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Basic guide to get started....










3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.

The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.

3D printing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out / hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with for instance a milling machine.

3D printing enables you to produce complex (functional) shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.

How Does 3D Printing Work?

It all starts with the creation of a 3D model in your computer. This digital design is for instance a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file. A 3D model is either created from the ground up with 3D modelling software or based on data generated with a

3D scanner. With a 3D scanner you’re able to create a digital copy of an object.

Learn How to 3D Print – Where to Start?

Getting started with 3D printing means asking yourself what you would like to learn first. Are you interested in the hardware, or do you want to focus on the end result – creating objects? Answering this question could lead you to the decision if whether you should buy a pre-assembled 3D Printer or a DIY 3D Printer kit. Read more in our ‘3D Printers for Beginners buyers’ guide.

Examples & Applications of 3D Printing

Applications include rapid prototyping, architectural scale models & maquettes, 3D printed prosthetics and movie props.

Other examples of 3D printing would include reconstructing fossils in palaeontology, replicating ancient artefacts in archaeology, reconstructing bones and body parts in forensic pathology and reconstructing heavily damaged evidence acquired from crime scene investigations.


Educators and students have long been using 3D printers in the classroom. 3D printing enables students to materialize their ideas in a fast and affordable way.


Here Are The Steps Involved in 3D Printing:

#1 CAD File Development

In order to produce a 3D object you first have to have its virtual design. This is to be done using the Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. Through this the exact dimensions of the objects considered and simulated to see how the object will behave under various conditions.

#2 CAD File Conversions

Once the CAD file is developed, the next thing one has to consider is converting it into specific file formats. The file formats are specified based on the technology of printing being employed by that particular 3D printer. For instance, the CAD file has to be converted into a STL (standard tessellation language) if the printer is based on the stereo lithography technique.

#3 STL File Manipulation

Now that the STL format file is ready with you, all your computer now needs is a 3D printer which can print using the stereo lithography technique. But before this, users will have to set the orientation and size of the object to be printed. This is similar to the case of a 2D printer.

#4 Preparing the Printer

Now that everything about the digital file is ready, you need to make sure the 3D printer is ready as well. This means installing properly the polymers, binders and other material which are necessary to perform a print operation. Once all such requirements are met, you are almost ready to print.

#5 The Building Up

Once the process has started, it is now all about patience. These printers aren’t as faster as the 2D printers. Based on the complexity of the object to be printed, the span of printing varies. Simply all that one has to do is wait and perform random checks to make sure everything is being done flawlessly.

Since the entire construction of the object is in form of very thin layers, it definitely is going to take some time.

#6 Post Processing Stuff

Once the entire process is done and the object is ready, make sure you handle it carefully. Any actions in haste could prove to be costly. So right from putting on some gloves to bring the object out of the printer to brushing off any residual powder, everything is to be handled carefully.

And that’s it! If your CAD file is perfect and the post processing part is well executed, then you’ll have it; your first 3D printed object.


Fused Deposition modelling (FDM)

FDM 3d printer

FDM is the most common 3D printing method used in desktop 3D printing. Thermoplastic filament is heated and extruded through an extrusion head that deposits the molten plastic in X and Y coordinates, while the build table lowers the object layer by layer in the Z direction.

Effectively, the object is built from the bottom up. If an object has overhanging parts, however, it will need support structures that can be removed after the printing is finished.

This type of 3D printer is a cost-effective means for product development and rapid prototyping in small business and education sectors since it’s capable of fabricating robust parts reliably and quickly.

Stereolithography (SLA)

SLA 3d printer

SLA has the distinction of being the oldest among the types of 3d printers, first invented by Chuck Hull in 1983.

SLA works by exposing a layer of photosensitive liquid resin to a UV-laser beam so that the resin hardens and becomes solid. Once the laser has swept a layer of resin in the desired pattern and it begins to harden, the model-building platform in the liquid tank of the printer steps down the thickness of a single layer, and the laser begins to form the next layer. Each layer is built on top of the preceding one.

Like the FDM 3D printer technology, objects with overhangs 3D printed with this type of 3D printer will require support structures. And after printing has completed, the object must be rinsed with a solvent. Sometimes it’s also baked in a UV oven to finish processing.

SLA is one of the types of 3D printers which creates smooth surfaced objects with extreme detail, and it’s increasingly popular in industries like jewellery and cosmetic dentistry for creating castable molds.

Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) could be the next big thing in SLA 3D printing. This 3D printing technology also uses resin and an ultraviolet beam. The difference lies in an oxygen-permeable membrane that lies below the resin, which makes the process much faster. The inventors claim they can create objects up to 100 times faster. The first CLIP 3D printers already are in a test phase.

Digital Light Processing (DLP)

It uses projector.

Digital Light Processing (DLP) and Stereolithography have a lot in common. Both types of 3D printers use liquid photopolymers. You might have heard of these “resins”. DLP and SLA printers cure them by applying light to it. SLA does that with a laser, DLP with a special projector.

DLP technology was invented in 1987 by Larry Hornbeck of Texas Instrument and became extremely popular in projectors. DLP uses a computer-controlled, micro-mirror grid, laid out on a semiconductor chip. These tiny mirrors tilt back and forth. When a mirror is tilted, it reflects light, creating a bright pixel. When the mirror is tilted the other way, the pixel is dark. The technology is used in movie projectors, cell phones, and also for 3D printing. One of the benefits for 3D printing is its speed: You can print layers in an instant with this type of 3D printer.

DLP 3D printers are mainly used in professional environments. This type of 3D printer delivers robust pieces with excellent resolution. But also makers and hobbyists are building their own 3D printers with it. They use used beamers or even smartphones to cure the resin.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

SLS is similar to SLA, but the key difference is that this type of 3D printer uses powdered material in the build area instead of liquid resin. A laser is used to selectively sinter a layer of granules, which binds the material together to create a solid structure. When the object is fully formed, it’s left to cool in the machine before being removed.

SLS is one of the types of 3d printers widely used for product development and rapid prototyping in a wide range of commercial industries, and also for limited-run manufacturing of end-use parts. The materials used in SLS can range from nylon, glass, and ceramics to aluminium, silver, and even steel.

This type of 3D printer requires the use of expensive high-powered lasers, however, which puts it a bit beyond the reach of the average consumer — with the exception of professional 3D printing services like Shapeways, Sculpteo, and i.materialise.

SLM (Selective Laser Melting)

SLM is sometimes regarded as a subcategory of the SLS 3D printer type, where SLM uses a high-powered laser beam to fully melt metallic powders into solid three-dimensional parts.

Typical materials used are stainless steel, aluminium, titanium, and cobalt chrome. For applications in the aerospace or medical orthopaedics industry, SLM is used to create parts with complex geometries and thin-walled structures, with hidden channels or voids. Elsewhere, as in the video above, it’s been used to fabricate gas turbines for the energy industry.

Electron Beam Melting (EBM)

Product image

In contrast to SLM, the EBM technique uses a computer-controlled electron beam under high vacuum to fully melt the metallic powder at high temperatures up to 1000 °C.

This type of 3D printer can use metals like pure titanium, Inconel718, and Inconel625 to fabricate aerospace parts and medical implants. But while the 3D printer technology is exciting, it’s currently very slow and very expensive.

Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)

LOM uses layers of adhesive-coated paper, plastic or metal laminates, which are fused under heat and pressure and shaped by cutting with a computer controlled laser or knife. This is sometimes followed by machining and drilling. The 3D object is created layer-by-layer, and after the excess material is cut away, the object can be sanded or sealed with paint.

Though the dimensional accuracy of this 3D printer type is slightly less than other types of 3D printers such as SLA or SLS, LOM is one of the most affordable and fastest 3D printing methods available to create relatively large parts. It also allows for full-colour 3D printed objects.

Binder Jetting (BJ)

This type of 3D printing was invented at MIT. The 3D printing technology comes in many names. It’s known as “powder bed printing”, “inkjet 3D printing”, “drop-on-powder printing” or – probably most common – as “binder jetting”.

Binder Jetting is an additive manufacturing process. This type of 3D printer uses two materials: a powder based (often gypsum) material and a bonding agent. The agent acts as an adhesive between powder layers. Usually, the binder is extruded in liquid form from a printhead – just think of a regular inkjet 2D printer. After a layer is finished, the build plate is lowered and the process repeated. 

You can use this 3D printing technology with ceramic, metal, sand or plastic materials.

Binder Jetting 3D printers have a huge advantage over the other types of 3D printers. You can print in full-colour by adding pigments to the binder (usually cyan, magenta, yellow, and black and white). This made it the preferred method for the popular 3D selfies. The drawback of this 3D printing method is the structural integrity of the objects. You won’t get high-resolution and rugged prints with this type of 3D printer technology – but there are some exceptions.

