Ever wondered what it would be like to be able to design a part on your computer, click a button and the part is there right in front of you? “Amazing you say, but let’s get back to the real world.” Well, it is amazing and yes you can do it, but maybe not by just clicking a button.
You need a 3D printer. And you can now make one at home if you are a little bit handy and have got patience and don’t mind stumbling over a few hurdles now and then.
The kind of 3D printer that I am thinking of uses plastic as “ink”. Most printers use 3mm diameter plastic (like a long spagetti string), but there are some using 1.75mm diameter as well. You can swap between the sizes but you need to have the correct extruder and nozzle (printerhead) to suit. You also need to have your firmware/software setup correctly as well. The plastic comes in many colours and types. Some use ABS and others use PLA. PLA is a more “healthy” option as it is made from starch and is biodegradable. ABS is “real” plastic (like Lego blocks).
The printer feeds the plastic (filament of ABS or PLA), into the “printer-head”, melts it and spits it out as a very small string. It builds the parts by printing over and over again in layers as it builds the part higher and higher. Fascinating to watch, and to be honest, quite amazing.
There are many 3D printer designs and there are many ways of making one. Some are quite sophisticated, but in a nutshell you need to be able to move a nozzle (printerhead) in x, y and z axis (directions).
Hope you find some interesting or maybe useful information here on my pages.
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