“3D Printing” or originally known as “Rapid Prototyping” (RP) began in 1987 in Sylmar, California by a company called 3D Systems. I joined 3D Systems in 1987 as their VP of Sales and Marketing. Where they developed their first system based on Stereolithography (SLA). I was the first person to market and sell their first SLA system. After that, I joined DTM where they developed a system based on Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), as their VP of Sales and Marketing, and was able to market the first Sinter Station. Between 3D System and DTM, I was able to spend 13 years in the early years in this industry now known as 3D Printing.
When the industry started RP Systems were sold for thousands to over half a million dollars. Today you can purchase your own 3D Printer for hundreds to several thousand. Wow, how times have changed!
3D Printing is a process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. It brings a digital object (its CAD representation) into its physical form by adding layer by layer of materials.
3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file usually the system uses an STL (Standard Triangle Language file that stores information about 3D models.
3D Printed Object:
The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process, an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced cross-section of (1-2 mils, A mil is a thousandth of an inch – .001 inch) the object. The thinner the slice the better the tolerance. Most printers start from the bottom by starting on a base.
3D printing is the opposite of subtractive manufacturing which is cutting out / hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with for instance a milling machine.
3D printing enables you to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.
Founder, first invented in the 1980s , an engineer, and physicist, 3D printing technology has come a long way. Also called additive manufacturing, 3D printing is the process of making an object by depositing material, one tiny layer at a time.
3D Printing Designs:
Cults3D. GrabCAD. Instructables. MyMiniFactory. NASA 3D Printing. Pinshape. STL. Thingiverse. YouMagine. Zortrax.
Websites where you can find free designs:
- Cults. Cults is one of the leading websites to download free STL files.
3D Printing Services:
You can search for “3D printing near me”, most offer 3D Printing Services and Rapid Prototypes Services.
How much do 3D printing services cost? Multiple factors affect the price of a 3D Printing Service or Rapid Prototyping Service. If you add in all these variables, you’re looking at anywhere between $30 to $15,000 for the cost of 3d printing. The price can even be lower or higher, depending on the scale of your project.
Rapid Prototyping Service:
Rapid prototyping is the fast fabrication of a physical part, model, or assembly using 3D computer-aided design (CAD). The creation of the part, model, or assembly is usually completed using additive manufacturing, or more commonly known as 3D printing.
What are the Different Types of Rapid Prototyping?
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
- Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) or Material Jetting.
- Selective Laser Melting (SLM) or Powder Bed Fusion (PBF)
- Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) or Sheet Lamination.
- Digital Light Processing (DLP)
- Binder Jetting.
3D Printer Under $200:
- 3D Printer, LABISTS Mini Desktop 3D Printer: Kit for Beginners Kids Teens with 10M 1.75mm PLA Filament, Magnetic Removable Plate, Printing Size 100 x 100 x 100mm.
- WEISTEK LCD 3D Printer: with Parallel Matrix 405nm Light, 5.5inch 2K Screen, Z-axis Dual Linear Rail & Off-line Print 4.72in(L) x 2.36in(W) x 6.10in(H) Printing Size.
- 3D Printer: Aluminum Double Linear Guide Rails and Double Cooling Fans with Sound Off Function, Easy Assemble Printing Space 180x180x180mm
- XVICO X3 Pro 3D Printers DIY Kit: Aluminum Printing Machine with Filament Run Out Detection Sensor and Resume Print Metal Base Desktop 3D Printer UL Power for Home and School 200x200x250mm, Black
- Geeetech 3D Printer: Wooden Prusa I3 Pro W Desktop 3D Printer DIY Kit with WiFi Cloud,200x200x180mm（7.9”7.9”7.1”）Printing Size,Support 3D WiFi Module, EasyPrint 3D App.
- Creality Cr-100 Mini 3D Printer: with Fully Assembled and Intelligent Leveling, Best for Kids Children
- LONGER Orange 10 Resin SLA 3D Printer: with Parallel LED Lighting, 3.86′ x 2.1
- QIDI TECH Shadow 5.5 S 3D Printer: UV LCD Resin Printer with Dual Z axis Liner Rail, 3.5 Inch Touch Screen,Build Size 4.52″(L) X 2.55″(W) X 5.9″(H)
- VOXELAB Polaris 3D Printer: UV Photocuring LCD Resin Printer with 3.5” Smart Touch Color Screen Off-line Print 4.53in(L) x 2.56in(W) x 6.10in(H) Printing Size (Black)
- Anet A8 3D Printer, FDM DIY 3D Printer Kits, FDM 3D Printers 220x220x240mm, Self-Assembly DIY 3D Printer with 8GB TF Card, Card Reader,10m White Filament
- LONGER LK4 3D Printer: 90% Pre-Assembled with 2.8″ Full-Color Touch Screen, Resume Printing, Filament Detector, Built-in Safety Power Supply 220x220x250mm
- Creality LCD 3D Printer: LD-002R with Air Filtering System 2K Micron-Level Accuracy and 3.5” Smart Touch Color Screen Curing high Precision Printing