3D printing course - Introduction to 3D Printing

3D printing course - Introduction to 3D Printing

Guide for Beginners: Getting Started with 3D Printing   

Mastering the art of 3D printing has never been more accessible!

The realm of 3D printing is constantly evolving and growing. For newcomers to this field, the multitude of possibilities and applications may initially appear overwhelming. Understanding the basics of 3D printing and the operation of a 3D printer can be a daunting task as you embark on your learning journey.


Understanding 3D Printing: A Comprehensive Overview

3D printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing, involves creating three-dimensional objects from a digital file. This is achieved by depositing materials layer by layer in alignment with the object's 3D digital model. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of additive manufacturing, covering its definition, applications, industry-specific benefits, commonly used materials, and more.


Guide on 3D Printing:

The number of steps in your process may vary depending on the specific print you're planning. However, in general, 3D printing entails the following actions:

Step 1: Create or Find a Design

The initial stage of 3D printing usually commences on a computer, where you create your design utilizing 3D design software , commonly known as CAD (computer-aided design) software. For beginners, Tinkercad is a great option to explore, as it offers built-in tutorials on its website. Alternatively, if creating the design independently is not feasible, numerous online resources offering free designs. The typical file format for 3D drawing files is .STL.

Step 2: Export the STL File

After creating or selecting a design from the website, you will need to download the file which is usually in STL file format. The STL file contains the information about your 3D object concept.

Step 3:Select Your 3D Printing Materials

Normally, you may already have an idea of the material you'll use before initiating the printing process. Numerous 3D printing materials are accessible, and your selection can be based on the specific properties you desire for your object. The Most commonly used material is PLA which will be further explained in the following sections.

Step 4: Create the Gcode

Next, import the STL file into a slicing software such as Ultimaker Cura. This free slicing software will transform the data from the STL file into G-code format, a precise set of instructions tailored for the printer to read. The G-code file contains instructions such as print speed, layer height, infill percentage and various other settings which the 3D printer interprets during the printing procedure. These settings can all be adjusted within Ultimaker Cura, which will affect the printing time and quality of your end product. If you're new to this, you may use the recommended settings preset within the software itself. Feel free to access this link for a tutorial on Ultimaker Cura.

Step 5: Setting up the printer

Assembling the 3D printer (Ender 3 v2 Neo) involves a three-step process that can be completed within 30 minutes. Feel free to access this youtube video for a tutorial on setting up the printer

Step 6: Bed leveling the printer

Bed leveling involves calibrating the parallelism and height between the print nozzle and the bed.

There are four points for leveling, situated near each corner of the bed. Each of these points utilizes a screw and a leveling knob to adjust the compression of a spring supporting the build plate. For more detailed instructions, feel free to reference this YouTube video for assistance.

Step 7: Printing the G-code file

Now, Transfer the Gcode file to the SD card, insert it into the printer, and you'll be able to locate the file for printing. The printer will systematically fabricate the object, building it layer by layer. The duration of the process varies depending on factors such as the object's size, G-code setting during slicing and your printer's specifications, and the chosen materials, ranging from minutes to several hours to complete the job. HIgher spec models like ender 3 v3 KE can print a lot faster than ender 3 v2 Neo

3D printer Filaments

The choice of material, also known as filament, for your print depends on various factors:

Do you desire flexibility in your object?

Is heat resistance a requirement?

Does it need to possess high durability?

Typically, beginners often begin with PLA. This is due to its cost-effectiveness and ease of printing with standard configurations. Depending on your project's requirements, PLA can serve as an excellent introductory material. You may check out the different filaments from this filament link.


Two crucial software components in 3D printing are CAD software and slicing software. The 3D drawing are usually saved in .STL format.

1. CAD software (tinkercad) Free software to create your own design

2. Slicing software (ultimaker Cura) Free software to convert STL into G.code

Pre-made STL files available for download

Several websites offer STL file downloads, with some providing free files while others require payment. 

Some examples of Free website to download .STL files. You can check out the full range of websites we had complied from this link

1.Thingiverse (Free)

2.Cults  (Free,Paid)

3.Myminifactory  (Free,Paid)

4.Printables (Free)


3D printing is currently more user-friendly for beginners than ever before. Initially perceived as somewhat inaccessible to the general public, this sentiment is evolving, and rightfully so. While achieving perfection in your prints and techniques requires practice, mastering 3D printing is now incredibly accessible and an attainable skill to learnThe cost of 3D printers has also significantly decreased compared to earlier times.

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