Friday, November 29, 2013

3D Printing Tips: Ways to Help Give You Better Results on Your First Print

If you're new to 3D printing, you may need a few 3D printing tips to make that first print turn out perfect. As amazing as 3D printers are, glitches in the end results can sometimes happen if you aren't using the printer equipment correctly. In those rare cases, an object you're trying to print could end up buckling and turning into an amorphous blob of layers stuck together.
Here's some things you should be aware of when buying any price-ranged 3D printer and while you're waiting during the printing process.

Save a Block of Time
3D Printing is not for the impatient. Put aside a large portion of your day aside to experiment with your 3D printer. Depending on the 3D model you are printing, even the smallest projects can take 3-4 hours to print. Your first 3D Print is unlikely to be a masterpiece right out of the gate. Inevitably some modifications and adjustments will need to be made. Start very small and simple, and download a digital file from free sites like Thingiverse for your first attempt. Hours often pass like minutes, so it's best to not be too ambitious for your first experiment. As the technology evolves, printers will inevitably become faster and more efficient in the future. For now, be patient and be prepared to spend some time learning about this new and exciting technology. CAUTION, once you have successfully printed your first masterpiece, you might just become addicted to 3D printing.


Objects Lifting Off the Platform
3D Printing Mishaps
If you are just diving into 3D printing, you've probably figured out that it requires a certain amount of experimentation and tinkering before you can start printing that adorable 3D minion or cell phone holder. If your machine is not calibrated properly, your 3D objects are not going to come out as anticipated. If your extruder is too far away, your object will start to lift off the platform. The distance between the extruder and the platform, is often no thicker than a sheet of paper (varies by model). If you see your object or raft starting to lift, save the time and hassle, stop your print, and re-adjust your calibration.

Parts of the Object Can Cool too Fast
The cooling of some of the early material layers in a print can sometimes end up deforming that part of the object while printing. One way to help solve this problem is to adjust the temperature of the heating bed, says 3ders.org. When printing larger objects requiring more time, sometimes turning the heating bed off briefly and then on again for the final layers can help keep a more consistent temperature. This helps the object stay heated for proper melting so the object's 3D form is consistent.
Also be aware of your room temperature when printing. Any cool air that suddenly comes in can end up cooling your 3D object too fast and create the same problems as above.

Slice Thickness
You may be printing an object with layers that are a little too thick for your printer to handle. This is going to vary depending on what model of printer you use and the features. Overall, though, you should try reducing the slice thickness of your object as a precaution in avoiding glitches. The printing software you use sets up the object's dimensions by displaying what the object should look like.

Glitches in the Software
What software you use above can also make a difference in your 3D printing results. Sometimes a request for a specific thickness to each slice isn't adhered to if you have a software that isn't working correctly. Be sure to buy or download the best 3D software you can find on the market. In some cases, you can download 3D design software for free, like Google SketchUp. For commercial printing purposes, the line of AutoCAD 3D printing software is top of the line and helps you refine your concepts as well as being able to share your designs with other clients.

These tips are some of the most common, though other things can potentially happen. If you need more information, be sure to keep reading us here at Mwave3D for more tips in the future. Contact us if you have any comments or requests on anything related to 3D printing or scanning. We're here to be the most comprehensive 3D scanning and printing source you'll find on the net.

2 comments:

  1. Is there a way to take pictures or video of an object and transform that into a digital copy that can be reproduced?

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  2. At this point the technology is very young, the best that consumers have available at this point are 3D Scanners. Makerbot has one available right now that you can check out: http://www.mwave3d.com/SKUSearch.asp?scriteria=BE80280

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