3D Printer How It Works

3D printer. technology, use, how it works. What is a 3D printer

A 3D printer is a device that works on the principle of layer-by-layer formation of a physical object from a digital 3D model.

The 3D printing process is also called rapid prototyping or additive manufacturing.

Technologies for the layer-by-layer formation of objects are called additive technologies from the English word additive. to add. Unlike traditional methods of obtaining parts (milling, turning, spraying, etc.), on a 3D printer, parts are obtained by adding material (layers), which allows you to achieve high material savings. 3D printing can be carried out with a variety of materials (from plastic to metal), as well as several technologies, which we will discuss in more detail below.

The 3D printer is controlled by software. In order for the printer to reproduce a physical object, the calculation of the print job must take place in specialized software, into which the digital model is loaded in the format for 3D printing (STL). A special slicer program breaks the digital 3D model into layers and produces the generated binary code that is understandable for a 3D printer. Further, the resulting code can be printed in the printer software or written to a memory card for direct printing without a PC.

Ways to position the printheads of a 3D printer

Depending on the location and mechanics of work (kinematic model) of the printing mechanism, they are divided into the following main methods:

  • Cartesian, when the design uses three mutually perpendicular guides, along each of which either the Printhead or the base of the model moves.
  • Delta Robot: Three radially symmetrically positioned motors co-ordinate the bases of the three parallelograms attached to the printhead
  • Autonomous: when the printhead is placed on its own chassis, and this structure is moved entirely by some engine that drives the chassis.

Areas of application of 3D printers

  • Rapid prototyping
  • Small batch production
  • Production of master models and molds for foundry
  • Making household items
  • Production of finished products with complex geometry and internal structure
  • Prototyping
  • Advertising
  • In medicine for the manufacture of prostheses and implants, research is also underway on 3D printing of human internal organs
  • Construction of buildings and structures
  • Production of cases for experimental equipment (from telephones to weapons)
  • Food production
  • Other

Basic 3D printing technologies

  • Laser stereolithography (SLA)
  • Polymerization of photopolymer plastic by Ultraviolet Lamp (DLP)
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Selective Laser Fusion (SLM)
  • Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
  • Electron Beam Melting (EBM)
  • Multi-Jet Modeling Technology (MJM)
  • Color inkjet technology (CJP)
  • Lamination (LOM)
  • Bioprinters (experimental)

Laser stereolithography (SLA). 3D printing, with the help of which an object is formed from a liquid photopolymer, solidified under the influence of laser or ultraviolet radiation. The process of object formation takes place in a bath with liquid photopolymer. An image of the first layer of the object is formed on the platform immersed in the Photopolymer by means of illumination and the Photopolymer crystallizes. Then the platform moves up to the thickness of one layer (6-100 microns) and the next layer is formed. The process of forming layers continues until the object is completely built, while the liquid polymer solidifies and turns into a fairly durable plastic.

SLA 3D Printing Scheme

This method of 3D printing is slightly different from others, since not powders are used as “building materials”, but photopolymers in a liquid state. SLA technology is used in industrial 3D printers. With the help of laser stereolithography, objects are obtained with high (up to 6 microns) accuracy and a smooth, almost glossy, surface that does not require post-processing.

Photopolymer 3D printer and model from Photopolymer

Polymerization of photopolymer plastic with an ultraviolet lamp (Digital Light Processing, DLP). the technology is similar to the previous one (SLA), but the plastic hardens under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. DLP technology can be used in both industrial and consumer 3D printers.

Selective laser sintering (SLS). 3D printing, with the help of which an object is formed from a powder material (plastic, metal) as a result of its melting by a laser beam. In SLS printing, the material is applied to the platform with a thin even layer (with a special leveling scraper), after which the first layer of the object is formed on the surface of the platform by laser radiation. Then the platform is lowered to the thickness of one layer (16-80 microns) and the powder material is again applied to it. The temperature in the working chamber during the 3D printing process is kept at a level just below the melting point of the working material, which allows to reduce the laser power required for fusion. To prevent oxidation of the material, the process takes place in an oxygen-free environment.

SLS 3D printing diagram

The SLS-printing method makes it possible to obtain, among other things, durable metal products that are not inferior to analogs produced by traditional methods, but, unlike the latter, have a complex internal structure. SLS is only used in industrial 3D printers.

