The Basics of 3D Printing: Part 1


by Matt Weir




I thought it is fitting to start the blog with some 3D printing basics, given that at U-Dimensions we offer 3D printed products to fans who tend to know more about the games they are buying products of, then the 3D printing process itself. At the very least it will serve as a space to educate fans who are not technically adept or perpetually on trend, as the 3D printing world can be a daunting place full of complicated words and phrases – as I have found for myself. I am unsure as to how long this series will be, but at the very least it will provide a look into the 3D printing world, and to make it seem a little less complicated.


What It Is

First things first, what is 3D printing? Also known as Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing is the process of converting a digital file into a three dimensional solid object.


How It Works

3D Printing is relatively similar to standard inkjet printing that is now commonplace in almost all households. 3D printers build up the model, one layer at a time, usually from the bottom upward, which is repeated over the same area, till the object is fully formed. However, this process is not instantaneous, and depending on the scale of the object can take a number of hours.


Effectively, the printer creates layer after layer of two-dimensional, cross-sectional layers, of 3D prints one on top of another. Unlike typical printers, 3D printers use molten plastic or powder, fusing them together with adhesive or UV light.


Types of 3D Printers

Despite the fact that all printers are considered 3D printers, not all 3D printers are created equal, nor do they all serve the same purpose. In general there are two types to consider, one being rapid prototyping printers and the other being the general 3D printers.


3D printers can be considered at the lower end it terms of cost, capability and quality. These generally consist of desktop printers, and are used for low production products of nylon and plastic. They’re cheap and relatively easy to handle.


Alternatively rapid prototyping printers, are for larger commercial type productions, with build chambers of a least 10 inches, needless to say, larger scale products. These are the types of printers we use here at U-Dimensions, to make sure that you are able to get your products as quickly as possible, and as high quality as possible.



So that's it for today, just a little bit of information as to how 3D printing works!


Stay tuned for the next part on 3D printing materials!