What is a 3D Printer

What is a 3D Printer

Learn about what a 3D Printer is and how they work from MakerGeeks.com

(from Wikipedia)

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing[1] is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.[2] 3D printing is considered distinct from traditional machining techniques, which mostly rely on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling (subtractive processes).

A materials printer usually performs 3D printing processes using digital technology. Since the start of the twenty-first century there has been a large growth in the sales of these machines, and their price has dropped substantially.[3]

The technology is used for both prototyping and distributed manufacturing in jewelry, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, and many other fields.
The first working 3D printer was created in 1984 by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corp.[4]

To perform a print, the machine reads the design from an .stl file and lays down successive layers of liquid, powder, paper or sheet material to build the model from a series of cross sections. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross sections from the CAD model, are joined together or automatically fused to create the final shape. The primary advantage of this technique is its ability to create almost any shape or geometric feature.

Printer resolution describes layer thickness and X-Y resolution in dpi (dots per inch),[citation needed] or micrometers. Typical layer thickness is around 100 micrometers (µm), although some machines such as the Objet Connex series and 3D Systems' ProJet series can print layers as thin as 16 µm.[6] X-Y resolution is comparable to that of laser printers. The particles (3D dots) are around 50 to 100 µm in diameter.

Construction of a model with contemporary methods can take anywhere from several hours to several days, depending on the method used and the size and complexity of the model. Additive systems can typically reduce this time to a few hours, although it varies widely depending on the type of machine used and the size and number of models being produced simultaneously.
Traditional techniques like injection molding can be less expensive for manufacturing polymer products in high quantities, but additive manufacturing can be faster, more flexible and less expensive when producing relatively small quantities of parts. 3D printers give designers and concept development teams the ability to produce parts and concept models using a desktop size printer.

Did you know you can build your own 3D Printer for about $300 USD - check out our full selection of 3D Printer Kits on MakerGeeks.com at http://www.makergeeks.com/prpak.html

3D Printer Parts and 3D Printer DIY Kits
RepRap 3D Printed Parts Kits

Maker Geeks.com offers the printed parts needed to build many of the most popular RepRap 3D Printers... like the Mendel90, Prusa Mendel, Rocstock and Kossel 3D Printers; we'll also custom print in any PLA (plastic) color you would like, even glow in the dark!!

Plus, MakerGeeks.com only prints from the most current GitHub repositories so you'll be sure you have the newest version of the printed parts for your kit.

Always FREE shipping!!
Mendel90 Printed Parts Kit
Regular Price: $149.95
MakerGeeks Price: $79.76
Kossel 3D Printer Kit
Regular Price: $167.44
MakerGeeks Price: $69.95
Rostock Printer Kit
Regular Price: $189.55
MakerGeeks Price: $79.55
Prusa Mendel V2 (i2) RepRap Printed Parts Kit
Regular Price: $129.99
MakerGeeks Price: $59.95
Bowden Clamp for Rostock 3D Printer
Regular Price: $35.95
MakerGeeks Price: $24.55
Airtripper's Bowden Extruder V3
Regular Price: $45.95
MakerGeeks Price: $35.95
Custom 3D Printed Parts (Thingiverse, Shapeways, etc.)
Regular Price: $99.95
MakerGeeks Price: $25.95
3D Printer Filament Clip (a life saver!)
Regular Price: $7.95
MakerGeeks Price: $1.95
The Wade Extruder Reloaded
Regular Price: $39.95
MakerGeeks Price: $21.95
Greg's Wade Geared Extruder
Regular Price: $39.95
MakerGeeks Price: $23.55
Wade Extruder Reloaded Full Kit (ready to print)
Regular Price: $179.95
MakerGeeks Price: $105.95

3D Printer Filament, 3D Printer supplies

Print Happy @ MakerGeeks.com

Check out these super epic Maker Deals!!

  • Greg's Wade Geared Extruder Printed Parts for only $23.55 (+ free shipping!) click here
  • Insanely Bright PLA Nuclear Geen PLA for only $35.95 (+ FREE shipping) click here
  • Prusa Mendel RepRap Printed Parts Kit - Only $71.24 your choice of 38+ colors! click here
  • Don't forget your FREE 8bit Owl Sticker - we'll send you ONE for free, just email us! click here


8 items
sort by:


Sold Out