Metal product obtained on a 3D printer

Selective laser melting (SLM) is a technology for laser melting of metal powder based on mathematical CAD models. SLM printing is used to create complex metal parts of units and assemblies, as well as non-separable structures with variable geometry.

The SLM selective laser melting technology is very similar to SLS, however, unlike the latter, materials (powders) are NOT sintered, but melted to form a homogeneous (thick, pasty) mass, as happens in EBM printing. Unlike EBM, SLM uses a laser. This process successfully replaces Traditional production methods, since the physical and mechanical properties of products built using the SLM technology often exceed those of products manufactured using the Traditional method. On the principle of SLM built only industrial 3D printers.

FDM 3D printing technology

Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is a technology of layer-by-layer creation of three-dimensional objects by laying a molten thread from a fusible material (plastic, metal, wax). In most cases, thermoplastics (ABS, PLA, etc.) are used as materials for FDM printing, produced in the form of spools of filaments or rods.

FDM printing was developed in the late 1980s by S. Scott Crump. Its commercial distribution began in 1990. Today FDM is the most widely used 3D printing technology due to the simplicity of design and low cost of such devices.

Fused Deposition Modeling and FDM are trademarks of Stratasys. Reprap contributors have coined the analogous term “Fused Filament Fabrication” or FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) to circumvent legal restrictions. The terms FDM and FFF are equivalent in meaning and purpose.

The principle of FDM / FFF printing technology is to apply the molten material to the working platform. The applied material cools quickly and passes from a viscous state to a solid one. The next layer is applied to the previous one and is soldered with it. During the printing process, the filament or rod is softened by the high temperature in the extruder and squeezed onto the platform. Often in this printing method, two working heads (extruders) are used. one squeezes the working material onto the platform, the other. the soluble support material. Support material allows you to build complex objects without sagging layers.

FDM printing is used in both industrial and the vast majority of modern household 3D printers. The technology is so widespread today that many users consider the terms “consumer printer” and “FDM printer” synonymous.

Electron Beam Melting (EBM). similar to SLS / DMLS, only here the object is formed by melting a metal powder with an electron beam in a vacuum.

Electron beam melting is a method of metal melting by using an electron beam. It is used to melt high-purity materials such as steels and titanium, and materials that are resistant to high temperatures and chemical attack. With EBM printing, there is practically no contamination of the material with foreign impurities, since the process takes place in a vacuum. Industrial electronic melting furnaces allow the production of products several meters long and weighing several tons.

Multi Jet Modeling (MJM) technology is based on multi-jet modeling using photopolymer or wax material. Used in 3D Systems ProJet 3D printers. A similar technology is Stratasys’ PolyJet, which is comparable in quality but uses cheaper materials.

MJM 3D printing diagram

The principle of MJM printing is as follows. The print head with many tiny nozzles arranged linearly in several rows applies material to the work surface using the inkjet principle. The number of nozzles starts from 96 for low-end 3D printers and reaches 448 for advanced models. The block of nozzles moves along the working surface and applies a layer of liquid photopolymer. Then, the UV lamp exposes the newly applied particles of the material, as a result of which it solidifies, forming a durable layer. The operations of applying and illuminating the material are repeated until the object is completely built.

Color Jet Printing (CJP) technology is based on the principle of layer-by-layer gluing and coloring of a composite powder based on gypsum or plastic. CJP is used in 3D Systems’ ProJet 3D printers. Prior to this, this printing principle was called 3D Printing (3DP) and was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1993. CJP (3DP) allows you to quickly create both single and full color prototypes from composite powder.

Product obtained with a CJP 3D printer

The principle of CJP printing is based on bonding the base material (composite powder) with a binder. Bonding Material. Bonds and colors particles together in the right places to form a product. The construction of the object occurs in layers. First, the model material is evenly distributed in a thin layer over the entire surface of the build chamber platform. Then a Binder is applied to this layer, gluing and coloring the particles together according to the digital 3D model. Then the platform is shifted downward by the layer thickness (100 µm). The operations of applying materials are repeated layer by layer until the model is fully built.

Lamination (Laminated object manufacturing, LOM). a method of forming objects by layer-by-layer gluing (heating, pressure) of thin sheets of working material with cutting (using a laser beam or a cutting tool) the corresponding contours on each layer.

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Objects printed with the LOM technique can be further modified by machining or drilling after printing. The thickness of the layer when printed in this way depends on the material used, usually equal to the thickness of ordinary copy paper.

