3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three-dimensional object is created by deposition of material layer by layer. The first step in 3D printing is creating a 3D model of the object to be printed, which can be done with a computer-aided design (CAD) program or by using a 3D scanner. Once the model is created, it is saved in a STL (stereolithography) file format, which is the standard file format for 3D printing. The STL file is then sent to a 3D printer, which will print the object layer by layer according to the specifications in the STL file.
The most common type of 3D printing technology is called fused deposition modeling (FDM), in which the material is extruded from a nozzle layer by layer. Other 3D printing technologies include stereolithography (SLA), in which the object is created by curing a UV-sensitive resin with a laser; selective laser sintering (SLS), in which a laser fuses together small particles of plastic, metal, or ceramic; and multi-jet modeling (MJM), in which inkjet nozzles deposit small droplets of molten material that cool and solidify almost instantly.
3D printing has a wide range of applications, including prototyping, product design, and manufacturing. In the medical field, 3D printers are used to create prosthetics, implants, and other medical devices. In the food industry, 3D printers are used to create chocolate, cake, and other food products. In the automotive industry, 3D printers are used to create car parts and prototypes.
There are several considerations to take into account when learning 3D printing, such as the type of 3D printer, the type of material, the size and resolution, and the file format.