The Basics of 3D Printing

At its core, 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that constructs objects layer by layer. Unlike traditional manufacturing methods, which involve subtracting or molding materials, 3D printing builds objects from the ground up, using digital blueprints.

Image by Lutz Peter from Pixabay

The process begins with 3D modeling software, where you can create or download existing designs. These designs contain all the necessary information for the printer to understand how to construct the object. Once the design is ready, it is transformed into instructions for the printer, using file formats such as .STL or .OBJ.

The printer then interprets these instructions and builds the object layer by layer, typically extruding melted plastic or other materials. Each layer fuses with the previous one until the final object is complete. The result is a three-dimensional replica of your digital design, ready to be held in your hands.

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