3D Printer is a technology that makes a difference when used consciously in all areas from education to hobby, design to production. It is possible to find a lot of information about this technology on websites and social media. Unfortunately, all this information is presented to the user in a scattered manner, which makes it difficult to access the information.
What is a 3D Printer?
A 3D printer is a manufacturing technology that can produce 3D objects using a variety of materials called filaments. Because objects are typically produced layer by layer, this technology is also known as additive manufacturing. You can also get more detailed information by reading our article "What is a 3D Printer". Here are some of the advantages of 3D printers over general production methods:
- The possibility of producing very complex designs
- Easy personalization
- Low fixed costs
- Prototyping speed and ease
- Faster and lower risk product development
- Less waste
However, as with any production method, there are some drawbacks in production with 3D printers:
- Higher cost and time for mass production
- Less material, color and surface treatment
- Lower production accuracy than other methods
3D Printer Technologies
FDM is short for Fused Deposition Modeling – Melt Stack Modeling. In FDM 3D printers, thermoplastic materials (filaments) are heated to a fluid consistency by the printhead (extruder) of the printer. Then, layers are poured into the molten filament printing area to create the model.
Click here to read the differences between the FDM 3D printer and the SLA 3D printer and what applications they should be used in.
SLA is short for Stereolithography Device or stereolithography for short. Like FDM, models are built layer by layer in the SLA 3D printer. However, SLA 3D printers use a photopolymer (typically a liquid resin) that is hardened by applying focused light or UV light. This process is called curing. SLA 3D printers usually build models from top to bottom, the construction platform lifts the model upwards and removes it from the resin bath.
3D Printer Parts
As the use of the 3D printer became more widespread over time, its prices dropped to more reasonable levels. Whether you're going to get a ready-made 3D printer or make your own 3D printer, it's always helpful to know the parts of the device as a user. 3D printers:
- Electronic components
- Mechanical components
we can divide it into three groups of components. Electronic components include control board, stepper motors, stepper drives, mechanical switches and bed heating components. Mechanical components cover all structural and moving parts of the 3D printer; it includes everything from straps to reels, rods and pressure trays. Extruder, on the other hand, consists of cold and hot end, which is responsible for melting the filament material and pouring it into the printing table.
You can read this article to learn more about DIY printers.
3D Printer Filament
A 3D printer filament is the main material that will be used to print parts designed in a computer environment in a 3D printer. The most preferred 3D printer filaments are ABS and PLA. Filaments such as PETG, HIPS, PVA, Nylon are also frequently used by users. There are also filaments that glow in the dark and change color, obtained by mixing different materials with PLA in different proportions.
Filament selection affects many features of the printed part: flexibility, durability under load, visuality (transparency, roughness), temperature range at which it can be used. You can get information about the subject in our article here.
The type of filament selected for 3D printing and the 3D filament printing parameters required to be used for this filament have a huge impact on print quality and print time. When the correct filament is not used, we do not get the desired result from the printed part, but we also strengthen the possibility of clogging the print end of the 3D printer. In this case, our risk of losing time and quality in production will also increase.
3D Printer Usage Areas
Thanks to its advantages, 3D printers are used in primary schools and universities in education, as well as in many fields such as visual design, architecture, automotive, aviation and medicine.
Using 3D Printers in Schools
Touching, designing or producing in the mind are highly effective and critical methods for understanding a subject. A 3D printer is the best way to bring these practical learning methods to classrooms. The contribution of 3D printers to education begins with students becoming passive viewers or listeners. Instead, using 3d printers in education helps students to be at the center of the subject processed in the course and learn about it much more effectively. Many schools now have 3D printers, and students develop their creativity by participating in national and global competitions with their projects. What they learn is not only on paper, but they reinforce it by adding their own thoughts to the subject.
3D Printer Usage in Engineering
The 3D printer attracts the attention of many companies operating in various fields with its production advantages. For example, Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg uses a 3D printer to produce variable turbochargers for its one:1 models. GE Aviation and Safran have developed a method for printing fuel spray tips in 3D for jet engines. This allows them to replace complex designs with a single piece.
Use of 3D Printers in Architecture and Construction
Before meeting the 3D printer, architects had to create scaled models with a laborious and manual process to bring their designs to life. Today, CAD software is used to develop 3D model direct designs quickly and easily. 3D printers began to appear in the construction sector. For example, a Chinese company called WinSun Decoration Design Engineering has already built a home with a 3D printer! Using a 3D printer with a large extrusion chamber, they produced a 1,100-square-foot mansion and a five-story apartment block (Source: WinSun China builds world's first 3D printed villa and tallest 3D printed apartment building)
Which 3D Printer Should I Buy?
Thanks to what you've learned so far, you've gotten off to a pretty good start on the 3D printer. Now you have answers to questions about what is a 3D printer in general, what parts it consists of, what kind of materials you can print and for which areas you can produce. The best way to have in-depth knowledge in an area is to experience it yourself. In order to be experienced in 3D printer, of course, you need to get one and start 3D printing experiments with it. When you start researching to buy a 3D printer, you'll find that there are too many parameters to decide. At this point, we have prepared articles to help you: In the 3D Printer Recommendation article, we examined the types of 3D printers available on the market for beginners, hobby users and professionals. Domestic 3D Printer writing is about 3D printers designed by Turkish engineers with domestic facilities and produced and assembled in Turkey. Cheap 3D Printer writing is more about budget-friendly 3D printers.
3D Printer Settings
You've purchased your 3D printer, it's set up and you can't wait to get 3D printing. Before 3D printing, one last step remains: adjusting the settings for the 3D printer. Thanks to the articles we have prepared on this subject, we think that you will easily adjust the settings not only in the first installation of the 3D printer, but also in daily use.
3D Printer Calibration
With a properly made 3D printer calibration, you make sure that a printed part provides features such as the layer thickness and print quality you're aiming for. You may also need to calibrate during periodic maintenance to maintain the long-term print quality and performance of the 3D printer. Although some printers that you can find on the market can calibrate automatically, this does not apply to most 3D printers. How to Calibrate a 3D Printer? You can find all the information about calibration with our article.
Cura Setup and Settings
Cura is a free slicing softwarefor 3D printers. It takes a 3D model and layers (slices) it to create the file known as "G-Code", which is the code that the 3D printer understands. Cura gives the user the opportunity to make many simple and advanced settings. The Cura Slicing Software Setup and Settings page will help you make these settings in the most accurate way for high 3D print quality, including the installation of Cura. Of course, if you don't want to design your own 3D model, you can also download 3D models produced by others from Thingiverse and other 3D model sites.
How to Do 3D Modeling – Free Model Download
Computer Aided Design software, Computer-aided design (CAD) software in English, allows you to design 3D models on the computer. You can design everything from a screwdriver to a car model. Different programs can be used for designs. For example, SOLIDWORKS, Autodesk Maya, AutoCAD, and CATIA are some of these programs. How to Make a 3D Design? you can find information about this topic on the page.
3D Printer and 3D Printing Problems and Solutions
Experienced users know that there are many things to consider in order to use a 3D printer correctly and efficiently. Many problems such as broken bed calibration, a filament that is stale or crushed during printing, and clogging of the casting tip (nozzle) cause 3D printing not to start or to be printed properly even if it starts. In addition, a wide range of problems are frequent, from internal filling problems to layer problems. We examine the reasons and solutions for all this under the heading 3D Printer Problems.