Well, if you already have a 3D printer near you (like your school/ office), then there is a ton of explanatory videos on youtube that you can watch and learn to operate your 3D printer. But this route is too time consuming & may get you frustrated.
So, it’d be better to opt for a course on 3D Printing such as this one linked below (Click the image below).
3D Printing Steps:
3D Printing is not a one step process. It mainly involves 3 steps.
- Step 1: 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design).
- Step 2: Slicing
- Step 3: 3D Printing.
Out of these 3 steps, CAD is not a mandatory step for you to learn 3D printing. But having the basic knowledge about 3D CAD models helps a lot. There are also pre-drawn models available on the internet for free that you can download. These are usually .stl files, .obj files, etc.
One such example is Thingiverse website. You can download any 3D cad models from it & then slice it & 3D print it.Next step, i.e. slicing, is when you compile the 3D CAD model in the form of instructions for your specific 3D printer. But don’t worry. You don’t need to learn or write any programming language, unless you want to because you are geeky & love to explore various languages.
While slicing, you will mainly have to set values for –
- Infill Density
- Infill Pattern
- Infill Percentage
- Support (not required in SLS printers)
- Wall Thickness
- Layer Height
- Fan Speed (usually in FDM printers)
- & more
That’s it. All the CAD & slicing stuff is done in a computer/ laptop/ or tablet. Now simply export your sliced design as a .gcode file & feed it to your 3D printer (via bluetooth or SD card / USB)Step 3, i.e. 3D Printing, is quite simple as well.
Automatic / Manual Bed Leveling In An FDM 3D Printer:
If you have a 3D printer which requires manual bed leveling, then you will have to simply adjust the bed so that it is completely horizontal. Make sure that your table/ desk (on which place 3D printer is completely flat. there should be no inclination.
I like to use a sheet of paper or a 10 Rupee note to level the 3D printer’s bed. Bring the extruder down & leave a half millimeter space between the bed and the extruder. Then I slide the paper/note in that half space & drag it. The paper should be able to move with some amount of friction. It shouldn’t completely glide. There should be some amount of grip & friction but too much that the paper can’t move. If your 3D printer has automatic bed-levelling, you don’t need to worry about all that. Your 3D printer will automatically do it by itself.
The image shown above is the Control Unit of a 3D printer. Using this you can start, resume, stop the 3D printing & control more things. The circular knob is rotated in clockwise/anti-clockwise direction. This dial also clicks. The “100%” shown in the image is the fan speed. It can even be changed. Basically, once you get the basics of it, it becomes very easy. 3D Printing is not a new technology. It has been around for decades> it is only now that it is getting popular.
In fact now, 3D printing can even be done in space. Imagine designing a 3D model here on earth & making that same design into an actual in space station. The possibilities are endless. If you want to learn 3D Printing, check out this course below. You could even learn it online & offline or buy CAD softwares, slicing softwares or 3d printer for yourselves.