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What is 3D Printing and How do I get Started?!

 What is 3D Printing and How do I get Started?!

@ www.MakerGeeks.com

 
3D Printing – also referred to as Additive Manufacturing, or Rapid Prototyping – is a process whereby three-dimensional (3D) physical objects are created from using virtual designs which are transformed into solid objects by using a 3D printer.


How does it work
A 3D printer takes digital input from computer aided design (CAD) and transforms this into physical three-dimensional objects through the process of additively layering materials (filament) until the object is complete. That explains why 3D printing is also referred to as Additive Manufacturing.

There are several technologies available to do additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. They differ in the way layers are built to create objects and materials that can be used. The vast majority of desktop 3D printers make use of a method whereby materials are melted or softened in order to produce successive layers. This method is called Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), also known as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).

FFF works by supplying thermoplastic filament to a heated print head extrusion nozzle of a 3D printer, which liquefies the filament and places it in thin layers on the print bed. The liquefied filament hardens practically immediately after it is extruded through the print head nozzle onto the printer bed. The print head nozzle can be moved in horizontal and vertical directions over the print bed and by that extruding layer upon layer of filament until the three-dimensional object is manufactured.

With desktop 3D printing you can be the manufacturer of you own utensils, toys, art, fashion, etc…


Availability of Desktop 3D Printers
Over the past few years the offer of desktop 3D printers has grown exponentially. More and more manufacturers are entering the desktop 3D printing market, resulting in lower prices and thereby making 3D printing more affordable and thereby available to consumers.

Nowadays there are numerous desktop 3D printers available within a price range of USD 500.00 to USD 2,000.00. The fast majority of these machines make use of the above mentioned Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology. FFF technology-based desktop 3D printers make use of thermoplastic filament to create three-dimensional objects. The most common used thermoplastic filaments are PLA (Poly-Lactic Acid) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) in diameters of 1.75mm, or 3mm.

For your reference we have compiled an overview of FFF technology-based desktop 3D printer manufacturers and included the available desktop 3D printer models, their 'available from' price and filaments plus filament diameters suitable for the respective desktop 3D printer models.
 

3D Printers (Fully Assembled and Ready to Print!)

D3 Printer Bot | 3D Printer | Dual Extruder 3D Printer
Regular Price: $2,479.00
MakerGeeks Price: $1,295.55
D4 Printer Bot in Onyx Black Cover - Dual Extruder System
Regular Price: $3,495.55
MakerGeeks Price: $1,455.95
D4 Printer Bot in Clear Acrylic Cover - Dual Extruder System
Regular Price: $3,495.55
MakerGeeks Price: $1,455.95
D4 Printer Bot in Wood Cover - Dual Extruder System
Regular Price: $3,495.55
MakerGeeks Price: $1,395.95
 


