robotics, open-source software, and building 3D printers. section that the Printrbot website offers a PDF file for download that contains the BOM. I.
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3D Printing ii 3D Printing: Build Your Own 3D Printer and Print Your Own 3D Objects Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Nor is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-5235-2 ISBN-10: 0-7897-5235-2 Library of Congress Control Number: 2013949972 Printed in the United States of America First printing October 2013 Trademarks All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. Que Publishing cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark. Warning and Disclaimer Every effort has been made to make this book as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warr tness is implied. The information provided is on an “as is” basis. The author and the publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained in this book. Bulk Sales Que Publishing offers excellent discounts on this book when ordered in quantity for bulk purchases or special sales. For more information, please contact U.S. Corporate and Government Sales 1-800-382-3419 firstname.lastname@example.org For sales outside of the U.S., please contact International Sales email@example.com Editor-in-Chief Greg Wiegand Executive Editor Rick Kughen Development Editors William Abner Todd Brakke Managing Editor Sandra Schroeder Project Editor Mandie Frank Copy Editor Barbara Hacha Indexer Lisa Stumpf Proofreader Dan Knott Technical Editor John Ray Publishing Coordinator Kristen Watterson Designer Mark Shirar Compositor Mary Sudul
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iii Contents at a Glance Introduction 1 CHAPTER 1 The Big Question—What Is a 3D Printer? 3 CHAPTER 2 Find Yourself a 3D Printer 17 CHAPTER 3 Assembly Assistance for the Printrbot Simple 29 CHAPTER 4 guring the Software 53 CHAPTER 5 First Print with the Simple 65 CHAPTER 6 Free 3D Modeling Software 83 CHAPTER 7 Creating a 3D Model with TinkerCad 105 CHAPTER 8 More 3D Modeling Tools 129 CHAPTER 9 Further Explorations 143 CHAPTER 10 Alternatives to the Printrbot Simple 151 CHAPTER 11 Where Do I Go from Here? 165 APPENDIX A 3D Printer and Modeling Resources 173 Index 177
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3D Printing iv Table of Contents Introduction 1 Chapter 1 The Big Question—What Is 3D Printing? 3 What Is a 3D Printer? 3 Say Hello to Plastic! 6 Solid to Liquid 8 A Different Type of Motor 10 3D Objects Require Three Axes 12 A Few Other Items 16 Chapter 2 Find Yourself a 3D Printer 17 3D Printer Options to Consider 17 Initial Cost 18 Ease of Assembly and Tech Support 23 Operating System Compatibility 24 Cost and Type of Filament 25 Resolution/Nozzle Diameter 26 Print Bed Size and Leveling 27 Do Your Homework 28 Chapter 3 Assembly Assistance for the Printrbot Simple 29 Printrbot Simple Assembly Part I 30 Early Assembly Observations 32 Midway Through Assembly Observations 38 End of Assembly Observations 43 Connecting All Wires 48 Finishing Thoughts 50 Chapter 4 Configuring the Software 53 Types of 3D Printing Software 54 Downloading the Repetier Software 55 Repetier Settings 56 Slic3r 60 Chapter 5 First Print with the Simple 65 Downloading an STL 66 Connecting the Simple to Repetier 68
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Table of Contents v Get the Hot End Up to Proper Temperature 70 Slice Your Object into Layers 71 Home the Hot End 73 Print! 77 Upgrades! 82 Chapter 6 Free 3D Modeling Software 83 Tinkercad 84 Examining Tinkercad 85 Wrapping Up Tinkercad 104 Chapter 7 Creating a 3D Model with Tinkercad 105 Hello World 105 Printing a Sketch or Simple Image 122 Chapter 8 More 3D Modeling Tools 129 123D Family of Apps 129 123D Design 133 123D Creature 135 123D Sculpt 136 123D Make 138 123D Catch 139 Having Fun 141 Chapter 9 Further Explorations 143 Go Bake Some Cookies 143 Don’t Forget the Youngest 3D Fans 146 Around the House 147 Showing Off 147 OpenSCAD 148 Chapter 10 Alternatives to the Printrbot Simple 151 Build Your Own 3D Printer 151 Consider 3D Printer Kits 154 Kickstarter and 3D Printers 156 Print-It-for-You Services 159 CNC and Laser Cutters 160 Scanning Objects 162
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vii About the Author James Floyd Kelly is a technology writer with degrees in English and Industrial Engineering. James has written on a wide variety of topics, including programming for kids, LEGO robotics, open-source software, and building 3D printers. James is a DIYer—a tinkerer and a maker who enjoys learning new skills whenever possible. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and two young boys. Dedication For Decker and Sawyer, my best projects ever Acknowledgments I read a book on writing once that said the life of a writer is a solitary one. That statement might be true for novelists, but for technology writers it’s completely unfounded. I’m fortunate to have a lot of folks to talk with and share ideas, and many of them are directly responsible for making certain my books look good and are as error-free as possible. My colleagues at Pearson continue to make writing about technology enjoyable, and I’d like to thank Rick Kughen for taking the most basic of ideas (“It’s a book about 3D printing, but written for beginners who might not even know what a 3D printer is…”) and letting me run with it. Along the way, I’ve had a great support staff of editors that include William Abner, Barbara Hacha, and Mandie Frank. Just turn back a few pages and take a look at all the names of the people involved in making this book a reality—if you like what you read, please take a moment and email them a note of thanks. In 2012 I had the good fortune of backing a 3D printer designed by Brook Drumm and sold through his company, Printrbot. Printrbot continues to grow, and Brook has been so generous in providing me with technical assistance, hardware, software, and just plain moral support. Jeremy Gallegos is a Printrbot employee who was always available to me, and I’d like to thank him for the phone calls and email support as I built the 3D printer used in this book. Both Brook and Jeremy were amazing resources to have, and I cannot recommend Printrbot’s products enough. (I’m now up to two models of Printrbot 3D printers.) Finally, I have to thank my wife, Ashley, and my two boys. I do this with every book I write, but the sincerity behind my thanking all three of them for their support only increases with each finished writing project.
