- Choose the right 3D Printer.
Before you choose your 3D printer you need to know that there are different 3D printing technologies and materials you can print with and understand them. You can find about this on https://all3dp.com/types-of-3d-printer-technology-explained/ .
The most common types of 3D printers are FDM and SLA (Fused Deposition Modeling), SLA (Stereo lithography).
The best FDM 3D Printer 2017 models you can find on https://all3dp.com/1/best-3d-printer-reviews-top-3d-printers-home-3-d-printer-3d/
The best SLA 3D Printer 2017 models you can find on https://all3dp.com/1/best-resin-dlp-sla-3d-printer-kit-stereolithography/
Pay attention to the printing materials you can use. You must fully understand the properties of those materials so that the object you print functions as it was designed to function. You finished object can only ever be as good as the materials you used to produce it.
When you’re looking at 3D Printers you should be thinking about 3D Printing Attributes.
- Print Area/Build Volume
- Printing Speed
- Layer Resolution
In general, the larger the build volume, the faster the speed and the higher the resolution, the bigger the price tag on the printer.
There are three categories of 3D Printing Software to be aware of- 3D Modeling, 3D Sculpting and CAD tools. Most 3D Printers provide their own Slicing Software that can open and print STL files (standard file format that you might use to print 3D model into a physical object). 3D Modeling and 3D sculpting software is used to produce more organic forms and CAD tools are used to develop geometric designs. Depending on your operating system different software will be available.
Here are some 3D Printing Software tools; Free and for Beginners:
- Sculptris (https://sculptris.en.softonic.com/); 3D Modeling Software; 3D Design, CAD.
- Autodesk 123D Catch (https://autodesk-123d-catch.en.softonic.com/); Design&Photography Software; 3D Design, CAD.
- 3D Slash (https://www.3dslash.net/features_downloads.php); 3D Modeling Software; 3D Design, CAD.
- TinkerCAD(https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/p/autodesk-tinkercad/9wzdncrdcx1) 3D Modeling Software;3D Design, CAD.
- Cura (https://ultimaker.com/en/products/cura-software) ;Slicer,3D Printer Host
- CraftWare (https://craftunique.com/craftware?gclid=CjwKEAjwjPXIBRDhwICRg-DbgHISJADP6QXpPzDm5OcpJLyXTpBmmbCuA73lh_FL1e25Xvvyrz4WMBoCdMHw_wcB) ; Slicer,3D Printer Host.
- ViewSTL (https://www.lifewire.com/stl-viewers-2225) STL viewer.
Free and for Intermediate:
- 3D-Tool Free viewer (https://www.3d-tool.com/en_free-viewer-download.htm); STL viewer.
- Meshfix (https://sourceforge.net/projects/meshfix/) STL Checker, STL Repair.
- Netfabb Basic (https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/netfabb); Slicer, STL Checker, STL Repair
- Repetier (https://www.repetier.com/download-now/); Slicer, 3D Printer Host.
- Free CAD (https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD); 3D Design, CAD.
- SketchUp (http://download.cnet.com/SketchUp-Make-2017/3000-6677_4-10257337.html); 3D Design, CAD.
Price: However, more money does not always equal a better printer.