By Jason Griffey
As the maker flow keeps to develop and three-D printers develop into more cost-effective, an increasing team of hobbyists is raring to discover this new expertise. within the regularly occurring culture of introducing new applied sciences, many libraries are contemplating procuring a 3D printer. Jason Griffey, an early fanatic of 3D printing, has researched and noticeable a number of structures first hand on the customer Electronics exhibit. during this file he introduces readers to the three-D printing industry, overlaying such issues as:
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Extra resources for 3-D Printers for Libraries
Selective Laser Sintering Simultaneously, the most flexible and the most expensive type of 3-D printing commonly used, selective laser sintering (SLS), is similar to stereolithography in that it uses lasers to solidify a loose substrate. But in SLS the printing substrate is a powder and you use high-energy lasers rather than UV ones. The high-energy lasers selectively fuse sections of a powder together, a new layer of powder is deposited on top of the sintered layer as the entire print bed drops, and the lasers do another pass, fusing the single layer of powder to the already solid layer below.
Most haven’t been repeated, and the science is still rough on the health effects. But if you need to print with ABS, it may be a good idea to take venting into account. PLA PLA (polylactic acid) is the second-most popular printing substrate for FDM printers. PLA is a bioplastic, made from corn, beets, or potatoes, and is compostable in commercial compost facilities (the heat and bacterial action in home composting aren’t high enough to break it down). It melts at a much lower temperature than ABS (150–160°C), but it is typically extruded at a higher temperature, anywhere from 180°C to 220°C depending on the PLA itself.
FDM printing is a complicated mechanical process, and while you can tune a FDM printer to be very reliable, at some point you will have a failure and will come back to a print that looks like someone poured plastic spaghetti on your build plate. This is normal. Recalibrate, relevel, and try again. Stereolithography While FDM printing is by far the most common inexpensive method of 3-D printing, we are starting to see stereolithography (SLA) printing move down-market into the affordable-for-libraries zone.