Are 3D Printers Easy to Use?

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The use of 3D printers has been on a continued increase over the last few years. Al thus hype is because these machines are very practical in making different objects for use at the office, home, or classroom.

Because of this, you might have developed an interest to try and see whether using this machine really is as practical as most people say.

But before you even proceed to acquire one, the question ringing in your head is 3D printers easy to use? If you’ve been searching for the answer to this question, today’s your lucky day. 

This comprehensive guide will discuss whether using a 3D printer is easy and related matters; you need to know if you’re still new to the world of 3D printing. Consequently, you’ll be better placed to decide whether trying out this technology is something that might interest you.

How Easy Is It To Use A 3D Printer?

Learning how to use the 3D printer isn’t as easy as understanding what to do when operating a desktop paper printer. This is because the use of this machine covers more steps than simply plugging it and starting to use it. It’s for this reason that most individuals usually struggle to learn how to use the 3D printer.

If you’re committed to learning how to use this technology, you’ll need first to understand 3D printers cover a broad range of technologies. Once you know this, you’ll know how to make an item through the addition of material. You’ll need to have some technical skills to ensure the safe and proper assembly of your 3D printer. 

This is vital because some printers cone as a kit and, thereby, need you to do the programming, wiring, and assembly on your own. Moreover, you’ll need skills that assist you in refining the code and matching it to that of your 3D printer.

When using a pre-built 3D printer, you may need to address some design or quality issues. This is vital since many of the consumer-targeted 3D printers, in most cases, need an upgrade.

You might also encounter connection troubles when trying to get your 3D printer and computer to communicate with each other. However, this shouldn’t be an issue that you need to worry so much about, as it’s, in most cases, easy to address.

It’s thus advisable you do your research when looking for a 3D printer to buy one that comes correctly assembled with all the needed software and meets your printing needs. 

In addition to this, you’ll need to understand ways of using the slicing software to convert the 3D computer models into programs that can be printed by your 3D printer. Subsequently, you need to learn how to remove or load print material and address issues such as feed problems or jams.

With that said, the most important thing that’ll determine how easy using your 3D printer is your commitment and curiosity. If you have these two attributes, learning how to use 3D printers won’t be something that’ll cause you too much stress or lots of time.

Things You Need To Know Before Getting A 3D Printer. 

If you feel ready to start your 3D printing journey and want to buy a personal printer, you need to know a couple of things. Knowing this is vital because there are many 3D printers on the market to choose from, with each having numerous specifications to address the different demands of users. Therefore, here are some of the crucial factors to consider before buying a 3D printer.

Materials Used During Printing

You can use two materials on your 3D printer, and these are Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Poly Lactic Acid (PLA). Both of them are thermoplastics, which start to become malleable and soft after being heated and later freeze when cooled.

ABS, which is a petroleum-based plastic, is loved due to its flexibility and strength, and it’s a petroleum-based plastic. Some of its features include:

  • Higher melting point, so your 3D printed objects are less prone to deforming due to high heat.
  • Very flexible, thereby making the creation of interlocking pieces much simpler.

PLS, which is retrieved from corn-starch, is an excellent pick for beginners and can be used to make simple and small household items. Some of its attributes include:

  • Cools very fast, thereby preventing issues caused by model warping.
  • It’s environmentally friendly because it’s biodegradable.
  • Available in translucent and solid colors, plus the subsequent objects have a glossy appearance.

Types of 3D Printers 

3D printing covers a broad range of technologies needed during the making of physical objects. The most common choices are:

  • Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM): This is an additive process that involves the making of a model through the heating and extrusion of plastic, that are connected together by one layer by another. It’s a popular choice among novice 3D printing enthusiasts since they can be found with ease. 
  • Stereolithography: This process makes use of ultraviolet light to solidify a 3D model from the pool of photosensitive liquid rather than extruding plastics. The printed 3D objects are usually of a higher quality. 
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS): This process entails the use of powders and lasers rather than UV light liquid and beams. The powder gets melted using the laser, thereby making a layer of the 3D printed object. Due to this unique trait, SLS is used to print metallic objects, which the two processes mentioned above can’t achieve. 

Community 

Like with any new tech trend, there’s a lot of fascination around 3D printers’ use. Therefore, feel free to head over to these online communities. Here, you’ll meet different individuals who know ways of getting detailed answers on how to use the 3D printer. 

This will help you better understand how to use the 3D printer, with this crucial if you’re still learning this technology.

Safety Measures 

Learning the safety measures to observe when using your 3D printer is vital. Some of the safety precautions you need to take include:

  • Using your 3D printer in a well-ventilated room to safeguard yourself from the toxic fumes.
  • Being cautious when using the 3D printer as you’ll be dealing with heated plastics.

Conclusion 

Using a 3D printer is very complicated for most people and not something they’re willing to try out. If you also shared a similar sentiment, reading through this article has helped bring to light the question of how easy using the 3D printer really is. Therefore, you’re now in a better position to decide whether using a 3D printer is something you’ll be hoping to try. 

About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.