LOM 3D printing diagram

Lamination Not really a traditional 3D printing technology, so not very common. 3D printing in this way requires the use of a support material which is then very difficult to remove, especially on objects with high detail.

Bioprinters are experimental installations in which the 3D-structure of the future object (organ for transplantation) is printed with drops containing living cells. Further division, growth and modification of cells ensures the final formation of the object.

How a 3D printer works: how 3D printing works

3D printing technologies are no longer surprising. Many people use 3D printers for personal purposes, and almost no enterprise can do without an industrial 3D printer. And although this is NOT news, and the technology itself was developed a long time ago, few people know how a 3D printer works. If you are interested in this question, then this article will be very useful to you.

To begin with, in order to understand the principle of operation of a printer for three-dimensional printing, one should understand what it is and the principle of printing.

0.1. 3D printer work

What is a 3D printer

A 3D printer is a device for creating physical objects by sequentially stacking layers. In other words, a 3D printer is able to print any physical object, such as simulated on a PC.

Today, there are various models of 3D printers that are capable of working with different consumables. This means that 3D printing can be used to produce any parts for mechanisms that can withstand high loads, and are not inferior to parts made in the traditional way.

Regardless of the model, all modern 3D printers have the same operating principle.

How a 3D printer works

Now that you know the definition of a 3D printer, you can move on to the question of how it works. You already know that a 3D printer is capable of outputting three-dimensional information, that is, creating physical objects based on information coming from a personal computer. The principle of operation of a 3D printer is the sequential application of the thinnest layers of consumables (plastic, or metal powder, and so on).

A physical object is created layer by layer. It should be noted, however, that this technology for making models is fast. In addition, the printer is absolutely devoid of the so-called “human factor”. That is, the machine does not make mistakes, due to which the products are absolutely accurate and identical to the original.

Due to the fact that there are different types of devices for 3D printing, it is impossible to unequivocally answer the question of how a 3D printer works. For example, a device that prints with plastic has one principle, but a printer that works with metal powder is completely different. Of course, they all work on the principle of layer-by-layer model creation, however, in the case of plastic, the printer must melt the consumable to a liquid state, and in the case of metal powder, the print head sprays a binder.

2.1. How does a plastic 3D printer work

The principle of operation of such a printer is that the print head (the so-called extruder) heats up strongly and melts the plastic, which is fed in the form of a cast tube. Then the molten material is fed from the bottom of the printhead and placed in the right places.

For the printer to work properly, a special file is required, which contains all the information about the model being created. Depending on the model, the printer can be connected to a PC or work autonomously.

2.1.1. Metal 3D printer work

Like any other 3D printer, metal printing devices are also computer controlled. In addition, the same principle of layer-by-layer model creation is used. However, unlike a plastic printer, a metal 3D printer does NOT melt consumables.

The principle of operation is as follows. The print head applies a special adhesive (glue) at the locations indicated by the computer. After that, the roller applies the finest layer of metal powder to the entire working area. In places where the “glue” was applied, the metal powder sticks together and hardens. Next, the print head applies the “glue” again, after which the shaft pours another thin layer of metal powder, and so on.

How a 3D printer works

At the end of the printer’s operation, the required physical object is obtained. The excess powder is simply blown off the model. However, the product is still not ready. At this stage, the part is very porous and brittle. To give it rigidity and strength, the product is placed in a special container, which is covered with bronze powder, and all this is placed in a special furnace for fusing metal molecules together and saturating the product with bronze.

Of course, this whole process takes a lot of time, but all the same, the production of a part is much faster than in the traditional way. In addition, such production is significantly cheaper. Glass printers have the same principle of operation.

3D printer device

In terms of its design, a 3D printer is similar to a conventional printer for printing 2D images. The only difference is that the 3D printer prints in three planes. That is, in addition to width and height, depth also appears. NOT suspended from the model, all 3D printers have almost the same structure. They are made up of the same elements. So, a 3D printer device includes:

  • Extruder, which heats and squeezes out semi-liquid plastic;
  • Working surface. the platform on which printing is performed;
  • Linear motor, which drives movable organs;
  • Latches. sensors that restrict the movement of moving parts, for example, when they come to the edge of the working surface;
  • Frame
  • Cartesian robot. a machine that can move in three directions along the X, Y and Z axes.

