In this section we will try to select the different terms and techniques used today in the "world" of 3D printing.
There are many different names, expressions and techniques, but it is not as difficult as it seems. Most printers work the same way.

If we start with the most commonly used type of printer, those that use plastic filament. These printers are the easiest to use, they don't require separate waste solutions and with the right filament and knowledge they can produce fantastic prints.

Some variations you will encounter when looking for a printer are:

  • FFF (Fused Filament Manufacturing)
  • FDM (fused deposition modeling)
  • LPD (plastic layer deposition)

The above techniques have different names but essentially do the same thing. A printer takes a solid strand of filament, melts it, and extrudes it onto a build plate. Simple, right?
Let's start from the beginning and if you want more information on the different printers and filaments you can find it in the "advice before purchasing" section

“What if I want to create my own drawings? It's difficult?

The first process in any print is the object itself. You can design it yourself or download a “ready-to-use” template.
Getting started with your own design is easier than you might think. Here are some examples of popular design software to get you started.

"Ok got it. But if I don't want to make the drawing myself, how can I find something to print?"

In case you don't want, or don't feel ready, to carry out your projects, don't worry. There are literally tens of thousands of ready-to-use templates, and most of them are free. Some places where you can download many templates are:

Once you have a template, whether it's your own design or downloaded, it's time to open it with the software that comes with your printer. There is always software included with the printer, so you don't have to think about that.
It's in the slicer (that's what the software is called) where you prepare your print. It's actually quite similar to a regular ink printer. You can make settings for resolution, print speed, etc. Like a normal printer, it will take longer if you choose a higher resolution as it affects the printing speed. After using your printer for a while, you'll learn what resolution works best for your filament and your needs.

The slicer does what it is called. It takes a model and “slices” it into thin layers. Once you have transferred (the most common method is the mini SD card) the print file to the printer and pressed Start, the printer will make all the necessary changes and start printing.

The plastic used with a 3D printer is called filament, and there are many different types with different properties, depending on the use. If you want to learn more about the different types of filaments, you can check out our Filament Guide .

The most commonly used material is PLA and this is also the type of filament we use in our examples. PLA is relatively cheap, has no unpleasant odors or dangerous fumes. and can be used with almost all printers on the market.

When the printer works its magic, it heats the filament to a liquid state and then extrudes it through the nozzle. By the time the filament is extruded it has reached a temperature of 180-220°C, so it is very hot.
The printer extrudes the filament in layers and shapes it into a 3D printed copy of the prepared model. The filament is held in place by heat and as it cools it hardens and creates a very strong and smooth surface.

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