Are you going to get started with a 3D printing business/startup?
Don’t you have any idea about 3D printing technology and are currently looking here for perfect help?
If yes, be ready to jump into the world of 3D printing services with this wonderful guide. We are here going to provide you with an absolute 3D printing guide that will make it easier for you to get absolute 3D prints at an easier end.
The word ‘3D Printing’ is itself quite easy, but the world it includes is quite huge. 3D technology is a magical technology that holds on to the capability of replicating complex objects in a figure. If you search the marketplace, you can simply find a huge range of 3D printing technologies in the marketplace.
The guide will provide you with a detailed explanation about one of the most popular and best 3D printing materials options and that is FDM printing and we will also discuss the perfect way to get started with it.
What is FDM Printing?
FDM is an acronym being used for Fused Deposition Modeling. It is a kind of 3D technology that helps users in printing 3D parts with the help of thermoplastic filaments. The thermoplastic filaments are a kind of cords that are first melted, selectively deposited, and then further cooled down to get a specific project. Different parts of the 3D files are usually being created here by adding different layers to each other.
FDM Printing is a perfect way for prototyping the different parts perfectly and that is the same reason why this kind of 3D printing has gained huge popularity in the last few years. It is a potent manufacturing solution that is currently being used in a wide range of applications.
How to start with 3D Printing?
If you just have landed in the market and are getting confused about how to get started with the 3D printing industry, just keep on following the detailed guide very carefully so that you get a perfect idea.
Select the best 3D Printer for beginners
Not each of the 3D printers available in the marketplace is perfect for beginners. So, it becomes quite important for a person to make the selection very carefully. Before heading towards the marketplace, just create the list of features you are willing to have in your 3D printer and then also have a look at your budget. Go through the marketplace thoroughly and then choose the best option everyone can handle quite easily.
Premium versions of the 3D printers can provide you absolute high end but the level of complexity these 3D printers usually include can easily confuse you anytime. The best thing is you really don’t need to be a 3D printing expert for handling the same.
Know about the different parts of a 3D printer in detail
There are some main components of the 3D printer that you need to know in detail before heading towards its functionality. These components are usually known as Build platforms are usually being heated up during the 3D printing process to help with the adhesion of a part.
The extruder is one of the main components of the FDM printer, which is responsible for melting it and then gradually depositing the filament on a platform so that to build up a digital model perfectly.
The Extruder includes two different subcomponents i.e. hot end and the cold end. Where the hot end of the extruder includes a heater and nozzle that deposit the molten filament, the cold end of the extruder includes components like drive gears, motor, and other small components that work collectively for pushing up the filament towards the hot end. A heatsink and a fan are also there between the hot end and the cold end that help in maintaining the temperature on the cold end so as to avoid the chances of jamming. Moreover, the heatsink and the fan also cool down the molten filament and help in creating the final product.
Print Head is another most important part of the FDM printer that includes one or more extruders along with a printhead and tube.
Control Interface is another most important part of the FDM printer that includes a touch screen that provides absolute control over the 3D printer. The majority of the higher versions of the FDM printer include the SD card slots and USB ports as well.
How does a 3D Printer work?
The next thing you need to look out for in the league is how a 3D printer works. Do you know the easiest way to understand an FDM printer?
Start learning about the different parts. The conventional FDM printers usually perform movements on three axes i.e. X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis. The X and Y-axis movements cause the left, right, forward, and backward movements of the physical objects of the 3D printer whereas the movements along the Z-axis usually cause the vertical movements.
The actual processing of the 3D printer gets started with the input of the 3D object file to the printer. Whenever a print common is being initiated to the 3D printer, the nozzle starts getting heated up. Once after reaching a certain temperature, the filament starts heating up. The extruder then starts pulling up the filament into the hot end and starts preparing for the deposition. It is absolute timing, your printer is ready for 3D printing. The print head gets lowered down to build the platform and then starts depositing the molten filaments. The molten filaments cool down quickly once after exiting from the nozzle with the help of a cooling fan. different layers of the molten filaments are being added to each other to create a perfect 3D print.
Acquire and design 3D Models
If you are planning to get a 3D print of some object, you need to have an actual 3D model of that part. You have to design software before heading towards the final object layer. The 3D prints are usually computer-aided designs that are usually processed with the help of dedicated 3D modeling software. It is not so hard to find absolute 3D modeling software for your project. The market is filled with a wide range of options where each one has its specifications and capabilities.
It would be unfair if we ask a beginner to work on high-end professional software. Working on this 3D modeling software requires some skills that a beginner will surely not have. For avoiding such situations to happen, developers also have developed some simpler CAD software options that include a simple program and can be easily accessed by everyone and that too without having any prior experience.
As 3D printing has gained huge popularity over the last few years, the number of sites that provide support to 3D models has also increased to a greater extent. These sites serve as the repositories for the 3D models and make it easier for the 3D printing enthusiasts to go hand in hand without having any modeling skills.
