9″x6″) bed is enough. It can print small size models. And then, if you need to start as a business, you will need a more sized one because business should have a good capacity.

Therefore identify the necessity of the 3D printer before you invest in that. It will be a great approach and saving money.

Step 02 – Learn a 3D Modeling Software for 3D Printing

3D printing requires mainly filaments, a 3D printer, and a 3D model. You can design a 3D model yourself. 3D models are designed with 3D modeling software. There are many 3D modeling software available for model making, rendering, and animation. According to tot the shape of the job, you should learn the 3D modeling software.

What 3D models do you need to print? Imagine you need to print mechanical objects you should learn Solidworks, Catia, Fusion 3D, etc. So let’s see each one with related software.

Printing ModelRequired Software
Mechanical partsSolidworks, Catia, Fusion 360. Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD, Keycreator, Solid Edge
Characters/SculptingCinema 4D, 3DS Max, Maya, Z-Brush, Blender
Object and ProductSolidWorks, AutoCAD,
3D modeling software related to 3d printing models

These are the most used 3D modeling software nowadays. You can learn one of this software for the 3D printing process. Else you will have to have support from a 3D designer if there is any modification.

Learning a 3D modeling software will take 2-3 months. You can do daily activities and test with new projects every time. After that, you can create models yourself and 3D print as you wish.

If you are not able to self-study, you can try these courses.

3D Modeling Courses

Course Ratings out of 05 / RatedPrice
Complete Blender Creator4.6/ 46,988$18.99
Learn Z brush4.7/ 2,370 $13.99
3DSMax Animation and Modeling4.1/ 279 $13.99
Designing for 3D printing with Fusion 3604.6/ 5,835 $13.99
Maya 4.6/ 5,223 $13.99
Solid works Complete Course4.7/ 1,673 $13.99
AutoCAD 20184.6/ 18,117 $13.99
Cinema 4D Master Class4.7/ 2,716 $13.99
AutoDesk Inventor 20204.5/ 508 $13.99
Catia V54.4/ 878 $13.99
3D modeling course and its ratings with pricing

These courses are from Udemy.com and paid for affordable pricing. You can find some coursed from LinkedIn.com etc. These are the pioneers’ websites for the online courses. So start today for learning something today for your future.

Read More About – 10 Best 3D Modeling Tips and Tricks: – Grow Fast!

Step 03 – Download 3D Model for 3D Printing

If you are not able to create a 3D model using the 3D modeling software, you can use online websites to download the 3D models for your necessary. Those are mostly paid, and some are free.

The online website provides great service for the 3D modeling supplying. Many designers design the 3D models and then upload them to these websites.

Read More About – Free Download 3D Models.

Before you download the 3D model, make sure whether it is compatible with the slicer software. Some software does not support Silcer software, which is arranged for 3D printing.

Read More About – How to Start 3D Modeling Exterior Design From Scratch?

Step 04 – Learn a Silcer Software for 3D Printing

Slicer software helps to generate the G-Code for the 3D printer. The 3D printer is moving according to the axis of X-Y. The movement is navigated by the coordinate system. The navigation path is included in the G-Code. More than that, there is vertical movements, extruder amount, and many other details that are useful for the 3D printing object.

Many slicer software is available free and paid. You can download any of the below with their websites.

SoftwareSuitable UserOperating System
ChiTuBoxBeginners to ProfessionalsWindows, Mac OS, Linux
CraftWareBeginners, Advanced UsersWindows, Mac, Linux
IceSLAdvanced UsersWindows, Linux
MakerBot PrintBeginnersWindows, Mac
MatterControlBeginners, Advanced UsersWindows, Mac, Linux
OctoPrintIntermediate Users, Advanced UsersRaspberry Pi, Windows, Mac Linux
PrusaSlicerBeginners, Advanced UsersWindows, Mac, Linux
RepetierIntermediate Users, Advanced UsersWindows, Mac, Linux
Slic3rAdvanced Users, Professional UsersWindows, Mac, Linux
SuperSlicerIntermediate Users, Advanced UsersWindows, MacOS, Linux
Tinkerine SuiteBeginnersWindows, Mac
Z-SuiteBeginnersWindows, Mac
ideaMakerBeginners, Advanced UsersWindows, Mac, Linux
PathioBeginners, Advanced UsersWindows, MacOS, Linux
CuraBeginners, Advanced UsersWindows, Mac, Linux
Download slicer software for G-code generation

In my experience, I use Cura, which is a really interesting software for my usage. You can check the complete tutorial here

Step 05 – Learn About 3D Printing Material

Filaments-for-3D-printing

3D printing material is called filaments. Filaments are made with synthetic as well as organic compounds. Only PLA is made with organic compounds. Before you start 3D printing, you should know about the material properties and its characteristics.

