A few decades ago, the idea of creating an item in any shape that you want, with a device that is pretty affordable and sits on your office desk was something that people thought it is impossible. 3D printing was something that people could only imagine, and those who believed that it’s going to happen in the future also imagined it as something that’s a very luxurious thing.
Fast forward a few years, and you can see 3D printers in most modern homes, schools, and studios. The future is finally here, and you can now create any item of your choice, including very complex ones, in just a few hours.
Although the idea of 3D printing still sounds pretty complex to some people, we are here to help you understand exactly how it works, so if you are curious to learn some more, feel free to stick with us until the end. Let’s take a look.
How does 3D printing work?
These types of printers are controlled by a computer, and they require instructions in the form of a 3D model to be able to print out the desired item. So, you need to be skilled in virtual sculpting (3D modeling), to be able to use this kind of a printer, or you can use models that are already pre-made by someone.
The device builds the item one layer at a time, starting from the bottom and moving upwards. The method used is called FDM, which stands for fused depositional modeling, and it is a process in which the same area is printed while slowly progressing upwards, from the bottom to the top, just like we said.
The material used is plastic, which is melted and then layered properly by the machine, which later dries off and becomes solid. Different devices use different types of materials, but the most common one is plastic that comes in the form of a very thin rope. The better your 3D model is, the better the actual result will be in the end, so pay a lot of attention when creating it.
Sklptor.com is a website that allows you to skip the entire 3D modeling process, by ordering a high-quality blueprint from a professional modeler with years of experience. If you are a fan of printing these objects, but you don’t like to do the modeling yourself, this is probably your best option.
You can browse their library of assets and purchase something that you like, or you can ask for something completely custom and unique. Their service is fast and reliable, and the price will vary depending on the complexity of the model.
The third option that you can choose is very good if you are a passionate modeler, but you don’t have the required equipment to bring your models to life. You can send a finished model in your desired format, and they can print it out and send it back to you. Of course, you’ll have to pay for the service, but that’s still cheaper than having someone model it for you and print it out as well.
Numerous formats are supported, such as OBJ and many others, so don’t worry about format availability because most modern services these days support them all.
How useful is 3D printing?
This technology allows us to have more than just a cool hobby. It is very useful because it allows people to make prototypes of items that they want to invest in, and before spending millions on it, they get to try a very cheap “trial version” of their idea and collect some feedback from their supporters.
Architects can make entire mockups for their very important projects, and casual enthusiasts can have tons of fun making custom-made souvenirs and other decorative items. The things that you can print don’t have to be for fun only, and there are already many useful things that you can make with these machines. A few examples are salt and pepper shakers, a unique toothpaste squeezer, chip clips and tons of different items.
If you ever run in a situation where you need something very specific, instead of searching the stores for it, you can just create your pieces, such as screws, gears or even a separate key. Yes, keys can be printed, and they work just like the original ones, which is quite amazing and a bit frightening at the same time.
Ideas that you can bring to life
The opportunities with this technology are endless, and you simply cannot run out of ideas when it comes to 3D printing. You’ll always have something cool and useful to make. If you’ve already tried many things, and you feel like you need a few extra ideas, take a look at these examples.
- Phone Case
Making your unique phone case is probably what’s going to get you the most compliments for your creativity. Everyone will ask where you got it from, and you can shamelessly brag that you’ve modeled it and printed it out by yourself. Who knows, maybe your design is going to blow up and the next thing you know is that you’re selling these things.
- Nuts and Bolts
If you ever need these things but the local hardware shop is closed, or they simply lack the models that you need for your project, don’t forget that you can make fully customized ones at your own home, without spending more than a few minutes. You can already find a lot of finished models for these, so if you are lucky enough, you won’t even have to make them yourself.
- Moon Lamps
Moon Lamps are yet another amazing product which is the result of 3D printing. On websites such as Levitating Moon you can find different models of this product and they are perfect for every part of your home. The lamps can be placed on the nightstand or your working desk and provide light whenever you need it.
The lamp is easy to charge and its run time is 48 hours. But the beauty of it is that it looks like the real moon! How could would it be to have one on your stand instead of a regular lamp.
- Your Chess Pieces
Do you want to make your chess figures? Or perhaps you want to get creative and invent a completely different chess game with your unique-looking figures? Everything is possible if you are creative enough, so if you’re feeling like inventing, why not give it a shot?
- Pet House
Who said that these models cannot be large? There are entire human-height figures that people are creating these days, they just take some more time and effort to come out perfect. You can create a pet house for your dog, and it can even end up being less costly than purchasing a real one. How cool is that?D