A Basic Definition of 3D Printing
What is 3D Modeling Software?
The 3D modeling software develops an object in three dimensions.It isconsidered as a specialized software that is capable of building up amathematical representation of surfaces, objects and much more in 3D. It maydisplay the 3D models as ‘normal’ 2D images. In a 3D space, a 3D model usespoints and attaches it by geometric entities like straight lines, curvedsurfaces, and triangles to represent physical bodies.The application of 3D models is used in almost any industry as our imaginationonly limits it. For example, the entertainment industry employs 3D modelingsoftware to create characters and whole movie sequences. Most 3D modelingsoftware encourages converting 3D models into 2D images. It is 3D rendering.
Why is 3D Modeling important?
Around the world, the architects use 3D modeling to enjoy efficiency andaesthetic of their design. It provides architects and engineers with therequired tools. The designs get transformed due to 3D modeling. Let’s discussin what ways 3D modeling is essential: * Image Speaks- Image speaks a thousand words. You can give life to your favorite images using a 3D printer and can create unique personalized objects. * Realistic & Quick- 3D modeling facilitates a single picture of architectural services. The design gets vivid. It becomes easy to take a virtual tour of the construction projects. * Simple re-modeling & Corrections- On the overall design you can effortlessly see the impact. Without much cost, you can finalize the design — the end construction shapes-up to the conceived output due to its accuracy. * Apt for marketing- It is more compelling and satisfying to experience a 3D model. For a more extended time, the vivid imagery lingers in the prospect’s mind. In the construction business, if the 3D model is used, then the approval rate gets quicker. * Blessing for interior designers- You can give a compelling view of the dream home or office building to the clients. With all the furniture, wall paints and designs you can plan the life-like model of the residential or commercial flat. * No language barrier- The 3D designs are instruction less and have no language barriers. Any human can understand 3D model naturally and can experience the virtual reality which it creates.
A Basic Definition of 3D Printing
We all know what printing is so let’s begin with the 3D part of 3D printing.3D is shorthand for three-dimensional. When you print a page on a printer,there are only two dimensions: the front of the page and the back of the page.Three-dimensional printing adds a third dimension, volume.3D printing uses a printer to create three-dimensional objects, for example, acup or Yoda doll or phone case.3D printing has these qualities: * Objects are created by adding or depositing layers of material, not subtracting or cutting out pieces from a block of material. * Because objects are created by adding layers, the computer file with details about your model must be converted into slices the printer will create layer by layer. * Printing a three-dimensional object can take hours or days to complete, depending on the complexity and size of the object. * Cost is based on materials used, among other factors. In contrast, if you buy a piece of wood then cut out pieces to create your object you pay for the original piece of wood.
How 3D Printing is Used
Today 3D printing is mostly done by business, students, and designers. Home orconsumer use of 3D printing is mostly limited to people trying out thetechnology. However, there’s a lot of value in printing three-dimensionalobjects for students, designers, and anyone who needs a small object todemonstrate their ideas or create usable objects. Students as young as 10years old also might use a 3D printer in shop class.It’s the future uses of this technology which have people excited. Forexample, replacing the plastic back of your TV remote might involve going to awebsite, finding the part, then clicking a button to have the part printedlocally where you can pick it up. Today you either replace the complete remotecontrol or figure out where to get the replacement part which has been createdelsewhere, likely overseas.More interesting, 3D printing makes it possible to experiment with fashion andother parts of our lives we take for granted. It might be possible to createmedical implants, for example, using tissue from the patient.Perhaps the most talked about, and misunderstood, use of 3D printing involvesmaking guns. While it is possible, there are many factors that make printing agun dangerous and uncommon. It’s easier and safer to create a light saber.It’s also possible 3D printing will be used as part of a larger manufacturingprocess, for example, to create cars. In addition to a new set of cars offeredevery year by automakers, 3D printing might make it easy to buy a 1967 Mustangwith the latest engine, safety, and other technologies from your local cardealer.The same dynamic applies to shoes and frames for glasses, for example, whereolder designs unavailable today might be available for 3D printing at home ornearby at a print shop.In addition, there is at least one group that provides students a way to usetheir school 3D printers to create prosthetic parts for medical use. Studentsget hands on experience creating something other than a phone case whilehelping others.