All this is controlled by a computer, which sets the magnitude of the movements of each of the components. Now you know how a 3D printer works, which allows you to better know modern technology and the concepts of how it works. Of course, this example describes the simplest design of a 3D printer. Today, there are more complex devices, which have additional capabilities and more complex circuits. However, the manufacturers, for certain reasons, keep the devices of new models of the company in strict secrecy.

How does a 3d printer work?

A few decades ago, it might seem fantastic to be able to print almost any text, drawing or photograph at home in a matter of minutes, but now almost everyone can use a printer. In addition to printing images, today it has become a reality to embody volumetric objects according to their computer models. Peripherals that do this are called 3d printers. With their help, you can create details and objects of the most varied shapes, which are used in technology, modeling spatial complexes, everyday life. So what are the possibilities of bulk printing and how does a 3d printer work??

  • Application of 3d printing
  • Principle of 3D printing

    It is well known how volumetric objects are obtained by casting or machining a workpiece, the shape of which is closest to the final result. The last principle, formulated by Michelangelo as cutting off everything unnecessary from the stone, is used when creating sculptures. The method of forming a figure in 3D printing is called additive (from the English add. “add”), and it is radically different from those mentioned above. Here, the object is formed layer by layer by gradually applying portions of the material, that is, the created body is grown step by step until it acquires the required configuration. A diagram that very simplified the principle of three-dimensional printing, shown in the picture.

    By positioning the printheads in the X and Y coordinate system, the material is applied in accordance with the specified layer configuration. Moving the build platform one step along the Z axis starts growing the next level of the object.

    The first step in preparing for printing is to create a computer model of the future component. This can be done in two ways: Using a three-dimensional graphics editor or CAD-systems (3D Studio Max, SolidWorks, AutoCAD and others) or by 3d-scanning the object that you want to copy. Then, using the printer software, the model is broken down into layers and a set of commands is generated that determine the sequence of material application when printing.

    printer, works

    Equipment that implements the additive method of creating bodies, by analogy with two-dimensional peripheral devices, is characterized by a resolution along three axes in space. These parameters determine the height of the layer and the positioning accuracy of the print element. Another important technical characteristic of a 3D printer is the printing area, the size of which determines the maximum possible size of the grown body.

    Various types of plastics, metal alloys, mineral mixtures, paper, photopolymers can be used as materials for three-dimensional objects in additive manufacturing. Some 3d printers allow you to work at once with several materials that differ in properties or color. There is also a method for obtaining objects characterized by a variety of shades by mixing a dye with a transparent polymer during printing.

    Technologies for growing three-dimensional objects

    There are a lot of three-dimensional printing methods, their main differences from each other are in the principles of the formation of layers and their connection to each other, as well as the materials used in the work. Consider the main technologies of additive manufacturing.

    Extrusion printing

    This method is also called layer-by-layer fusion of the material, which is used as a thermoplastic. Devices working in accordance with this technology are also called FDM printers, they are the most common today. A diagram explaining the principle of extrusion printing, shown in the picture.

    The main unit of the FDM-printer is the printhead-extruder. The cartridge for such a device is a thermoplastic polymer in the form of a thread wound on a spool. In the extruder, by rotating the roller elements, the working material is fed into the heating zone, where it is melted and squeezed out through the nozzle, forming an elementary fragment of the object. After printing the entire current contour, the platform moves down and starts applying a new layer.

    There are printers in which it is possible to feed two types of whining into the print head, which allows you to grow multi-colored objects or create so-called print supports. The latter are needed to build sections of the object, and not in contact with the underlying layers or base. If water soluble substances are used as support material, they can be easily removed rather than subjecting the base material to processing. The view of an object printed with soluble supports, before and after their removal, is shown in the photo.

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    Supports can also be made from base thermoplastic, then after printing the model they break off and the surface is brought to a smooth state by machining. An example of a part made in this way is shown in the picture.

    Powder printing methods

    The technologies of this group are united by the idea of ​​creating a solid structure from powder materials. One of the varieties is inkjet printing, based on layer-by-layer application of a component having a powder consistency, individual fragments of which are then impregnated with an adhesive. The materials here can be very diverse: paper, wood, mineral mixtures, metals, plastics. The only condition is the ability to grind them to a powdery state.

