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Practical 3D Printers: The Science and Art of 3D Printing

Book Description

Desktop or DIY 3D printers are devices you can either buy preassembled as a kit, or build from a collection of parts to design and print physical objects including replacement household parts, custom toys, and even art, science, or engineering projects. Maybe you have one, or maybe you're thinking about buying or building one.

Practical 3D Printers takes you beyond how to build a 3D printer, to calibrating, customizing, and creating amazing models, including 3D printed text, a warship model, a robot platform, windup toys, and arcade-inspired alien invaders. You'll learn about the different types of personal 3D printers and how they work; from the MakerBot to the RepRap printers like the Huxley and Mendel, as well as the whiteAnt CNC featured in the Apress book Printing in Plastic.

You'll discover how easy it is to find and design 3D models using web-based 3D modeling, and even how to create a 3D model from a 2D image. After learning the basics, this book will walk you through building multi-part models with a steampunk warship project, working with meshes to build your own action heroes, and creating an autonomous robot chassis. Finally, you'll find even more bonus projects to build, including wind-up walkers, faceted vases for the home, and a handful of useful upgrades to modify and improve your 3D printer.

What you'll learn

  • The various types of 3D printers, what they have in common, and what sets each one apart

  • The printer toolchain, including controllers and printer interfaces

  • The art of calibrating your printer

  • How to find and create 3D models to print, including using Google Sketchup

  • How to create multipart models and meshes

  • How to upgrade both the mechanical and electronic parts in your printer

Who this book is for

Electronics enthusiasts, tinkerers, artists, and everyone who wants to use their 3D printer to do more than make more 3D printers.

Table of Contents

  1. Title
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents at a Glance
  4. Contents
  5. About the Author
  6. About the Technical Reviewer
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction
  9. Chapter 1: A World of 3D Printers
    1. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot
    2. How a 3D Printer Works
    3. A Survey of 3D Printers
    4. Choosing the Right 3D Printer
    5. Choosing the Right Material
    6. Basic Tools and Supplies
    7. Summary
  10. Chapter 2: 3D Printer Toolchain
    1. From a 3D Model to a 3D Object
    2. So, What’s a Toolchain?
    3. Electronics
    4. Firmware
    5. Slicers
    6. Printer Control
    7. Summary
  11. Chapter 3: Calibrating Your Printer
    1. The First Steps
    2. Printing Overview
    3. Print Settings
    4. Print the Bunny
    5. Calibration Prints
    6. Firmware Settings
    7. Summary
  12. Chapter 4: 3D Models from the Cloud
    1. Places to Find and Share 3D Models
    2. Introducing Web-based Solid Modeling
    3. Project: Alien Invaders
    4. Summary
  13. Chapter 5: 3D Haiku
    1. Making a Vector Image
    2. Designing the 3D Haiku
    3. Extruding a Vector Image
    4. 2D to 3D
    5. Summary
  14. Chapter 6: Steampunk Warship
    1. Intermediate OpenSCAD Techniques
    2. Designing the Steampunk Warship
    3. Ship’s Hull
    4. Midship
    5. Designing the Details
    6. Finishing Up the Model
    7. Make Ready for Printing
    8. Wrapping It Up
    9. Summary
  15. Chapter 7: Action Hero Mashups
    1. A Mashup?
    2. Basic OpenSCAD Mashups
    3. Complex OpenSCAD Mashups
    4. Mashups in MeshMixer
    5. Mashup Bonus Round
    6. Assembling the Minions
    7. Summary
  16. Chapter 8: Mini Sumo Robot
    1. What Is Mini Sumo?
    2. Working with SketchUp
    3. Designing a Mini Sumo Robot
    4. Getting Started
    5. Wheels and Supports
    6. Cleaning and Detailing
    7. Wrapping Things Up
    8. Summary
  17. Chapter 9: Bonus Round: More Projects
    1. Project: Windup Walkers
    2. Project: Squiggle Vases
    3. Summary
  18. Chapter 10: Bonus Round: Upgrades
    1. Mechanical Upgrades
    2. Electronics Upgrades
    3. Even More Upgrades
    4. Summary
  19. Appendix A: Printing Tips
    1. Maintenance
    2. Troubleshooting
    3. More Tips
  20. Appendix B: Resources
    1. Additional Resources
    2. Selected Suppliers
    3. Models Used in This Book
    4. Cool Things to Print
  21. Index