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Basics of 3D Printing

Most of us know all about 2 dimensional (2D) printing on a printer which only involved the front and the back of the page, in 3 dimensional (3D) printing the additional dimension is volume.  A 3D printer offers you the chance to print 3 dimensional objects like a cup or a doll.  Beanz, the magazine for kids, code and computer science, shares some basics about 3D printing:

  • objects are created by adding or depositing layers of material
  • the computer file with details about your model must be converted into slices the printer will create layer by layer
  • printing a 3D object may take hours or even days
  • the price of a 3D object is dependent upon the materials needed to print it

Some common 3D glossary terms:

3D — having three dimensions: length (width), depth, and height.

  • ABS — Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is one type of thermoplastic used in 3D printing. It becomes soft and pliable when heated. See PLA.
  • Additive — In 3D printing, the process of building an object by adding layer upon layer.
  • Build Platform — In non-resin 3D printing, the flat level surface used as a base to create a three-dimensional object. Resin 3D printing uses a tank filled with resin instead of a build platform.
  • Build Volume — The maximum length, depth, and height a 3D printer can use to build an object. Also called Print Volume.
  • CAD — Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software is used to create complete models, usually buildings, structures, and mechanical parts. CAD models are more precise than other types of models. CAD models also use NURBs to define curved edges. Polygon modeling and sculpture modeling software also are used to create 3D models for printing.

3D printing will open a whole new world for consumers.  It’s a great time to have your children learn the basics.

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For full article:  What is 3D printing?

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