    Other methods. laser sintering and fusion. are very similar and are used primarily for growing metal parts. The latter makes it possible to obtain the most dense and durable objects, the structure of which does not contain pores. The step-by-step process of laser powder 3D printing is shown in the illustration.

    Photopolymerization printing

    This name combines two methods of creating three-dimensional objects from a special class of liquid substances. photopolymers, which solidify when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. laser stereolithography and digital LED projection.

    The scheme of printing a volumetric body using laser stereolithography technology is shown in the illustration. The working area is immersed in liquid photopolymer resin to the level of one layer. The laser beam draws a cross-section of the future object in accordance with its three-dimensional model, the irradiated areas of the material solidify. Then the base is lowered into a bath of liquid resin for the size of the next layer, and its construction is carried out similarly to the previous one. The process is repeated until the whole object is grown. After that, the remaining material is washed off from the product.

    The second type of photopolymerization printing is implemented according to the same principle, only LED projectors are used as a light source.


    This technology consists in the manufacture of volumetric objects from sheets of paper, plastic films, foil. A diagram of the printing process is shown in the picture. The material with the adhesive coating applied to it is fed to the working platform or the lower layers of the part, when passing through it the Heat roller adheres to the surfaces. Then the contour of the layer is cut by the projected laser beam, which also divides the remnants of the sheet material into small fragments for easier removal.

    Application of 3d printing

    3D printers are used for rapid prototyping and production of piece parts, new components, layouts in industrial production, design of subject-spatial complexes, architecture, automotive, fashion industry, food industry, medicine and many other areas.

    Since three-dimensional printing provides almost inexhaustible opportunities for obtaining volumetric structures of any complexity, this method is loved not only by engineers, but also by designers who create clothes and shoes, jewelry, small household items, furniture items, toys with the introduction of 3D printers.

    Additive manufacturing technologies are also used in the manufacture of medical devices, for example, dental implants are printed on stereolithography printers. In addition, artificial fragments of the human skeleton, bones, skull and cartilage are obtained on a 3D printer. A promising direction is the use of various types of cells of the human body as a material, which makes it possible to print tissues and organs for transplantation.

    Today, 3d printers are not widely used in everyday life, since these devices are still quite expensive, and it is quite possible to do without items made on them. But who knows, perhaps in the foreseeable future, printing at home a broken cup, a broken favorite child’s toy, an author’s ring as a gift for a girl or a chocolate dessert for the holiday will become as commonplace as today washing clothes or washing dishes without getting your hands wet.

    How a 3D printer works and what are its advantages?

    The active introduction of 3D printers into human life will entail not only changes in the field of trade, but also change the usual understanding of the processes of restoration and repair of any items. For example, having the appropriate materials, it is possible to recreate any detail, for example, the back panel of a smartphone. A 3D printer will also be an excellent assistant for many designers: it can be used to quickly print any layout, for example, a room or the arrangement of the courtyard of a private house. In fact, a 3D printer (translated from English 3D-printer, ” 3D ‘is the designation of three-dimensionality,’ ‘printer’ ‘is a typographer, printing) is a device that recreates in reality a three-dimensional image captured in the memory of a connected device.

    The basis of any printed item is made up of several types of plastic, as well as several additional components, which in modern times are not yet widespread for centuries (paper composition, starch, gypsum and even chocolate). Outwardly, any 3D printer resembles the most familiar printer, which additionally has a limited space for layer-by-layer printing of the final product. A certain number of metal guides are built into the device, which work in conjunction with the printing extruder or laser. The latter is not used in ubiquitous 3D printers, but is indispensable in the production of complex shapes, parts and fragments of mechanisms.

    The principle of printing is based on the use of a special type of plastic, which melts at very low temperatures, which a small printer can reach without harming the environment. A spool with a plastic thread is charged into a special hole in the body of the device, which is fed to the extruder. In turn, the extruder processes the raw material into a homogeneous mass, which is fed to the nozzle. The nozzle on a special surface draws in detail each pixel of the sketch, and the plastic for a short amount of time at room temperature solidifies in a certain shape. Any special conditions for work are NOT required, all that is needed is a large supply of plastic thread (on average, 1 kg is enough per month of active work).

