In my previous post we understood and learned about the 3d printers. If not please read Quick Introduction to 3D Printers. In this post we’re going to learn ‘How to use a 3D printer for the first time.’
How to print an object using a 3D printer?
For that you’ll need a 3D-printer obviously, filaments, CAD designing software (e.g. Solidworks, CATIA etc), a Slicer (e.g. Slic3r, Simplify3D, CURA etc) and a design engineer ;-). Not really a design engineer unless you want some complicated structures.
What is CAD designing software?
CAD, or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), is technology for design and technical documentation, which replaces manual drafting with an automated process. Gosh!! again CAD is 3D design software by which the design engineers create the design/structure of an object. It can be anything after saving the design it generates “.STL” file which then is used in slic3r to print. Thank God, we will not get into the details as we are printing a basic object like a cube or something.
Where will I get these STL files of the cube?
There are several sites on the internet through which you can download these files for use. You do not have to pay for these files to some extent, though some of them are paid, of course. Links to download STL files are given below: Thingiverse, cults3D, STL-Finder etc there are a large number of designs available on these sites and you can also from print keychains to any fancy object at your own home.
What Is Slicer?
The slicer, also called slicing software, is computer software used in the majority of 3D printing processes for the conversion of a 3D object model to specific instructions for the printer. In particular, the conversion from a model in STL format to printer commands in g-code format in fused filament fabrication and other similar processes. G-Codes are the instructions provided to a machine controller that tells the motors where to move, how fast to move, and what path to follow.
There are a number of slicers available which provide different kinds of features for advanced users, for example- Slic3r, Cura, ParsuaSlicer, OctoPrint, Simplify3D etc.
Just use the default settings of slicer for the first print. Slicer will give output g-code file to use in the printer, which you can upload on printer and start printing. There are tutorials available on YouTube if you need more information. If you still facing a problem you can post your query and we will answer those and help you get started with it.
And here it’ll start printing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Saurabh is a Firmware Engineer in Prayasta 3D Inventions Pvt Ltd. Embedded Enthusiast currently working on Silicone 3D Printers Firmware as well as Hardware.