How do you 3d print an object?

Are you still one of the few who don’t know how to 3d print an object? Is the subject confusing and unclear? In this post, I will try to provide the most simple explanation of how 3d printing actually works. It’s really simple, see it for yourself!

3D print filament

First things first. What kind of object do you want to print? Depending on factors like strength and looks of the desired object you will have to select a type of filament. The most popular filaments for home-use are ABS and PLA (see a comparison), but be sure to check out the entire list of most-used 3d print materials. If you want it to be super strong, go for ABS. If you’re more concerned with recycling an object when you’re not satisfied with the result, PLA might be the better option due to the bio-degradability.

The printer

Once you have selected which type of filament is best, you have to decide which 3d printer you’re going to use. There are a lot of different models, i.e. the Cubify Cube is certified for home-use. This one also uses ABS plastic and PLA.

3d print anything at home
3d print anything at home

3d print design

So now you’ve selected the filament and the printer that fits your needs. The next step is telling the printer what it has to 3d print. You can design something from scratch using one of the (free) 3d printing design programmes available like TinkerCad or Google SketchUp.  Don’t feel like designing something yourself? Just download a design someone else made! Just as you would (or would’t) download a movie, there’s already a downloadcenter for physibles.

Out of thin air

With everything sorted out, it’s time to hook up the plastic to the printer, load up the designs and press the button! Really, there’s nothing more to it. All you need is a printer, some filament (like plastic) and a design and you’re good to go. Don’t know what to 3d print? How about another 3d printer? With imagination being the restricting factor, I’m curious: what would you like to print if you had the chance?