How 3D Printing Works
At a high level, a 3D printer takes material, usually plastic wrapped on aspool, heats the material, and then fuses the material layer by layer to builda three-dimensional object. The material is extruded, or pushed out anddeposited.Precision is critical for 3D printers. The print head, pulleys, and extruderhardware must be aligned, as well as software dimensions translated to thecorrect real world dimensions used by the printer hardware.The Printrbot printer is a low end printer you can build yourself tounderstand how all the pieces of a 3D printer fit together and work. Mostpeople, however, use a pre-built printer where they adjust the location of theprint head and build platform, as well as test the extruder heads emit thematerial used to print.There are at least two kinds of additive 3D printing, resin and non-resin.Printing objects with resin uses laser technology to solidify layer by layerto create objects. It often is extremely costly and uses light and chemicalsto cure the object. However, the results are more precise than non-resinprinting.When people talk about 3D printing, they’re mostly talking about non-resinprinting. Instead of resin, lasers, and chemicals, non-resin printing usesplastic, food, ceramics, or other material and adds layer upon layer to createan object.
The 3D Printing Process
Printing a three-dimensional model is more complicated than opening upMicrosoft Word and printing to your 2D printer. At a high level, to create a3D model you follow these steps: * Find a model or create a model with Blendr, SketchUp, or OpenSCAD software. * Prepare your model for printing, for example, ensuring the model is watertight with no gaps. * Create an STL file which converts your model into code the 3D printer understands, using Netfabb, Meshlab, or similar software. * Print your 3D model, adjusting the printer as needed.You might do some or all of these steps, depending on whether or not you havea 3D printer or use a printing service. There’s also lots of help if you use aprinting service or find help online or use a local hacker collective.
Materials Used in 3D Printing
Non-resin 3D printers use mostly ABS and/or PLA plastic which becomes pliablewhen heated then solid. There are other possible thermoplastics used. Someprinters use metal wire. And newer printers can print ceramics or with foodmaterials. Materials are fed into the printer with a spool that has plastic orother material wound around the spool.Resin 3D printers use custom formulated plastic resin poured into a tank. Theresin is light sensitive and hardens when laser light heats a spot within theresin.
A Simple 3d Printing Glossary
These are key terms you will encounter with 3D printing:3D — having three dimensions: length (width), depth, and height.ABS — Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is one type of thermoplastic usedin 3D printing. It becomes soft and pliable when heated. See PLA.Additive — In 3D printing, the process of building an object by adding layerupon layer.Build Platform — In non-resin 3D printing, the flat level surface used as abase to create a three-dimensional object. Resin 3D printing uses a tankfilled with resin instead of a build platform.Build Volume — The maximum length, depth, and height a 3D printer can use tobuild 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 moreprecise than other types of models. CAD models also use NURBs to define curvededges. Polygon modeling and sculpture modeling software also are used tocreate 3D models for printing.Extruder — A nozzle that takes thermoplastic wire or other material anddeposits the material at a precise location with the print head.FDM — Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is a process to use a fused material todeposit layer upon layer and create a three-dimensional object. FDM istrademarked. An alternative un-trademarked term is Fused Filament Fabrication(FFF).FFF — Fused filament fabrication. An alternative term for FDM which istrademarked. See FDM.Gantry — Larger non-desktop 3D printers use a steel frame made of connectedbeams to suspend the print head and other parts of the printer as objects arecreated.Gcode — a programming language used by machine tools, including 3D printers. A3D model must be saved as an STL file format before it can be converted toGcode for printing.NURB — Non-Rational Uniform Splines (NURBs) are a type of shape where theedges of the shape are splines (curves) controlled and adjusted by handlesvisible onscreen. You drag a handle to change the length and position of thecurved spline edge.OBJ — The OBJ file format is a common 3D model format used by modelingsoftware. For 3D printing, OBJ files must be converted to STL file format thenGcode for printing.PLA — Polylactic acid (PLA) is a thermoplastic used in 3D printing as analternative to ABS. Because it is made from sugars, PLA when heated can giveoff a sweet smell. See ABS.Polygon Modeling Software — Polygon modeling software creates models byconnecting and combining polygon shapes at their edges. Polygon models rarely,if ever, use NURBs for curved edges. Instead, polygons are subdivided into newpolygons to create the appearance of smooth round edges. Computer-aided design(CAD) and sculpture modeling software also are used to create 3D models forprinting.Print