3D printing Myths
“So if I want to 3D print this cup I can just take a picture with my phone and then the printer can print it, right?” Would be nice but actually it doesn’t work like that. The composition of a 3D printer does not allow it to take a 2D image and produce a 3D object out of it. If this has been a thought of yours don’t worry, it’s not a stupid question, it’s just one of the many myths that surround the world of 3D printing.
With this post we will attempt to dispel a few of the misconceptions regarding 3D printing. Are you ready to bust a couple of myths? Let’s GO!!
Wait, so a 3D printer is a printer that makes an actual, physical thing? That’s not possible!
3D printing is real. 3D printers have actually been around since the 1980s. The first 3D printers used stereolithography, rather than fused filament fabrication (FFF) like most of the consumer 3D printers available today. It wasn’t until 2007 that 3D printers broached the $10,000 mark and started hitting the news more regularly. By 2013, most people had heard of 3D printers and by 2016, many people have at least seen a 3D printer in action at one point. For a more in-depth history on the technology, check out this great article. For more info on how it works, check out our posts earlier in this series on Choosing the Right 3D Printer and Setting Up Your Slicing Settings, which explain some of the technical aspects of FFF printing.
Where does the 3D printer get the information to know what to build?
Individuals known as 3D modelers, use a software known as Computer Aided Design or CAD to create the objects on their computer. The printer knows what to print from the objects created by the 3D modeler.
Another way to get objects to a printer is by scanning images to a computer and preparing them for 3D printing
3D printers work at the same speed as a desktop printer, right?
That would be amazing but it’s not the case. Since objects have to be created, it takes more time to produce them.
I bet 3D printers can create anything!
Hmm, not really. Being that producing an object is dependent on the material the printer uses, the design of the object to be printed, the stability of the 3D printer in use, and the friction used to create object’s layers during printing, the 3D printer is limited in what it can produce.
These are just a few of the ideas and questions people have regarding 3D printing and we are sure there are plenty more. Maybe you have a few yourself. If you have any other questions you’d like answered about 3D printing or any misconceptions you’ve heard contact us and we would gladly help you debunk them all.