There’s also advancement in this type of 3D printing technology. In 2016, Hewlett-Packard introduced “Multijet Fusion” (MJF), which wants to bring Binder Jetting to the next level-First, a layer of 3D printable material is deployed by a carriage. A second carriage with a thermal inkjet array passes from right-to-left, depositing a pair of chemical agents across the full working area. One is a fusing agent, to create a solid layer from the material, and the other is a detailing agent, to determine the physical outline of the layer being created. Finally, energy is applied to catalyse the fusing agent, and the powder imbued with the detailing agent remains inert.

Potential applications for this type of 3D printer are for rapid prototyping and short-run manufacturing in the automotive, medical and aerospace industries. However, the full extent of MJF capabilities is yet to be established, with newer fusing agents promising to offer different properties like full colour, conductivity, strength, and thermal reactivity.

Material Jetting (MJ) / Wax Casting

The Material Jetting technology is better known as “wax casting”. There‘s no inventor per se – it’s a technique used by jewellers since centuries. Lost wax casting (or investment casting) is a production process that mainly allows you to produce customizable jewellery of very high quality in various metals. But with 3D printing, there’s finally a process to automate wax casting – and for most jewellers, that’ quite something.

So it has become the dominant type of 3D printing technology if you’re a jeweller or want to experiment with casts. 

There are a handful of professional wax 3D printers on the market, like the “Wax Jet” from Stratasys. If you want to experiment with this 3D printing technology, you don’t have to buy a printer. There are 3D printing services like Shapeways or Sculpteo which use Material Jetting or Multijet modelling (MJM) machines for this task.

Molten wax is deposited onto an aluminium build platform in layers using several nozzles that sweep across the build area. As the heated material jets onto the build plate, it solidifies. A different type of wax with a lower melting temperature is deposited below overhangs in your product, acting as a support material. When printing is finished, they are put in a heated bath that melts away support material. 

Castable wax is very fragile and should be handled carefully. It will begin softening around 60C or 140F and melts at 80C or 176F. It can slowly deform and weaken over time, so better be fast.

If you want to experiment with wax casting on a regular FDM printer, you should give the Moldlay filament a try.


Types are:-

1. Sintered powdered metal

Used for “printing” injection molds and sacrificial fixtures that accelerate the design process for traditional manufacturing methods like injection moulding, casting, and lay-up. “One of the cooler applications is for carbon fibre lay-up,” Darley says. “You print the lattice and lay out the carbon fibre [around the mould]. Then you put it in a bath, and the support material melts away.”

2. Metals, such as stainless, bronze, steel, gold, nickel steel, aluminium, and titanium

These are printed directly by binding metal dust and firing it to become a hard part. This process can replace casting and post-processing and turn material directly into a functional metal part that can be electro polished or machined to finish the items. Prototyping is the best example of this application, but it is also being used for medical devices, jewellery and other custom items, according to Darley.

3. Carbon fibre and other composites

A 3D machine first prints a plastic, like ABS, and then prints carbon fibres on top. “This is a more cost-effective and quicker way to print something as strong as or stronger than metal,” Darley says. “If it can be scaled up (right now the printers are fairly small), I see it replacing carbon fibre lay-up, a slow and time-consuming process.” This material is used in the bicycle and aeronautics industries.

4. Carbon nanotubes and grapheme embedded in plastics

“The most awesome is grapheme,” says Darley. “There is all this promise of grapheme, its amazing strength, conductivity instead of connectivity, its size. You could make things like flexible touchscreens, solar panels, and building circuits made of extremely tough materials; that’s the only material I’ve seen where you create totally new technology, not just being able to do stuff faster or easier; this is something totally new.”

5. Nitinol

Nitinol is an alloy of nickel and titanium used in a lot of medical implants. Darley notes that this metal has two “amazing” properties: its super elasticity and the ability to change shapes. For catheter wires and stents, nitinol can bend further than anything else, he explains. “You can fold it in half and it will come back into its original shape.” Darley adds that because the metal is not an easy material to machine or create in a lot of different forms, 3D printing allows you to do things with medical products you couldn’t do before.

