Open Workshop: Introduction to 3D Printing

September 2, 2018 - Saturday open lab, Workshop
Open Workshop: Introduction to 3D Printing

This workshop covered the basics of 3D printing, from making a 3D model to preparing a print-ready file. We started off with learning how to make a 3D model. For this we used FreeCAD, an open-source parametric 3D modeling software. We went through the various tools available within FreeCAD and then the process of making a simple 3D cube using these tools.

learning freecad

Participants then spent time creating and customizing their models. Once the basic models were ready, they proceeded to create more intricate designs within their models. After the models were completed, the files were exported in .STL format. These were then converted into G-codes in Cura, an open-source slicing application for 3D printing.

3d printer in action

The G-codes were then fed into the 3D printer, and participants were guided through the process of programming the 3D printer for optimal results. This included understanding how layers, infill, supports, temperature and speed affect the quality of the final print. The prints would only be complete 2 hours later. In the meantime we had a presentation about the various types of 3D printers being used globally and their applications in various fields. We also discussed how participants could go about building their own printers at home with reasonably priced and locally sourced parts.

some completed prints

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