3D printing is type of additive manufacturing. The technology allows artists to print out 3D models of their designs using a computer. It does this by taking a 3D computer-generated image and manufacturing it into a physical figurine.

"It is, bar none, the 'hottest' technology for modern and future manufacturing in the world."
— George Keremedjiev, founder and director of the American Computer and Robotics Museum in Bozeman, MT.

Due to falling prices, it is now becoming available for everyday artists and 3D designers. Technology gives artists much freedom when designing 3D art. They have the power to create virtually any shape out of nearly any material. This manufacturing method is also much more dynamic than other methods like traditional molding or CNC cutting. When artists print 3D models, they don't have to worry about certain aspects, for example: through 3D printing, artists can print 3D models that are similar to rubrics cubes, certain puzzles like products, mechanical functioning products, and other significant products such as a ball within a ball. These kinds of products are difficult or impossible in traditional mold manufacturing, as well as CNC cutting.

Here at Appropedia we are primarily focused on printing open source appropriate technology.

How to use a 3D printer[edit | edit source]

First, you need to have a 3D model of whatever object you want to print. You can make this model yourself, preferably using Google SketchUp (as this program is most suited for making models for 3D printing[1]). However, you can also use another program like Blender3D, Sculptris, 2Brush, 123DSculpt, or a 3D modeling program specifically made for 3D printing -such as 123DStudio TinkerCAD, 3DTin). which you can attain from a website like convert your 3D file (ie sketchup, collada,) to an .stl or .obj file.

Once this is done, the computer can send CG images to a 3D printer using this STL file. The printer will then create the image layer by layer out of various materials. For example, the printer might create an ABS plastic model by producing layers and fusing the layers. Thus, through 3D printers, artists can print 3D models of their creations.

Before going further, you may enhance your knowledge about What To Do With A 3D Printer.

Materials[edit | edit source]

There are quite a few materials out there that can be used when trying to print 3D models. There are companies out there offering a wide variety to choose from. Some places provide 5-10 materials. Some offer over 50! These materials could be:

  • Ceramics
  • Plastics
  • Liquid resin
  • Rubber-like materials
  • Metals,[2]
  • Materials with mechanical properties
  • Precious metals; artists can print 3D models out of gold, silver, and platinum (though obviously at a high cost).

List of suppliers[edit | edit source]

A 3D printing service is the service of printing a 3D model. When the model is printed in a foreign country, the model is also shipped to your doorstep. Printing in local branches/offices and picking them up yourself is another possibility. Here is a list of suppliers:

  • i.materialise: print and send yourself manufactured items from an .skp or .STL file
  • Ponoko: make and sell manufactured products (sending them worldwide) based on an .STL or VRML97 file
  • Shapeways: print and send yourself manufactured items from an .skp or .STL file
  • Sculpteo: print and send yourself manufactured items from an .skp or .STL file
  • PGBS: send your sketch or image or 3D model to get flawless print ready STL file
  • Inition: print and send yourself manufactured items from an .skp or .STL file
  • Print to 3D: print and send yourself manufactured items from an .skp or .STL file

Related projects[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Most suited since flaws can be created when converting the driven 3D model to an .stl file with programs like Blender3D, ...
  2. Molten metal 3D printers from EOS GMBH and Arcam AB

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Thingiverse: site allowing the sharing of free 3D models (under several licenses). For printing purposes, STLs usually are needed, but they can house any 3D format like .skp.
  • OpenSCAD; a 3D modeling program that can output the 3D model directly in.STL. It is easy to work with using Thingiverse because it allows easy manipulation of parametric designs by non-experts and is entirely open-source.
  • Plug-in for Google SketchUp to export in.STL
  • FastSpring, Turbosquid, and Falling Pixel are other sites where regular 3D models (.skp) are often sold
  • Ponoko: make and sell manufactured products (sending them worldwide) based on a . STL or VRML97 file
  • Shapeways: print and send yourself manufactured items from a .skp or.STL file
  • Proglobalbusinesssolutions: list of top 57 websites offering free 3D print models

Discussion[View | Edit]

Naming of this and other associated pages[edit source]

I was wondering whether you could move the pages:

  • 3-D printing to 3D printing
  • Open_source_3-D_printing_of_OSAT to 3D_printing_of_OSAT
  • Open_source_3-D_printers to 3D_printers

KVDP 00:37, 12 April 2013 (PDT)

I will make forwards for all the pages you requested.
Ok thanks, but if possible, try to move the pages instead to the new names, the 3-D in the name (aswell as the "open source", but that to a smaller extent) seem akward.

KVDP 00:37, 12 April 2013 (PDT)

We dont want to move them -- the open source is the most important part -- people that use closed source tools including software limit other people's ability to replicate their work - and that is what Appropedia is all about. When people search for 3d the get sent to 3-D so I dont see the problem.
Is it possible to then atleast move the 3-D printing page to 3D printing and Open_source_3-D_printing_of_OSAT, Open_source_3-D_printers to respectively Open_source_3D_printing_of_OSAT, Open_source_3D_printers. I actually do think the "3-D" in the name is a problem, mostly because it makes the article look unprofessional, and not in line with wikipedia (that does use the term 3D printing).
Regarding the "Open-source" in the name: I actually agree on this, but the term "open source" is used incorrectly here. A 3D printer is hardware, so it should be labelled "open design" instead (open source is a term only used with software). So you could rename it to Open_design_3D_printing_of_OSAT and Open_design_3D_printers if you like. I just proposed to shorten it alltogether to 3D_printing_of_OSAT, 3D_printers simply because the "open design" in the name doesn't really 'sound' right. Both issues may seem futile (and perhaps it is), but than again that could make the difference in attaining many visitors on the page or little.

KVDP 00:37, 12 April 2013 (PDT)

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