Looking to get into 3d printing seems pretty cool.

Looking to get into 3d printing seems pretty cool. Where would one start with gathering products softwares all the basics to get going? Thanks jordan

Establish your starting budget and read, read, read. There are a ton of printers out there from ultra inexpensive to super high end. When I got into it there were only a few “affordable” DIY printers out there. Now there are dozens from diy to pre-fab. I started with a ToM as it was the least-risk solution for me at the time and I couldn’t find anyone local who had a rep-rap. It’s far from top-of-the line now but can still do pretty good. Ive seen lots of good printers and lots of bad ones…what I have learned is that with a little patience and tuning you can still create great results.

If you are going to build one yourself you should have at least a basic understanding of electronics and computers…otherwise you are going to spend more for something already put-together for you.

You may also want to mess around with some 3D cad software. Printing things is much cooler if they are something you design and had fun with. I cut my teeth with openscad which serves me ok…but there are ton of alternatives out there and it all depends on how your brain works and how you get from idea to implementation.

Good Luck! Read a lot and ask questions.

yes I will start looking into everything.
thanks very much

Check if there is a hackerspace where you live. Most have 3D printers and will be happy to show you how it works.

I like http://3dprinter.net and reading the rep rap wiki. I am just getting into the hobby. My first step was to learn a bit about CAD. I made some models, found some things I would like to make, modified some stuff.

Then I ordered a small print I designed from http://shapeways.com my first print was rejected. For size, too many loose parts, and violating the minimum line thickness (it was a series of skulls for Warhammer), so I redesigned, and got it printed successfully.

If you are interested in what it takes to run a print job, there are some interesting links to articles in this thread.

I purchased a makibox, it is still pre production so I probably won’t see my printer until summer, but it was cheap. The down sides I am aware of now are the small print volume and the fact that it has not yet proven itself in the “wild” yet.

Be careful with build times, some printers have an assembly time of 50+ hours, others are much more reasonable. Many people buy printers and never get them working because they loose focus during assembly.

Do your home work, don’t just settle for the first printer you see. Read up on there strengths and weakness’s.

Read up on the various firmwares available, I use Repetier. It helps to have a little programming knowledge or a basic understanding of how code segments are put together, while configuring your firmware. There are tons of options.

Joseph Prusa’s calculator (google it) helped me get started with my initial firmware setup.

Be patient when building your printer. It is easy to get ahead of your self and have something go wrong and discourage you. If you make a mistake go back a step or two and make sure you didn’t miss anything.

If your doing a DIY printer versus a pre built one, do research on everything. Hot ends, nozzle diameters, extruders, PLA, or ABS, printing surfaces. Personally I’ve had great success with a heated bed with mirrored build platform and ABS juice.

And don’t be afraid to ask. the community of repraper’s are amazing and will help if asked.

Forgot to mention if you would like to follow my build of the Prusa Mendel I2 you can visit my blog at. http://www.apaturereserch.wordpres.com

If you have any questions ill be happy to help out the best I can.