Volume — See Build Volume.Quad Geometry — Quad geometry is used to describe 3D models as four-sidedpolygons, for example, in polygon modeling and sculpting software. Printing a3D model requires converting quad geometry to the triangle geometry used bythe STL (stereolithography) file format.Sculpting Software — Sculpting programs can be used to create 3D models. Theyare polygon modeling software optimized to handle large numbers of polygons,for example, to create human shapes and round edges. Computer-aided design(CAD) and polygon modeling software also are used to create 3D models forprinting.Slicing — The process of converting (slicing) a 3D model computer file intolayers and then translate each layer into machine code used by the 3D printerto build the three-dimensional object.Stereolithography — An additive 3D printing process building layer upon layerby curing a resin with a laser.STL — The STL (stereolithography) file format describes a 3D model as a set oftriangles. STL files are converted to GCode which 3D printers use to printobjects. Most 3D modeling software lets you save or export files in STLformat. Otherwise, files are saved in OBJ (object) format and netfabb softwareis used to create the STL file from the OBJ format.subD — A subdivision (subD) surface is used in polygon modeling software toprovide rounded edges to otherwise square surfaces, for example, a cube withrounded edges. The subD surface allows a specified set of edges to besubdivided into additional polygons to provide the rounded edge.Subtractive — Creating an object by removing (subtracting) parts of a singleblock of material.Thermoplastic — Plastic that becomes pliable upon heating then solid whencooled.Triangle Geometry — The STL (stereolithography) file format describes 3Dmodels as a set of triangles. Models also can be describe with polygons orquad geometry.Watertight — A 3D object model is watertight when the printer can tell theinside from the outside of the model. If you filled up the model with water,no water would drain out.
What is 3D Modeling?
* * *3D modeling is the use of computers to create images and graphics that look tohave three dimensions.Advanced 3D animation software programs like Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max as wellas some coding knowledge are required to be able to create your own 3D models.The basic process involves connecting sets of points with lines, curvedsurfaces, and other geometric data to make wireframe models.
Is 3D Modeling for You?
* * *One of the most common traits found in professional 3D modelers is creativity.Much like drawing and animation, 3D modeling requires a lot of imagination andinnovation to create characters and worlds that will stand out from the rest.This includes having sharp attention to detail so your work is always polishedand of the highest quality possible.3D modelers also usually need to have some familiarity with computer coding,and sometimes scripting languages as well.3D software programs aren’t the easiest to learn, and 3D modeling itself canhave a sharp learning curve, which means having a talent for using computersto perform tasks appropriately is a must.Last but not least, people who thrive and enjoy working in a team setting willenjoy 3D modeling.Whether you’re in a top game studio like Blizzard Entertainment or working onPixar’s next masterpiece, you can expect to work closely with artists,animators, and several other members on projects.Since the video game industry, in particular, can be very demanding, peoplewho don’t do well with tight schedules and long hours probably shouldn’tbecome a 3D modeler to make video games.
How to Learn 3D Modeling
* * *While there are people out there doing 3D modeling for a living without evergoing to school, most break into the industries after earning a degree from areputable computer animation school or college program.In fact, it’s getting harder and harder breaking into the video game and filmindustry as a 3D animator without a college degree or proof that you’ve gonethrough a good program.This is because a degree is a proof to employers that you’ve received hands-ontraining with 3D programs while being trained by people capable of educatingothers.
3D Modeling Careers
* * *Today, 3D modeling is used in a vast number of fields.The medical industry uses detailed 3D models of organs, including 2-D imageslices from a CT or MRI scan.Architects and engineers also make use of 3D software programs to showproposed buildings, landscapes, devices, structures, vehicles, and more.Even scientists have begun using making use of 3D geological models.Seismologists, for example, use them to predict events within the crust of theearth due to shifting plates, erosion, etc.Of course, most people find an interest in 3D modeling thanks to two of thebiggest entertainment industries today.The first is movies and motion pictures, which use computer-generatedcharacters, objects, and environments in animated and live-action films aswell as 3D imaging to create an optical illusion of depth.The other industry is none other than video games. Most modern games use 3Dmodels and environments to create the virtual worlds that players interactwith and explore.Anyone interested in any of the above fields will want to learn how to use 3Dmodeling software programs.