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3D Printing viii We Want to Hear from You! As the reader of this book, you are our most important critic and commentator. We value your opinion and want to know what we’re doing right, what we could do better, what areas you’d like to see us publish in, and any other words of wisdom you’re willing to pass our way. We welcome your comments. You can email or write to let us know what you did or didn’t like about this book—as well as what we can do to make our books better. Please note that we cannot help you with technical problems related to the topic of this book. When you write, please be sure to include this book’s title and author as well as your name and email address. We will carefully review your comments and share them with the author and editors who worked on the book. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: Que Publishing ATTN: Reader Feedback 800 East 96th Street Indianapolis, IN 46240 USA Reader Services Visit our website and register this book at quepublishing.com/register for convenient access to any updates, downloads, or errata that might be available for this book.
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Introduction Welcome to 3D Printing! I’d like to welcome you to the world of 3D printing. If you’re already familiar with 3D printers, how they work, and what you can do with them—well, feel free to skip ahead. I won’t mind. 3D printing is exactly what it sounds like—printing something that can be picked up, held in your hands, and played with. It’s 3D, meaning it’s not flat like a piece of paper. It’s printing because the 3D object doesn’t just magically appear; it must be “printed” by a special device called a 3D printer. All of this and much more is explained in Chapter 1, “The Big Question—What Is a 3D Printer?”— and with photos! So, if your interest is piqued and you want to learn more, feel free to skip ahead right now to Chapter 1. Again, I won’t mind. You probably want to know a bit more about 3D printing. Maybe you’re a little nervous that it sounds a bit too technical, or too difficult. You’ll be happy to learn that there are kids doing this 3D printing thing. Young kids. How young? My oldest boy is six, and he’s learning much of what you’ll learn in this book and he’s having a blast. I’ve even heard of much younger kids designing and printing out fun little objects with a 3D printer. What kinds of objects can 3D printer owners print? I’ve seen a range of objects from the simple to the advanced. Buttons, game tokens, and money clips are easy to design and print and are great examples of small, simple objects that can be made in plastic. But on the advanced side, I’ve seen a 2’ tall Eiffel Tower, a life-size human skull, a set of working gears that were inserted into a robot to make it go faster, and even a camera shell that holds film and takes real pictures. (If you just can’t wait to see what people are printing with 3D printers, point your web browser to www.thingiverse.com and spend a few minutes browsing around this library of free object files that users can download and print on their 3D printers.) There’s really no need to be intimidated by 3D printing. Yes, this is a technology book, but I promise that I’ve written it for a nontechnical audience. As you get a few more chapters deeper into the book, you’ll discover that I’ve pulled back the complicated and strange workings of this thing called 3D printing. I even picked a special 3D printer to use with this book. It’s called The Simple. How cool is that? It’s a small 3D printer that you can build from an inexpensive kit. But you don’t have to buy it or any other 3D printer right now. Read the book to see what’s involved; read my notes on building a 3D printer from a kit and testing it, and see how I created my own 3D bobbles for printing. When you’re done with the book, I hope
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INTRODUCTION : Welcome to 3D Printing! 2 you’ll find that the 3D printing hobby isn’t scary or intimidating. As a matter of fact, I hope you’ll be looking at 3D printers, comparing them and trying to figure out which model will work best for your needs. So turn the page, start learning a bit more about what 3D printing is, how it is done, and what hardware and software is involved. If you decide that you want to give 3D printing a try, I can make you one more promise—you are going to have so much fun. See you in Chapter 1!
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