The mass market considering 3D printers good for any task/creation.There’s prediction that the 3D printer will widespread in every industry and house! regarding the low cost of some 3D printers ,some optimistics predict that it will be a piece of cake of everybody to create items with 3D printer!is it true? !
The 3D printing or the additive manufacturing isn’t a piece of cake matter ,It’s a hard work, you can’t just design a model and send it to 3D printer ! it’s a complicated operation! that requires lot of time, passion and concentration.There are principal phases and tools you have to learn about, and important decisions that you have to make!
How to built the geometrical model ? there are two pricipal methodes:
- Design your models by CAD tools ( Computer Aided Design) in this case you have to learn about CAD tools in order to design the geometrical model, there are differents tools of modelling , some of them are free ( see three free tools)
- Get the geometrical model of a physical product by using geometric reverse engineering techniques
After having your model by either designing 3D model or scanning a physical product , you have to transfer this file to the 3D printer , you have to be aware of the interoperbility issue as I mentioned above there many CAD tools, so there are many geomtric file types.
according to (Robert R. Robert R. Lipman , Jeremy S.McFarlane , Exploring Model Model -Based Engineering Concepts for Additive) here are some file formats:
- STL: unstructed triangles defined by vertices, normal vectors
- AMF:Mesh defined by list of vertices and triangles indexed to the vertices, normal and edge vectors, curved triangles, recursive subdivision
- 3MF:Mesh defined by list of vertices and triangles indexed to the vertices
- STEP: Mesh defined by list of vertices and triangles indexed to the vertices, normal vectors, groups of triangles, edges, multiple tessellations, association with exact geometry and tolerances
Wich material to use?
How to choose the best material for your product? Should you use PLA because it’s cheap? PETG because it’s a reasonable compromise? or should you use Nylon because because of it strength?
Also you have to consider whether you should use a composite or a single material.
There are a lot of parameters you have to consider:
- temperature of the hotend and the bed
- which supports to use
- How to remove the supports without damaging the product quality
- the bed level
- The part orientation in the printing bed
- The infill percentage
You can build the model via two method : design via CAD toos or model aquisition via reverse engineering thechniques
The 3D printing or additive manufacturing allows to create item in small quantites while manufactureres prefer not to do as it not so profitable for them , such as prosthetics.
However, items made using the 3D printing or additive manufacturing might not have the long-term integrity of items made from traditional molding, and ceramics.