Is 3D Printing Hard?
Three-dimensional printing has provided a different outlook to the world in terms of the manufacturing of products.
The process of additive manufacturing uses layering to create three-dimensional objects with the help of a digital file ( blueprint of the model). And is now commonly used in designing consumer products or the automobile industry, one of its real-life applications.
Understanding the fundamentals of setting up a three-dimensional printer can be quite challenging and complex at the start. But once you apprehend the notion behind it, it's not that difficult to set it up.
The essential part is to understand the key attributes of the printer, including the extruders and filaments, and to know how to use them effectively.
But the use of 3D printing has raised some concerns regarding the technology- whether it's difficult to use or not. To develop a better view of these concerns, read the article below.
Some Problems and Solutions are highlighted to make you understand how easy or difficult 3D printing can be.
Why is 3D Printing considered to be Hard?
1. The Fragile Technology and High Cost
The delicate and fragile technology of 3D printers has made it overwhelming for people to use them. The cost of purchasing and exchanging the extruders and filaments is quite high, plus it's also time-consuming. It also includes a lot of technical issues, requiring an engineer to rectify those.
Many companies that are dependent upon additive manufacturing have to bear a high initial capital investment. Moreover, if one type of machinery breaks down, then the whole production process is hindered, resulting in loss of output for the entire industry.
But generally, the cost of 3D printers varies depending on the quality of output that it produces. So prices can be fair or high based on the quality of the output that the printer provides.
Some of the factors that determine the cost of the printer include the model volume, level of complexity, the material used, and the quality of the material used in printing.
Most of the time, good-quality filaments also increase the price of the printer since the material includes strong fiber. But you can purchase some DIY 3D printers, which are generally more cost-effective.
2. Complex Modelling Programs
Modeling programs are often quite complex to use in terms of geometric accuracy and 3D visualization of the model. Modeling software such as Computer-Aided Design (CAM) does not include accurate precision mapping of the model, which results in increased manual work for the developer.
This causes the accuracy of the model to be affected in terms of its defined quality. As a result, many model developers find it difficult to use this software as well.
Once a model is rendered, it needs to be sliced to provide instructions to the printer to print. This is known as the slicing process and has a minimum of 200 options.
If one set of instructions fails, then the printer will not print the model. And the same set of instructions has to be provided again to the printer.
Hence, the printer must support your model design which is quite a challenging part for many people in this technical field.
Solution: You can avoid this technical problem by simply using the designs of the people that the printer has interpreted already.
Thingiverse is a great source of 3D print designs (STL files), which is easily accessible to use. You can uniquely make adjustments. And once you get experience, you can start printing your designs.
3. Inadequate Knowledge and Research Skills
Most people make purchases based on recommendations provided by other people. As a result, they run into issues of not setting up their printers effectively. There can be troubleshooting issues where the quality of the filament is not well-defined, broken easily.
Most of the time, the filament material is not able to attach to the print heads, which causes the first layer of the object to be messy. Hence, it's necessary to know the basic settings and adjustments of the printer before purchasing one of them.
3D Printing - Beginners Guide
Here are five basic steps for beginners to help them start 3D Printing. And having the required knowledge might make things easier for you. So check out these steps below.
- Do the necessary research before purchasing a 3D printer. Learn about its functions in the beginner guide provided by the company and understand the filaments and extruder settings.
- Purchase a printer that has auto settings with easy navigation panels or a pre-assembled printer as it's easy to use. An example of this is the Monoprice Select Mini which is user-friendly and most recommended for beginners since it's cost-effective and easy to set up.
- Select appropriate filaments for your printer, such as the PLA. This type of filament is easier to use and is quite common as well.
- Select an appropriate slicing software (Cura Software) and select your printer to autofill.
- Select a 3D CAD file and then print your product.
(Note: Don't make your design first, rather understand the printing process, and then create your design after doing the necessary research.)
It's more technical to create your design, sending it to the printer to read it and then print an object. This might cause technical problems for beginners if they don't know how to send the instructions for the print properly.
3D printing might seem difficult at the start, but with practice, it will be easier. At first, you will make mistakes, but once you understand the procedure, I'm pretty sure it won't be that much difficult for you.
Moreover, the process of 3D printing may become easier in the future since many people are now experimenting with it. This may lead to more simplified processes for beginners in the future.
The level of ease with 3D printing also depends upon how technical your object is. If it's more complicated, then it may take a lot of time to produce it.
Plus, when you decide to purchase a printer. Keep in mind some important elements such as its speed, warranty, the quality of the print, its cost, and sustainability, along with its ability to understand complex design systems.
This will help you to make the right decision and invest in a good quality printer.
So the conclusion is that it depends upon you what type of product you want to make. If it's easy and has fewer complications, then it's easier to print it as well.