3D Printing Definition

best 3D printer under 300 is a manufacturing process that creates a three dimensional object by incrementally adding material until the object is complete (this contrasts with subtractive manufacturing techniques such as carving or milling, in which an object is created by selectively removing parts from a piece of raw material). A 3D printer is simply a machine that can take a digital 3D printing definition model and turn it into a tangible 3D object via additive manufacturing. While these printers come in many forms, they all have three basic parts.

3D printing refers to any manufacturing process which additively builds or forms 3D parts in layers from CAD data. The technology is significant because it offers direct manufacturing, meaning a design goes directly from you to physical product through a computer and a printer. Let’s break it down further.

3D printing starts with a digital file derived from computer aided design (CAD) software. Once a design is completed, it must then be exported as a standard tessellation language (STL) file, meaning the file is translated into triangulated surfaces and vertices. The STL file then has to be sliced into hundreds – sometimes thousands – of 2-D layers (Fig.1).

A 3D printer wiki how it works then reads the 2-D layers as building blocks which it layers one atop the other, thus forming a three dimensional object. All design files, regardless of the 3D printing technology, are sliced into layers before printing. Layer thickness – the size of each individual layer of the sliced design – is determined partly by technology, partly by material, and partly by desired resolution and your project timeline; thicker layers equates to faster builds, thinner layers equate to finer resolution, less visible layer lines and therefore less intensive post-processing work (Fig.2). After a part is sliced, it is oriented for build.

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