How Practical Is 3D Printing? First Easy Useful Prints – Skills & Time You Need


3D printing is forming the basis of important economizing in manufacturing industries. This technology has become a practical tool applied in many areas of day-to-day life.

We have also seen it applied in the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic to manufacture and design equipment necessary to help limit the spread of the virus. (Source)

3D printing applications can be found in tools development, design architect features, and the planning stages of a project. Considering the usefulness of 3D printing, most organizations today have opted to run an entire end-to-end 3D design process.

What are the applications of 3D in the real world?

Some of the key practical applications of 3D printing in the real world today include:

3D Printing Is Here To Stay
  • Medical

Prosthetic limbs and tissues, bioprinting of artificial organs, and metal orthopedic implants are some of the contributions of 3D printing technology in the medical world. For more on this, check out post 3D Printing In Medicine Explained; Impact, Uses, Printable Devices & Pros & Cons

  • Construction

Prefabricated prototypes like printable 3D homes can be easily installed at various construction sites. There is a vast range of construction 3D printers, from gantry-mounted printers to polar machines to mobile robots.

  • Education

Education curriculums are today incorporating 3D printing techniques to increase images or ideas in the physical 3-dimensional world for learners. In fact, the STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education system has been transformed using 3D printing technologies that fabricate quick prototypes and are low-cost. (Source)

Check out our article on how 3d Printing Can Be Used in Education.

  • Manufacturing parts

Many industries have benefitted from 3D printing technologies manufacturing spare parts. For instance, a spare part that is no longer produced by manufacturers can be designed and 3D printed easily using 3D technologies. Greater customizations have come with 3D printing technologies. 

The housing crisis in rural areas impacted by extreme weather can be solved by 3D-printed homes.

  • Art and design

Today, artists across the world are inspired by 3D printing technology and have embraced 3D printing to produce unique and individual products ranging from jewelry and sculptures to interior design and home décor.

  • Food

This is restricted to finding single edible adhesives into precision shapes that are defined by slicing software instruction and 3D models. Filament materials range from cookie dough, chocolate, marzipan, pasta, fondant to beans pastes, to mashed potatoes, jams, beans pastes, and cookie dough. All these come pre-loaded with templates and recipes.

  • Personal uses

In day-to-day life, more things are being printed using 3D printing technology. Most household goods and different tools of varied shapes, colors, or sizes can be produced at home instead of ordering them.

What are the most practical things you can make with a 3D printer?

3D printers have a range of applications that goes beyond simple technology. Beyond helping with your gadget, you are capable of making non-digital tools and objects at home with your 3D printer. Whether you use a filament-based or resin-based 3D printer, these 3D creations are simple to make. 

Here are some of the top-most practical things you can make with a 3D printer: (Source)

  • Tablet or Sturdy Smartphone Stand

This is a simple stand that fits tablets and smartphones. You can plug it into your gadget charger while on the stand or even hang it on the wall for convenience.

  • Loudspeaker or Phone Amplifier to Boost Volume

With a loudspeaker or phone amplifier, you don’t need Bluetooth speakers, since you can boost your phone volume using a DIY amplifier.

It is used for both amplifier or loudspeaker and well a smartphone stand. You also save the battery life of your smartphone since it does not need Bluetooth that consumes a lot of power.

  • Lightning Cable Savers

Most cables don’t stand the test of time as they fray easily. To avoid this from happening, you can make these 3D print cable savers at home to help protect your cables. These cable savers will prevent any form of frustration and expense that comes with purchasing new cables after a short period of use.

  • Earphone Cases

Just like Lightning USB cables, earphone cables also get tangled and destroyed easily. The 3D-printed earphone holders will help you keep your earphones in good shape.

  • Bag Clip

This is a must-have in every home so if you have no idea what to make, you can make as many bag clips as possible in different designs for different types of bags. You have to print the individual parts of the bag clip then assemble them to fit in well.

  • Desk Cable Holder

You can mount this attractive utility at your work desk to help you manage and organize all cables running to it or falling on the floor. The desk cable holder slots are enough to hold all types of cables.

Is it easy to learn to 3D print?

A crucial question with 3D printing technology is, just how easy or hard it is hard to print your 3D object? Do you require more experience to get started?

Well, with correct information, 3D printing is a simple process that should not make you scratch your head.

Ease of set-up is an important factor when it calls for a 3D printing process from beginners, something that most 3D printer manufactures have put into consideration.

Here are the 5 easy steps to 3D printing:

  1. Get your 3D printer that is beginner-friendly- This should incorporate easy navigation panels, auto features, and compatibility with most printing software.
  2. Add filament of your choice -Sometimes, this is sometimes bought separately or comes with your 3D printer. It is recommended that you use PLA filament which is easier to use and most common.
  3. Pick your printer slicing software then select your 3D printer in order to auto-fill settings
  4. Select a 3D CAD file of your choice to print
  5. Begin printing!

How long does it take to get good at 3D printing?

With new advancements in technology, design tools for 3D printing are becoming popular. However, 3D printing is fun, but it still gives beginners headaches, making some give up within the first two weeks of learning.

It is worth noting that learning 3D modeling today is much easier compared to before since learning materials are easily accessible over the internet. User-friendly software such as SelfCAD has also been developed.

New learners can take two weeks to learn the basics of 3D printing using such simple modeling software to create even complex models after taking a few months of studying. The time taken to learn and master 3D printing differs due to a vast range of factors.

Here are the key factors that affect the time taken to learn 3D printing:

  • Type of 3D modelling software
  • Type of the required model
  • Level of education
  • One’s dedication to learning
  • Previous level of experience
  • Availability of learning materials
  • Source of learning (Self-study or paid course)

What skills are needed for advanced 3D printing?

Becoming a 3D printing specialist requires skills that are linked to 3D modeling technology.  Here are some of the key skills you are expected to learn to become a 3D printing technology expert.

  • Creativity
  • Being in a position to draw free hand
  • Being proactive
  • Technical skills to use advanced 3D printer software like Ultimaker Cura, FreeCAD, Autodesk Fusion 360, AutoCADc, MeshLab etc.
  • Being good at 3D modelling tools
  • Managing Tech hardware of 3D printers

What are the disadvantages of 3D printing?

3D printing technology has enhanced new possibilities for industries through enabling customization, product testing, cost reduction, faster product design, among other loads of advantages.

However, 3D printers are still possibly wasteful and hazardous. Moreover, their environmental, political, economic, and societal impacts have not been studied broadly. 

Here are some of the key disadvantages of 3D printing:

  1. 3D printing is expensive
  2. 3D printers are not user-friendly
  3. High energy consumption
  4. Limited materials
  5. Harmful emissions
  6. 3D printers are slow
  7. Copyright infringements
  8. Over reliance on plastic
  9. Production of hazardous weaponry

Bottom Line

3D printing is vast. There is a lot of developments and knowledge that still require exploring. The field is growing, and technology is progressing. People who used to print on bigger machines with liquid resin, today seem to be comfortable using filament-based 3D printers. Therefore, 3D modeling technology is considerably unpredictable.

You will make mistakes from time to time during your onsets, however, these are just learning experiences. 

There is a vast range of knowledge you will need in order to become a 3D printing expert. If you aspire to become a 3D printing expert and you dedicate your time to it, you will always succeed.

If you are not interested in joining an established company, you can still offer your own printing services and still earn hugely.

Do you have any queries about 3D printing? Worry not! At 3D Print Schooling, we shall help you learn different 3D print technologies and guide you on the best technology to choose when designing and printing your 3D models.

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