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Live Q&A Getting Started With Your 3D Printer

Understanding 3D printing filaments and slicing

3D Printing: Filaments & Slicing

David Miao

So you got a 3D printer… now what?  Watch this video replay of a class from 3D DIY Dave going over the ins and outs of 3D printing, what to look out for, how to acquire files, and getting started successfully.

If you’re a beginner, there are tons of opportunities to get files online for free to begin exploring how 3D printing works and just have fun with it.  Creating your favorite characters or neat toys with it is a popular way to use it.  Other more advanced applications might involve drawing your own digital models or even using scanning technology to create custom 3D printed pieces that might solve a problem or replace a part for something you already own.  Either way, there’s lots to learn and we hope you find this info helpful!

For the more serious 3D printer owners, it’s crucial to delve into advanced topics to maximize its potential. Start by mastering 3D modeling and design software like Fusion 360 and Plasticity to create customized designs. Understanding various filament materials (PLA, ABS, PETG) and their properties will help in selecting the right one for each project. Getting proficient with slicing software (Bambu Studio, PrusaSlicer) and optimizing settings like layer height and print speed can enhance print quality. 

Beyond those things, regular calibration and maintenance of your printer ensure longevity and consistent performance. Learning post-processing techniques, such as sanding and painting, can significantly improve the finish of your prints. Troubleshooting common print issues and understanding advanced print settings like retraction and temperature tuning are essential for minimizing defects. 

Additionally, integrating 3D printed parts with electronics and mechanical systems can lead to more functional and complex projects. Finally, being aware of legal and ethical considerations, including intellectual property and responsible use, is important as you advance in 3D printing, especially if you are using it to earn money.

If you haven’t yet, feel free to review Dave’s last class on 3D printing here.


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