We’ve been working with 3D printing for many years, and over that time we’ve received many questions from those interested in the technology. These questions tend to fall in similar patterns, so we’ve collected the most popular questions about 3D printing in one place for you.

HOW DOES 3D PRINTING WORK?

  • A model created on a computer is analyzed and divided into layers, as if sliced horizontally.
  • Each “slice” is produced in succession on the 3D printer, layering on top of each other to gradually produce a whole object. The software will generate a Gcode file.
  • Send the Gcode file to 3d printer and start your printing.

HOW BIG AN OBJECT CAN I 3D PRINT?

  • It depends on the specific 3D printer you are using. Each has a maximum build volume.
  • Large prints typically take a VERY LONG TIME to complete, often hours or even days.
  • Large 3D models can be split into pieces, printed and assembled into a larger object if they don’t fit into a specific 3D printer.
  • Industrial 3D printers can handle larger sizes – but they are very expensive.

WHICH MATERIALS CAN BE 3D PRINTED?

  • Personal 3D printers typically support PLA and ABS plastics or similar plastics.
  • PLA is biodegradable and made from corn, but is brittle.
  • ABS is made from petroleum and is strong.
  • Other experimental materials are possible, such as mixing wood, nylon or metal particles into PLA plastic and certain plastics such as nylon, HIPS and others.
  • Food paste and other squishy substances can be 3D printed with specialized 3D printers equipped with syringes
  • Industrial 3D printers can print in sand, ceramics or metals, but are very expensive.

WHAT SOFTWARE DO I NEED TO USE A 3D PRINTER?

  • Each 3D printer includes software to drive the printer itself. Types vary by manufacturer, but there are some commonly used open source systems that work on most machines.
  • If you’re designing your own 3D Models, you need a 3D CAD (computer aided design) program, Autodesk, SolidWorks or any of many others. Note that some are extremely expensive to purchase, others are available at no charge.
  • CAD programs frequently specialize in a type of design: mechanical parts, artistic shapes, architecture, etc. There are dozens of 3D CAD programs; choose one that best meets your budget, skill level and design goal.

WHERE CAN I GET A 3D MODEL PRINTED WITHOUT OWN A 3D PRINTER

  • Go to local or online 3D print services center to  print the model for you.
  • Each presents models you can choose from, or you can upload your own design for printing.
  • Ask a friend who has access to a 3D printer.

WHERE CAN I BUY A 3D PRINTER

  • Virtually all manufacturers of desktop equipment offer online sales from their websites. Some local and regional resellers exist. Larger commercial equipment is typically sold through local resellers.
  • Buying on Popular Worldwide or your local Online Electric Business Platform such as Amazon, Ebay.
  • Large cities may have dedicated 3D printer retail stores.

WHAT 3D PRINTER SHOULD I BUY?

  • It depends on your budget, your technical ability, the materials required, and type of object being printed.

HOW LONG CAN I PRINT WITH ONE SPOOL FILAMENT?

  • It depends on differernt filament type and the diameter, for our ABS & PLA filament, a net weight of 1kg filament: 1 kg spool of 3mm PLA yields in average 117 meters. A 1 kg spool of 1.75mm PLA yields in average 345 meters. A 1 kg spool of 3mm ABS yields in average 140 meters. A 1 kg spool of 1.75mm ABS yields in average 411 meters.

ARE ALL FILAMENTS MADE FROM THE SAME MATERIALS?

  • Most filament are made from different compounds.
  • We uses approved material with the highest quality compound for our filaments.
  • We constantly research on improvement of our material compositions

AFTER OPENING THE VACUUM PACKAGING, HOW LONG CAN THE FILAMENT LAST?

  • Depends on the humidity of your surrounding environment.
  • Filaments tend to easily absorb moisture.
  • For low humidity environment it will last for months.
  • We always suggest to properly store your filaments to preserved the best quality.
  • Storing them in a airtight container with sufficient desiccant will extend the useful life.

HOW TO CHOOSE PLA OR ABS FOR DIFFERERNT APPLICATION?

PLA is a polymer produced from renewable resources like maize and sugar cane. It in general is easier to print, does not require a heated bed and warps less. It is bio-degradable in the right conditions.

PLA, in general is easier to print and best suited for design prototypes for example.

ABS on the other hand is made from fossil fuels, is much harder and more impact resistant, hence often used for mechanical parts or parts to be exposed to the elements.

ABS can sustain higher temperatures before it softens. It also is better suited for outdoor applications.

For more question, or if you have any question on our 3d printing filament, 3d printer pen, please send email to us: support@beaver3d.com