3D Printing

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a revolutionary new way of creating plastic objects without the need for expensive production methods. An object can go straight from design to solid reality in a short space of time allowing for rapid prototyping.

3D object being designed in CAD
3D object printed out

How Does it Work?

3D Printing is an additive manufacturing process where an object is created by building it layer-by-layer. Starting at the bottom and building upwards. Plastic is heated, typically to over 200°C, and is extruded out of a very small hole in a nozzle which is typically about 0.4mm in diameter.

The Extruder of a Makerbot Replicator 2 in Action

In this section I will try to share my own experience with a 3D printer and also tips on how to design and print models in the most efficient way.

STL Tools

ImageToStl.com - Convert 2D images to 3D STL models

An easy to use tool to create 3D printable STL models from simple 2D image files.

ConvertStl.com - Convert OBJ, 3DS, X3D and VRML files to STL models

If you have 3D model files that you wish to convert to STL files then this is the tool you need to convert your files ready for 3D printing.

 

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