Learn How to 3D Print – Where to start?

You give the decision to start to learn 3D printing. You are now clear about whether it is worth learning and what type of things you want to 3D print.

What could be the next step for you?

It is probably best to begin by understanding the steps involved in 3D printing.

What are the steps involved in 3D printing?

Firstly, you need to use a software that you can make a 3D model. The software programmes have variety of names: 3D modelling software, 3D design software, 3D CAD software under their company brand name.

The 3D Model you prepare can be saved as an STL file.

Probably you are now thinking, great, just one programme. Unfortunately, it is not only one programme that you need to learn. The STL file that you prepared may need some editing and repairing. There is another programme involved at that point.

After that it becomes slightly more interesting. Now you need to prepare your STL file for 3D printer. This is done by the help of a programme that slices your 3D design. It is called Slicer software. It actually slices your 3D model into so many 2D flat layers and turns them into G-codes that the 3D printer understands.

So what is G-code? It is a special language that is used to tell computerized machines how to make something such as where to move, and how fast to move etc. in order to produce the final product.

With the steps involved till now, you prepared a 3D model which is in STL form, edited STL form, converted it to G-code with the help of a Slicer. So the final step is to transfer G-code prepared model to the computer.

You may do this either by directly connecting your computer to the 3D printer or with the help of a memory card. The rest is 3D printer’s job to complete.