3D printing is a really fun way to get involved in technology, and there are so many developments showcasing its abilities.
Have you recently bought a new 3D printer but you’re stuck for ideas on what to print? You’re not alone. Many people buy their 3D printer only to grow bored of it, with time, money, and effort going to waste. But whether you’re new to printing or experienced or own a low cost or a top of the range printer, there are lots of exciting things to do. Here are three ways to make the most of your 3D printer.
The first idea is probably the most obvious…
We’ve all been there. You start using an item, and it breaks. You dash to the shops or browse online, only to find that it’s not in stock or no longer made. And if it’s in stock, there is a long wait for shipping. With 3D printing, that’s a thing of the past. Almost anything made out of plastic can be printed, whether it’s a measuring cube, a TV stand or a remote cover, as long as your object doesn’t exceed your maximum print size (which you can find in your instruction manual) you can print it.
At just a click away, thousands of designs are available to help you find the ideal part. Part making can be done with your 3D printer, and with websites like Thingiverse.com, you have access to some amazing designs which users upload regularly.
Once you’ve found the object, check the measurements (or change them with ease in the Cura software which is free to download online) and save to an SD card, put it into your 3D printer, and print. That’s it. There is also the option to print parts for your own printer to make it print better, run smoother, or more efficient. With access to so many parts, most 3D printer hobbyists use this as a way to design their own products which we will cover below.
Experimenting is a really good way to test your 3D printer’s capabilities and take it to the next level. Sometimes you want a machine that does something different. There are lots of ways to experiment in making your 3D printer work quieter and more efficient. A popular choice for speed printing is a Bowden set-up. Instead of the extruder (the bit that which pushes the plastic) sitting on top of the hot-end (which melts the plastic), it sits on top of the frame. This means that there is less weight to move around.
If you don't find what you're looking for, have a go at making it yourself. With 'Cura 3D builder', a free software, you can draw your object to the ideal size. It’s an effective way of prototyping work by seeing what your item will look like in 3D before it’s printed.
Inventing a new item is something which works well in schools and at home. Whether you’re stuck for ideas to keep your young children occupied or you’re a teacher looking for new and exciting classroom resources 3D prints can help.
We all know how children love new things. Sometimes parents or teachers need new ways to keep children engaged, and printing objects which are child-friendly can be a good method for managing behavior. Another way it can be used is for classroom resources or learning aids. How many times have you wanted to teach or learn about the human body? Being able to see it helps a lot. Printing skeletal structures or dinosaurs and joining the plastic parts together brings a whole new way of stimulating learning.
There is also a vast amount of puzzles which you can print and try. If you are feeling brave: Why not try making one and printing it?