Company  
Ultimaking LTD Ultimaking LTD is Dutch 3D printer manufacturer, which started selling their Ultimaker 3D printer in May 2011.
3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Ultimaker
  • PLA & ABS 3mm € 1,094.00
    MakerBot Industries LLC Makerbot Industries LLC is 3D Printer manufacturer domiciled in Brooklyn, New York, USA.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Replicator
  • Replicator 2
  • PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    1.75mm
    1.75mm
    US$ 1,749.00
    US$ 2,199.00
    RepRapPro LTD RepRapPro LTD is a UK based 3D Printer manufacturer and is a collaboration between RepRap Limited and eMAKER Limited. The Reprap Project created the first of the low-cost 3D printers and thereby started the open-source 3D printer revolution.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Huxley
  • Mendel
  • PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    1.75mm
    1.75mm
    £ 411.00
    £ 511.00
    Bits from Bytes LTD Bits from Bites Limited is a UK based 3D Printer manufacturer which became part of 3D Systems Corporation in October 2010. Bits from Bytes' desktop 3D printers are based on the RepRap Project.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • 3DTouch
  • Rapman 3.2
  • PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    3mm
    3mm
    € 2,590.00
    € 1,030.00
    Delta Micro Factory Corporation Delta Micro Factory Corporation is specialized in marketing and sales of personal portable 3D printers and offers its desktop 3D printers via PP3DP.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • UP! Plus
  • UP! Mini
  • PLA & ABS
    ABS
    1.75mm
    1.75mm
    US$ 1,499.00
    US$ 899.00
    Printrbot Printrbot is a desktop 3D printer manufacturer located in the USA.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Printrbot Jr.
  • Printrbot Plus
  • PLA
    PLA & ABS
    3mm
    3mm
    US$ 399.00
    US$ 699.00
    FelixRobotics FelixRobotics is a manufacturer of desktop 3D printers located in the Netherlands. FelixRobotics sells its printers under its brand Felix Printers.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Felix 1.0
  • PLA & ABS 1.75mm € 899.00
    MakeMendel.com MakeMendel.com is an India-based (Mumbai) manufacturer of desktop 3D printers. MakeMendel has several desktop 3D printers in their product portfolio.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • RapidBot 1.0
  • RapidBot 2.0
  • Orca v0.30
  • Orca v0.40
  • Mendel v2
  • PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    1.75mm, or 3mm
    1.75mm, or 3mm
    1.75mm, or 3mm
    1.75mm
    1.75mm
    US$ 649.00
    US$ 699.00
    US$ 599.00
    US$ 649.00
    US$ 699.00
    Buildatron Systems Buildatron Systems is desktop 3D printer manufacturer based in the USA.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Buildatron 2
  • PLA & ABS 1.75mm, or 3mm US$ 1,599.00
    Solidoodle Solidoodle is USA-based manufacturer of desktop 3D printers, who's Solidoodle 3D printer is available in a base-, pro-, and expert version.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Solidoodle
  • ABS 1.75mm US$ 499.00
    The Future Is 3D, INC The Future Is 3D, INC manufactures amongst others desktop 3D printers and produce their printers in Kalispell Montana, USA. The company's focus is on both home users, as well as on large businesses.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Glacier Peak
  • Glacier Steel
  • PLA
    PLA
    1.75mm, or 3mm
    1.75mm, or 3mm
    US$ 2,600.00
    US$ 2,300.00
    Iprint Technologies Pty Ltd Iprint Technologies is a desktop 3D printer manufacturer based in Australia. Iprint Technologies sells its printers via its division 3Dstuffmaker.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Prusa Explorer
  • cREATOR
  • eVOLUTION
  • PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    PLA
    3mm
    3mm
    3mm
    AUS$ 550.00
    AUS$ 950.00
    AUS$ 1,199.00
    BotMill BotMill is a desktop 3D printer manufacturer based in Florida, USA.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Glider
  • PLA & ABS 1.75mm US$ 999.00
    MakerGear LLC MakerGear LLC is a desktop 3D printer manufacturer based in Ohio, USA.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Prusa Mendel
  • Mosaic
  • M2
  • PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    1.75mm, or 3mm
    1.75mm
    1.75mm
    US$ 799.00
    US$ 999.00
    US$ 1,299.00
    Leapfrog Leapfrog is the desktop 3D printer brand of the Netherlands-based manufacturer AV Flexologic BV.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Creatr
  • Xeed
  • PLA & ABS
    PLA & ABS
    1.75mm
    1.75mm
    € 1,250.00
    € 5,460.00
    GLI Concept GmbH GLI Concept GmbH is desktop 3D printer manufacturer located in Germany. Their Shaper Cube 3D printer is based on Reprap.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Shaper Cube
  • PLA & ABS 3mm € 979.00
    MaukCC MaukCC stands for Mauk Custom Creations and is a Netherlands-based manufacturer of desktop 3D printers.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Cartesio M
  • PLA & ABS 1.75mm, or 3mm € 1,754.50
    Aleph Objects, Inc Aleph Objects, Inc is a desktop 3D printer manufacturer located in Colorado, USA. Aleph Objects sells their printers under their brand name LulzBot.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • LulzBot AO-100
  • PLA & ABS 1.75mm, or 3mm US$ 1,725.00
    Afinia Afinia is division of Microboards Technology LLC which develops the Afinia desktop 3D printers and was founded in 2009 in Minnesota, USA.
    3D   Printer Filament Diameter Available   From
  • Afinia H-Series
  • ABS 1.75mm US$ 1,499.00


    Please keep in mind that this overview is for information and convenience purposes only, and compiled at a certain point in time. We have gathered this information from the websites of the respective manufacturers. 
     
    We try to keep this overview as up-to-date as possible, but please be aware that information could be out-of-date, inaccurate, or incomplete at a certain point of time. This overview is only to help you on your way and we do advise and encourage you to always check the manufacturer’s website (or contact the manufacturer) yourself in order to receive the most up-to-date and accurate information.


    Useful Websites
    Below you will find some useful links with respects to 3D designs and 3D printing in general.

    Designs
    Share your digital 3D designs with the rest of the world and check out the rest of the world’s designs at Thingiverse. Thingiverse is the open-source sharing space for digital designs.

    3D Printing Forums
    RepRap.org is a community project, which means everybody is welcome to edit and create pages on their site. The RepRap Project is open-source and initiated the desktop 3D printing revolution.

    Discussion topics, workshops, tutorials, galleries and information can also be found on 3dprinting-forums.com.

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