There are filaments such as PLA, ABS, Nylon, and many more some are soluble in water, some are used in supporting and some are toxic (ABS, ASA, Nylon) some are biodegradable. Those are the few properties you should know.

All filaments have different painting temperatures. If the filament temperature is high layer will buckle, and if the printing temperature is less, the layer will be under extrusion. So you should know what the exact temperature for each filament is?

Before 3D printing is done, the filaments should adhere to the bed. There are suitable temperatures to be used for the bed adhesion.

Read More About – Is 3D Printing Toxic? Material | Fumes

Have an idea about filaments and their properties

FilamentUsesPrint Temperature (°C)Bed Temperature (°C)
PLAConsumer Products180 – 230No heated bed needed
ABSFunctional Parts210 – 25050 – 100
PETG (XT, N‑Vent)All220 – 235No heated bed needed
NylonAll220 – 26050 – 100
TPEElastic PartsWearables225 – 23540
TPUElastic PartsWearables225 – 235No heated bed needed
WoodHome Decor195 – 220No heated bed needed
HIPSSupport structures when using ABS on a dual extrusion printer.210 – 25050 – 100
PVASupport structures when using PLA or ABS on a dual extrusion printer.180 – 230No heated bed needed
PET All220 – 250No heated bed needed
PLA MetalJewelry195 – 220No heated bed needed
Conductive (usually a graphite-plastic blend)Electronics215 – 230No heated bed needed
PETT Functional Parts235 – 240No heated bed needed
ASAOutdoor240 – 260100 – 120
PPFlexible Components210 – 230120 – 150
Glow in the DarkFun215No heated bed needed
PC-ABSFunctional Parts260 – 280120
Magnetic (PLA blend)Fun195 – 220No heated bed needed
PEIFunctional Parts340 – 380180 – 200
These data have been extracted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing_filament

Step 06 – Learn About 3D Printer Operatoration

After you know everything above, you should know how to operate the 3D printer. You should know bed leveling, troubleshooting, and many other technical things before you start 3D printing.

Else there is any problem; you will not be able to solve it yourself immediately. For the best 3D printing user, you should

  • Be Familiar With 3D Modeling
  • Be a G-Code Profession
  • Check the Bed Level Before Start 3D Printing
  • Check the Bed and Nozzle Gap
  • Select the Right Type Nozzle
  • Check the Status of the Printer
  • Maintain Proper Nozzle Temperature
  • Select the Correct Nozzle Diameter
  • Stop Clogging the Nozzle
  • Stop Nozzle Dragging
  • Reduce Gaps Between Infill and Outline of 3D Printing
  • Prevent Gaps in Top Layers
  • Prevent the not Sticking to the Bed
  • Reduce Gaps with Thin Wall
  • Do not Miss Tiny Details in 3D Printing

If you carefully follow these things, you can produce high-quality 3D models.

Step 07 – Learn About the Post Production After 3D Printing

This is more important for finalizing the model. You should know how to post product the model. There are ways and methods that can use for better 3D printing output.

You can use scissors, sandpapers, drills, acetone, a lighter, and many more. After the post-processing, the shape should not be changed. Therefore do it carefully.

Step 08 – Maintain the 3D Printer After Printing

After you finish the 3D printing process, you should learn to clean the 3D printer because the clogged filaments, adhered filaments to the bed will cause permanent problems. Due to these reasons, you must maintain the 3D printer after the printing process.

Conclusion

When you need to learn 3D printing, you should know about designing, filaments selecting, 3d printer selecting, slicer using, optimize the setting, proper printing process maintenance should be learned. After knowing all these, you can be a professional 3D printer user every time.

Ricky Louis

Hey.. I am Ricky Louis, A professional graphic designer with years of experience in 3D modeling. I would like to share my knowledge with you.

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