3D technology has revolutionised the way people perceive the world. From its impressive applications on-screen to creating real-world objects, 3D is a fascinating field to work on for anybody.
It is necessary to note that a 3D printer has to have a 3D model file sent to it to print a 3D object. One can procure these models from a 3D Models Library. Such libraries have an endless variety of models from various facets that will prove invaluable for 3D construction. Making a 3D model file is the process referred to as 3D modeling.
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Why is there so much excitement about 3D?
To answer this question, one has to begin by describing the word itself. 3D stands for 3 Dimensional. The modelling process involves developing representations (mathematical) of a specific object’s surface in 3 dimensions employing special software.
The resulting representation is called the 3D model, and the individual working on such models is called a 3D artist. It is also possible to display the 3D model in a 2-dimensional image, and the process is called 3D rendering.
It is also possible to create 3D models making use of CAD or Computer-aided Design. CAD helps create, modify, analyse, and optimise a design digitally on a computer.
Consider the example of designing a 3D cube employing CAD. The first and significant step is to create a sketch. It is the basic or primary outline of the model’s appearance. One has to be aware of and establish the dimensions of the cube at this stage.
Sharing the 3D Model file with a 3D printer
After choosing a model from the 3D Models Library, the next stage involves sending this file to the printer. Some printers allow the users to print the 3D objects any way they wish. One can effortlessly send the file wirelessly. This method is similar to the function of a regular printer. One selects a printer for the operation, and that device receives the desired 3D model. In the end, it prints it out as a 3D object.
One could also connect the computer to the printer using a USB. Later send the selected file to the printer or use a thumb/ Pendrive, to directly plug it into the 3D printer.
Some of the old-fashioned printers still only accept thumb/ SD cards, which is the only possible way for file transfer. So copy the file into the USB drive and then insert it in the printer, choose the dial to select a particular file, and press print.
The next question is how to translate a 3D model file present in a computer to something that becomes printable.
The first aspect is slicing. CAD software carries this out.
A 3D printer successfully makes a 3D object by producing it layer by layer. This situation is achievable only if the printer knows what to print in each layer. This phase is where the slicing software becomes vital.
As one can guess from the name, slicing refers to the process that breaks down a 3D model into small slices. This process helps the printer to understand what goes in each layer accurately. Sometimes the slicing software comes as a part of the existing 3D modelling software.
There are different software options that one can use for 3D modelling. From Tinkercad to Google’s SketchUp, one can use them for their innovative features that are revolutionising the field of printing.