5 Tips And Tricks
So You Can Create Awesome 3D Prints
1. Get To Know Your 3D Printer. The beginning is always difficult – test out all the different settings, try printing different shapes with different settings so that you start to understand your printer. Here is a great stress test to print out with your 3D printer. A great to learn how a 3D printer works from the inside out is to just build one. The RepRap Community is dedicated to teaching people how to create 3D printers that have the capability of 3D printing themselves. Consider the PrintrBot as another potential DIY 3D Printer.
2. Invest Time & Learn How To Design Your Own Models Right Away. Using 3D design software is a little tricky at first for the beginner, but you will need to be able to design your own models from scratch to realize the potential of your printer. Making other peoples models is fun, but soon enough you’ll want to tweak this, change that, or just start over from scratch with a better idea. TinkerCAD is a wonderful free & fun resource to learn how to 3D model. Blender is a great alternative for those who may already have CAD experience.
3. Join online 3D Print communities to learn from others. Engage with those who are experienced in what you wish to create. This will save you a lot of time and will color your 3D printing journey. There are many great 3D printing specific forums. We recommend 3D Hubs Talk or 3D Print Board. We have a 3D Masterminds LinkedIn Group as well.
4. The 45° Rule. This angle is a rule of thumb as your settings (temperature, speed, materials, print volume…) will affect this. It can be applied when designing for FDM printing in order to cancel out the need for support and therefore greatly improving surface finish.
5. Explore the world of exotic filament. Things have changed a lot in the 3D printing world. We were once limited to just PLA and ABS, but over the past year many new filament manufacturers have emerged. They’re developing new materials as well as blending existing ones with all kinds of non-plastic particles. We encourage you to always experiment and test assumptions old and new alike.
For more exciting resources on 3D printing including 3D modeling software, printing services and our favorite 3D printers check out our Resources Page.
“The true method of knowledge is experiment.” – William Blake