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How Does a 3D Printer Work Exactly? A Tech Guide

How Does a 3D Printer Work Exactly? A Tech Guide

Have you been curious about 3d printers? 3d printing has been on the rise in popularity for the past several years. They have been popular not only for personal use but also for manufacturing businesses.

3d printing technology lets you take a three-dimensional object and bring it to life in the form of various plastics. It sounds like a cool idea, but how does a 3d printer work?

If you are curious about 3d printing, we’ve got you covered. This article gives you a detailed look at how a 3d printer actually works.

How Does a 3d Printer Work

A 3d printer consists of a print bed, extruder, and uses a medium such as PLA or ABS plastic to create 3d dimensional objects. The PLA plastic is fed through a tube which is sent to the extruder.

When the plastic reaches the extruder, it’s melted at a temperature of around 195 to 200 degrees. It’s then sent through the extruder where it starts to print the object onto the print bed. The print bed is heated to around 100 degrees so the printed object sticks to the print bed.

The Computer Process

The first step of 3d printing completing a 3d model on a computer. You can use computer aided design software (CAD) to create these objects. Programs such as Sketchup or Fusion360 are programs that are capable of 3d printing creation. These programs turn your creation into data that is stored as an .Stl file.

If you are a 3d printing hobbyist, you can go online to sites such as Thingiverse or Yeggi, where you can download 3d print files for free or for a small price by the creator.

The Slicing Process

the next step is slicing your 3d print design which was done through your CAD program. The 3d printer cannot conceptualize a 3d model but it can read layers.

A slicing program breaks down the model into layers which enables the 3d printer to read the data and begin printing. It turns your .stl file and translates it into a .Gcode in which your 3d printer can read.

Benefits of a 3d Printer

3d printers have many benefits. For business, they are excellent for prototyping product designs. If you have a design that you want to bring to a product design meeting, you can mock up an object in a CAD program and print it out and present it.

For hobbyists, they are great for creating figurines, tools, accessories, or even replacement parts.

Is a 3d Printer Right for You?

If you are a small business who wants to start prototyping product designs are a hobbyist who loves to create, A 3d printer can come in handy for you. There is a bit of a learning curve to the 3d printing process, but once you get it, there are many benefits as we discussed that you can enjoy.

We hope that this article gave you insight on when it comes to the question of how does a 3d printer work. If you enjoyed this article, please check out our other articles located on our site.

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