The DigiHub recently acquired a 3D printer which is becoming widely more popular in the creative industry. 3D printers vary in size, cost and usable materials.
How does it work?
A 3D printer melts down plastic and draws out shapes on the printer bed in layers. The first step of the printer is to import a 3D model into the software, which will calculate the optimal way to print out the model. The printer will then create a support frame known as a raft. This allows the model to stick to the print bed with a level foundation to give the model a better chance of a successful print. After the raft has been created, the printer begins creating the main product layer by layer. The plastic adheres to the previous layer and solidifies almost instantly.
What does it make?
Using software such as 3DS Max or Blender, we can create 3D models that can then be printed into physical items. Things such as a prehistoric dinosaur or something more practical like a tripod mount. Using a 3D printer can potentially save people a lot of money by printing out replacement parts, shelving brackets, pen holders, phone stands and a lot more.
What are the running costs?
A 3D printer doesn’t use a lot of energy which makes it efficient to run. The plastic filaments are cheap to purchase and can last months.