3D Printing Workflow
- 1 Modeling
- 2 Preparing your STL for Printing
- 3 Slicing
- 4 Print Settings
- 5 Printing
Your first goal is acquiring a 3D model of an object you want to print, in the .STL format.
Downloading Premade Models
Platforms with 3D models:
- https://3DaGoGo.com All models uploaded here must include images of successful prints, leading to a fairly high quality of models in the library. Free & paid models.
- http://myminifactory.com/ All models are printed by website operators. Requires "points" to download, 5 free on registration, $1 for subsequent points.
3D Model Search Engines
- http://yeggi.com Searches multiple sources of varying quality
- http://www.yobi3d.com Searches multiple sources with a built-in viewer to see results in 3D
Downloads That Might Require Conversion/Manipulation Before Printing
Building Your Own Models
Preparing your STL for Printing
- Bed leveling.
- Material selection.
- Build plate surface prep
- Printing on a perfectly smooth perfectly flat surface is actually a bad idea. The plastic won't adhere very well, and higher layers will dislodge it, ruining the print. There are many strategies to making your prints adhere to the surface, and you will likely need to experiment to find a solution that works for you. Remember that bed leveling and Z height at 0 will determine how much the first layer of your print is pressed into the surface, and this will significantly affect adhesion.
- Blue painters tape.
- Kapton tape.
- PET tape.
- Glass plate.
- Glue stick.
- ABS Juice. ABS dissolved in acetone can be used as a kind of glue that keeps ABS prints stuck to their build platform.
- Acetone vapor bath. ABS parts can be polished to a smooth and shiny finish in an acetone vapor bath. Caution: Acetone is flammable, and its fumes are explosive and toxic. You must exercise care with this technique, using only a tiny amount of acetone, keeping all sources of ignition away from the vapor, and operate the apparatus outdoors.
- Filling and Sanding. A tutorial on using automotive finishing techniques on your model to achieve a smooth painted part.
- How to Smooth Your PLA 3D Prints - Contributed by G+ User William Eades here