6. Water-absorbing plastic

Water-absorbing plastic is printed using a 4D printing process. The fourth dimension refers to a form an object can take after it is printed that is a different shape, possibly leading to self-assembly. For example, if something is being inserted into the body (or sea, or space), in a narrow tube but the end product needs to be a different shape, the object can transform itself after it is inserted.

7. Stem cells

Being able to print organs to replace an ear, a blood vessel, or a piece of the heart with such an implant is pretty amazing, Darley says.

8. Conductive carbomorph (carbon black plus plastic)

3D printing allows circuits and batteries to be built into plastic parts used to make devices. This could eliminate some assembly, leading to having additive manufacturing replacing most, if not all, other manufacturing processes. “There are very few plain plastics or mechanical parts these days; everything is electromechanical,” Darley says.

9. Paper

3D printed paper results in a full color model; one produced very inexpensively compared to traditional visual models that take hours of work for a realistic look and are used for client approval of a design prior to final engineering, Darley says. The printer glues together and trims layers of paper to create the shape and has the capability of adding colour as well.

10.Concrete, food, yarn

In China, pieces of houses have been printed and then assembled. Food has been printed in all different shapes, and yarn has produced many soft materials. When you think about it, you can manipulate with the computer anything that can be squirted out, Darley adds.






3D Design, CAD


Web Browser

3D Design, CAD


PC, Mac, Linux, Web Browser

3D Design, CAD


PC, Mac

3D Design, CAD


PC, Mac, Linux

3D Design, CAD


PC, Mac

3D Design, CAD


PC, Mac, Linux

3D Design, CAD


PC, Mac, Linux

3D Design, CAD


Web Browser

Slicer, STL Checker, STL Repair


PC, Mac, Linux

STL Viewer, STL Checker



STL Checker, STL Repair


Web Browser

STL Editor, STL Repair


PC, Mac, Linux

STL Checker, STL Repair, STL Editor


PC, Mac

Slicer, 3D Printer Host


PC, Mac, Linux

Slicer, 3D Printer Host


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PC, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pie

Slicer, 3D Printer Host


PC, Mac, Linux

Slicer, 3D Printer Host


PC, Mac, Linux



PC, Mac, Linux

3D Printer Host


PC, Mac, Linux


Here is the guide to build your first 3D printer

It is same for all type FDM, SLA/DLP and SLS.


1) Download sources

2) Assemble it in any engineering program like FreeCAD, SketchUp, etc. or you can do it in your mind

3) Read the BOM (bill of materials) precisely, get those materials

4) Manufacture parts

5) Assemble Mechanics

6) Do the wiring

7) Upload firmware

8) Calibrate printer

9) Print whatever you want


Screws, washers, nuts, parts, etc.

Electronics and Wiring

Arduino board, RAMPS1.4 3D printer controller Power supply, Steppers, Thermistors Many many wires, Drill, Screwdriver, Solder, Marker, Side cutters, Zipties & Multimeter.

Printer Calibration and First Prints

- Install Arduino IDE (Integrated development environment)

- Upload Firmware

- Install printer operating software

- Install slicing program like Kisslicer or Slic3r or anything else

- Calibrate machine zero Print the calibration cube

Currently I can’t provide you a step by step guide since contents are not own by me. But here are the few link to guide you build your 3D printer:

Google+ communities:

Other useful link:

7. SPECIAL (this will be cover in the next parts)

Have you always wonder how you can profit by 3D printing & modelling-

It will contain guide through using software like Solidworks, Catia, Vectary, Thinkercad, Onshape, Blockscad, and many more for designing your model. I will also provide video guide on YouTube for modelling on all this software’s.

Please check my stores on Shapeways and Vuro, my shop name is MapLeo Design’s. Or if you build a 3D printer check my models on Thingiverse and myminifactory.

You can check my few upload on: 1) Thingiverse: 2) My mini Factory: 3) Shapeways:

Other then this I like to make paintings.

Here is the list of 3D model selling site as a bonus, you can upload your CAD model and earn a good amount.

o Shapeways

o Vuro

o i.materlise

o CG Trader

o Sculpteo

o Treatstock

o Shapetizer

o Kraftwurx

o 3Diligent

o CADcrowd

o Turbosquid

o Ray 3D

o Renderosity

o 3D Ocean

o The 3D studio

o Creative crash

o Falling pixels

o 3D Exports

o 3D squirrel

o Sketchfab

o Plan marketplace

o Wirecase

o Exchange 3D

o 3d02

o CG studio

o Blender E-Shop


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