Learning About 3D Printers
Standard and micro 3D printers produce physical models of objects. They can create engineering project prototypes, artistic conceptions, make new rotors for your drones, and much more. Consumer models range in size from those that sit on large desks to 3D printer pens not much bigger than standard pens.
How Do 3D Printers Work?
3D printers build objects from the bottom up. They read a digital file of the data that duplicates your object and uses it to define tiny slices of the object. Extruders then place melted plastic onto the printer's build space, layer by layer, until the slices form the complete object. Create your digital file with CAD software, or use a 3D scanner to analyze a physical object and provide the file.
What Is Build Space?
The area the printer has available for making your object is the build space. A desktop size consumer machine or a micro 3D printer could have a build space of 120 by 120 mm, while a commercial model could offer more than twice that working area. Unless your purpose is manufacturing, pick a mini 3D printer. These desktop size printers can perform most of the functions that full-size printers can and with less initial investment. They're useful as entry-level machines for beginners in 3D modeling.
3D Printing Supplies
Plan to have a supply of printing plastic to build your objects. Printing plastic comes in the form of support filaments, or powder, if using a 3D laser printer. If your interest is a color 3D printer, most 3D printers use filaments that come in different colors, although they print only one color at a time.
Once available only to large-scale manufacturers, there are now consumer 3D printer models that fit any budget and purpose. Visit B&H Photo and Video to find your match.