Prepare 3D Models
Advancing technology has made it quite easier for users to create and work on 3D models. One can easily create an absolute 3D model with the help of a special kind of software. This design software is usually designed in such a way that they translate the model into the machine instructions perfectly. The software being involved is known as slicing software or slicers. The created 3D models are being imported into the slicer that slices down the 3D model virtually into the different layers.
Each layer thus produced includes a G-code that includes a list of instructions that one has to follow up while creating an absolute 3D print. The slices or layers of the 3D model include different parameters such as speed, temperature, infill percentage, layer height, wall thickness, etc. that are utmost required for the production of absolute 3D print.
Once the slicer has cut down the 3D model into the different layers, it then generates the support material for working efficiently with the parts with severe hangouts. The slicing software offers users the opportunity of selecting the portion layer by layer where they are willing to add support and the density of the final 3D print they are willing to have on.
Prepare the Printer
The next thing you have to do in this additive manufacturing process is to prepare the printer for the final 3D prints. One can’t get started with 3D printing immediately. The process of printer preparation depends upon the two different things. First, you have to load up the filaments. Just make sure that the extruder of your 3D printer is ready for extruding the filaments before printing and if it is ok you can then load the filament into the heated extruder.
Once done next you have to check on the bed leveling here. The printer deposits the molten filament and builds on an object successfully. This object is usually a build platform that needs to be leveled perfectly before starting the 3D printing process. One can easily set the leaving process either to be manual or automatic as per your machine and preferences. While leveling up the bed, just make sure that the layer won’t get stuck to it so that you could extract absolute 3D prints without any issues.
No 3D printer can provide you absolute 3D prints, without using filaments. As we are talking about the FDM 3D printing here, we should be well aware of the fact that the FDM printers require spools of filaments for building different parts. Most of the FDM printers use thermoplastics for creating absolute 3D prints. The thermoplastics are being engineered in such a way that they get melted upon heating and then get cooled down with temperature. The best thing about the thermoplastics is that they maintain their structural integrity throughout the process and hence the 3D prints being created through it are quite stable and durable.
The filaments available in the market usually come in two diameters and different sizes options. So, be careful while making the selection for your 3D printing. Just go through your preferences and have a check on the requirement of your future 3D print as well before making the final selection. Do you know what is the best thing about the FDM printers?
They do come up with a wide range of filament options. FDM printers are being designed in such a way that they can be effortlessly used with different types of filaments efficiently. You can easily choose one of the most common filaments such as PLA, ABS, and PETG for taking the 3D prints or can also use filaments like Nylon, Polycarbonate, PVA, and HIPS for taking preferable 3D prints as well. Moreover, the filaments available for FDM printing are also quite cheaper than that of others and that makes access even much easier.
Post-processing is the last segment of the 3D printing where the 3D prints are being processed to make them more presentable, and durable. The process includes different things like removal of support, sanding, painting, polishing, smoothing, welding, or gluing. It is one of the most important parts of any 3D printing process that helps in improving the overall looks and quality of the final 3D prints.
Common Issues during 3D Printing
If you are going to get started with 3D printing, it gets quite important for you to get aware of the most common issues that you can face during the 3D printing process. The most common among all is:
Nozzle Jam or Clogging
Nozzle jams and clogging are one of the most common and irritating issues that affect the overall quality of the final 3D prints. These issues generally arise due to poor temperature regulation and filament types.
It is also one of the other major issues one faces during the 3D prints that occur due to the difference in temperature during the fabrication process.
Stringing is also a result of the difference between the temperature. Moreover, these issues can also arise due to some filament options and retraction settings.
Layer shifting is usually caused by the wobbling in the Z-axis. Moreover, the excessive speed of your 3D printer can also lead you up to this annoying issue.
As the name is describing it well, the issue generally arises due to the over extrusion of filaments which further lead to layer drooping.
The issue arises when the 3D printer fails to extrude enough filament. The issue generally causes the formation of gaps between the layers that don’t look great on the final 3D print.
Things to keep in mind
If you are willing to have absolute 3D prints, one should need to take care of very few things such as:
- Keep on cleaning the 3D printer bed with a cotton wipe after each printing
- Make sure to clean the nozzle after taking a 3D print so that it stays safe from future troubles.
- Bit drooling before starting may leave a strand of filament on the build chamber, so it is always advisable for the 3D printer enthusiast to stray the filament collection before taking the final 3D print.
- It is always advisable to store the filaments safely away from moisture.
So, guys! I hope you all have resolved all of your queries relating to how to start 3D printing now. 3D printing is an art that can help you in understanding the different concepts perfectly and that too without making many efforts. We have tried to add on the different aspects of 3D printing here along with an absolute guide to getting started so that you can easily get to know about and work on it effortlessly. Before starting up the 3D printer, just prepare your mindset, get the absolute tools in hand, collect the required information perfectly and then start working on it.
Working on any project has never so been easy. The chances are quite high that you may face some issues during the working process. If you have some, just calm down and try to find out the main cause of the same, but if you can don’t hesitate to get professional help.