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3D Printing: What Should I Know?

Like I mentioned in josh's post I've gotten interested in 3d printing. Rather than stealing his thread I made a new one.

So my question is, "What do I need to know before I start 3D Printing?". I think I zero'ed in on the soliddoodle 2 but I still don't know what I need to know.

For example, What are the different parts of a printer? What do I need o know to run one? What are some notes about the software? What's the difference between pla and abs?

Thanks for any info people post.

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#2  
What software do you suggest? I find 123D not very powerful. Just want to see a comparison between a strong program vs 123D.
United Kingdom
#3  
You can't be using 123D properly if you don't find it very powerful.

I have been using AutoDesk products for over 15 years for a whole host of 2D and 3D drawing. Admittedly I hadn't done any 3D for about 5 years before the middle of last year but it is 123D I use when I do now.

123D is simpler to use than AutoCAD and Inventor for it's 3D and while AutoCAD and Inventor have much more powerful features 123D makes it very easy and very quick to knock up a rough drawing which can then be refined in AutoCAD (if needed - to be honest most of the time it isn't needed).

What are you trying to do that 123D wont do?


Here is a quick example of one thing I was working on for my Jarvis robot, made entirely in 123d
#4  
WoW, I can't qualify as a student so the costs become a real issue. Depending on what you link with 3dsmax-2014 the fees are between $4,500 to $6,000. Think I'll have to stick with 123D.
#5  
Yea... I looked at 3dsmax...

Anyways im going to see if there are any hidden features that im missing because 123D seems to be missing something...

Any other comments are definitely welcome.
United Kingdom
#7  
Which 123D are you using? Design, Catch, Make, Create? Online of offline?
#8  
What I would tell you is prepare to be patient and spend your first month of 3d printing making things others have already printed so you can learn your machine and how to use your controller and slicer software to get the best results. Once you have your feet wet printing little yoda, and other things on thingiverse then start your own. Always use a software check like mesh lab or the online free option netfab to upload your model and let it check it for manifoldness. It will fill tiny inconsistencies and open ended faces. Then open said stl object back up and make sure it didn't turn into a phycodelic Batarang or anything. Once your model is manifold it should slice smoothly. If a slicer is taking over 5 to 10 minutes something is wrong with your model.
#10  
Technopro, have you seen the Youtube videos about using 123D ? I started watching some of them and decided to download the program. It appears to be a nice program and I printed a couple of things for my Roomba testing like a contact holder and battery box to charge Roomba batteries externally.
#11  
I have started to do some research. Turns out I missed some stuff *blush*