Is 3D printing hard is a key question for those who want to work in this art making but never had experienced it before. 3D printing requires a simple process. 3D printer manufacturer provides an easy set-up for beginners so they can perform it from beginning to end easily.
How to Define 3D Printing?
3D printing refers to an art-making process of transferring digital files into 3-dimensional solid objects. This technology in art making process has existed for over 30 years but today it is more popular. Is 3D printing hard or not is a big concern for those who want to work in this industry.
Beginners usually find 3D printing considerably hard, especially if they do not know the right way to do it. You need to master skills like math, creativity, and working with software called CAD or computer-aided design. It can be easier if you learn and master the skills and required hardware and software.
3D printing seems to be complex art to do at the beginning but as soon as you learn the needed technology and understand its limitations, it will help you in the work.
Why is 3D Printing So Hard?
3D looks complex because it tries combining the process of creating and constructing a physical object from the beginning to the end. You design using CAD software before turning it into a printed product. The process is a combination of math, creativity, and engineering skills.
There is no standard for using CAD software so it will take time to use it even if you create a simple object. Perhaps, it is why people keep wondering whether is 3D printing hard. Each company has different programs to use and work with this software.
Making 3D printing goes beyond CAD software because there are many considerations to designing the product. It includes determining material thicknesses, choosing suitable material, and selecting the build area. Moreover, you should consider the object size and build volume for a single printing task.
7 Basic Things about 3D Printing
When you are still a beginner in 3D printing, there are several basics that you need to know. These will help you understand more about the process of this art-making so you can eliminate is 3D printing hard from your mind and work properly to create it.
The invention of 3D printing
3D has been around since 1981 when Dr. Hideo Kodama invented the first 3D printer prototype machine. It could create parts of objects from layer to layer with a resin and go through polymerization by UV light.
Around 1984, Chuck Hull invented a system, namely stereolithography to create 3D models by curing resin layers. The 3D printer has become popular since then and is used in various industries such as art making to scientific research. Even today, this art-creating technology has increased in popularity.
The required software
The software required in this art-making process is one of the reasons that make people think is 3D printing hard to perform. You will use CAD software to construct and manipulate 3D models. This software helps designers create imaginary objects never seen before, from simple to complex models.
CAD software offers designers complete freedom to create their projects because it is customizable. It features online Fusion 360 that allows users to share their designs using a cloud so other people can participate and give some improvement to the original one.
It is tricky to choose the program at first because there are many available CAD software options. You can find many basics to advanced programs to create complex structures. However, you can try several programs like Tinkercad and SketchUp when starting 3D printing.
The required hardware
Another thing that contributes to is 3D printing hard thought is that you need to work with hardware. You require computer hardware to move the digital model into the 3D printer. Most current models of Windows and Mac support CAD software.
Several alternatives are available if you still use older programs and want to improve them to meet your specific design needs. An excellent graphics card is essential when designing with an Apple computer because it supports basic tasks like editing photos and providing built-in graphics.
Moreover, GPU or graphics processing unit helps you to work with more complex design tasks. You may wonder if is 3D printing hard if you work with incompatible hardware. Hence, using quad-core processors is necessary to perform the designing activities faster and use time efficiently.
Now, you even can find computer hardware for Android phones. It gives you the flexibility to create a 3D printing design.
The needed skills
You should master essential skills like CAD, math, creativity, and engineering to create the best 3D printing results. As you master those skills, you will never think is 3D printing hard. CAD software is easy-to-use and has a user-friendly interface yet you need time to learn to operate it.
You can try other ways to design and experiment until you understand how those designing programs work. Unlike CAD, 3D printers are less intuitive and have simple interfaces. However, they come with complex inner workings which are tricky to troubleshoot.
Mastering basic mechanical engineering skills helps you to diagnose printer problems and work with them more effectively.
The products made by 3D printers
Is 3D printing hard or not depending on what kinds of products you would like to create? People have used 3D printers to make anything from jewelry to medical devices. You also can design foods using this 3D printer like chocolates, candies, and marshmallows.
However, you need to be aware of legal restrictions when using a 3D printer because there are some objects you cannot print with this technology. Explosive devices, patented objects, and weapons belong to prohibited objects. You will get law enforcement if you cross the line.
The advantages of 3D printing
Although many people think is 3D printing hard at the beginning, you can discover many practical applications as you master the making process. You can use this technology to repair machinery and test new products before launching. You also can create training models for health and medical professionals.
Working with 3D printing can help save more lives. Besides, it can save money because it allows designers to test new products like aerodynamic helmets and shoe soles before the company sells them in the market.
The limitations of 3D printing
3D printing’s popularity encourages a significant change in manufacturing and even improves people’s lives.
While it brings many advantages to various industries and daily life, you should know some limitations regarding this art-making before you jump into this work. Therefore, it helps you to rethink whether is 3D printing hard.
The limited printing volume
Some 3D printers can create objects as big as basketball size. Meanwhile, most printers print smaller sizes for convenience.
Each 3D printer has a different ability and printing volume so you need to use a suitable model to support your printing needs. It is because you not always possible to scan any object and print it into your preferred size.
High price materials
Materials affect the printing results significantly. People often think is 3D printing hard because they cannot find suitable materials for the printing process. You can find various plastic types available in the market. Each of them comes with unique properties and has a different use.
The plastic materials can be pricey if you do not have top-notch 3D printer models. Thus, before working with 3D printing, you should consider the compatibility of the printers and the types of materials used. It will affect how much money you can save from the process.
Working with a 3D printer does not mean you will always experience a fast and smooth process of making printed objects. There is a possibility of a 3D printer fails to create the projects during its working hours. It can be a problem you must face because it makes the process longer and income loss.
During the downtime, you will lose money or a crucial presentation to introduce your products. You cannot work optimally to design the object which leads to delay. You may lose the opportunity to work with potential clients interested in your product designs.
A long process
The process is another factor that makes people think is 3D printing hard. The making process may take longer than you had expected. When you have known and learned about CAD software, it seems simple to use on the screen. However, it takes time to construct the layers.
Hence, do not be surprised if any objects that usually only take about 30 minutes to produce on FDM printers will require a few hours or days to finish with other printer models. This condition usually happens when you use advanced techniques like DLP printing in making 3D objects.
Hidden truths of 3D printing
You need to update the information about 3D printing because still many unknowns about this process. Along with the development materials and new technologies, you should be aware of hidden costs regarding the repair or maintenance of the 3D printer you use for work.
3D printers are more complex in terms of components and works. Hence, it can be hard to identify which parts need repairs when any issue or damage happens to the printer. Never hesitate to ask for help from the experts if you do not know how to fix or troubleshoot it.
Many people think is 3D printing hard because this process requires you to work successfully from start to finish. Mastering the skills related to this process like math, creativity, engineering, and using CAD will help you to complete the project. Remember to understand the limitations and have proper planning too.