    3D printing is NOT limited to the introduction of plastic filament, allowing you to create certain things, for example, from metal using EBM technology. A printer using this technology prints objects using electron beam melting; however, the term “metal printing” is not applicable to this method, because the material is a complex compound of metal and clay. Metal clay, which actually serves as ink for a 3D printer, is obtained by scientists by combining organic glue, as well as metal shavings and water in a certain proportion. The essence of printing is to heat the metal clay to a state in which the glue and water evaporate, and the metal literally grows together into a monolithic compound.

    The area of ​​3D printing is also actively developing, which uses photopolymer resins as the main material, which are transformed into a real object through exposure to a special DLP projector. Printers operating on this technology use a new technology for processing ink with light, which is new on the market. The principle of operation is quite simple: by acting in a certain way on the photopolymer resins, the final product is practically cut out of the ink. The relatively recent appearance on the market of this technology is noticeable even to an ordinary user: all printers are quite bulky, but experts are quite optimistic about their future and predict that gadgets will soon acquire compactness.

    According to numerous estimates of scientists, the most promising area of ​​3D printing is the one where printers use high-performance thermoplastic as ink, which provides not only high thermal, but also chemical and mechanical strength of the final product. Printing with the introduction of thermoplastic compares favorably with the greater compactness of the printers, the overall cleanliness of the print, and the ease of use of the devices themselves. This type of printing allows you to create, even at home, much more complex designs than the previous ones described, which is explained by the introduction of not one material, but also additional (or several) ones. Thermoplastics are usually also charged into special cells of the printer, which later feed them in a molten state along several axes.

    This 3D printer prints in layers, which can be compared in part to building any houses from the LEGO constructor. However, the factor related to the advantages of this technology may be perceived by some very negatively: the fact is that the department will have to use auxiliary materials by physical means, since the printer is not yet able to carry out this procedure independently. The use of this type of 3D printer has already proven itself both among young people and among the adult generation: for example, at the TED conference there were examples of using printing to produce plastic shoes and clothes.

    How a 3D printer works

    News. Articles. Files

    Nearly all personal 3D printers take the same approach to the 3D printing process. The details may vary, but basically the structure and operation are the same. Let’s look at the principle of operation of a 3D printer in more detail based on the example from the figure below.

    Cartesian robot

    The basic idea behind a 3D printer is the same as in Cartesian work. It is a machine that can move linearly in three dimensions. the X, Y and Z axes, also known as Cartesian coordinates. To do this, 3D printers have small stepper motors that can move with high precision and accuracy. typically 1.8 degrees per step. These “three-dimensional” jobs are controlled by a controller, like any other automated system, and thus it is possible to move the print head, squeezing out the molten plastic, creating a part layer by layer. Many 3D printers use timing belts and rollers in the X and Y axes to provide fast yet accurate movement. Many also use a threaded rod or special screws in the Z axis for even more accurate positioning.

    While all of this may sound complicated, it is actually not at all, and many 3D printers contain standard elements that are used in a large number of second industries and devices. Of course, it took years to test what really works and what doesn’t, to get the outstanding results of 3D printers that we have now. Thanks to the large number of open technologies, developers could share with each other, which facilitated the process of creating and sharing knowledge.

    With the ability to accurately position, we need an extruder that could “squeeze out” thin strands of thermoplastic. plastic, which turns into a semi-liquid form when heated. The extruder, the most difficult part of the 3D printer, which is still constantly improved and refined, actually consists of two parts. the whine drive itself and the thermal head.

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    The whine drive pushes the filament, which is often twisted into a spool, and has a diameter of 1.75 or 3 mm, using a gear mechanism. Most, if not all, modern wires use a stepping mechanism to better control the filament supply to the thermal head. These drives usually work with gearboxes to give the plastic feed system the force needed to squeeze out the whine.

    The filament, after being fed by the reins into the extruder, goes on to the thermal head (sometimes called the thermal chamber). The die is usually thermally insulated from the rest of the extruder and is made from a piece of aluminum with a built-in heater or some other heat source. There must be a temperature sensor to control heating. When the plastic reaches the thermal head, it is already heated to a temperature of 170-220 degrees Celsius, depending on the type of plastic. Already in a semi-liquid state, the plastic is squeezed out of the print head, the hole diameter of which is usually in the range of 0.35 to 0.5 mm.

    Print surface (platform)

    The print surface is the work surface on which the 3D parts are prepared. The size of the work surface varies depending on the printer model and is usually in the range of 100 to 200 square millimeters. Most, if not all, 3D printer manufacturers offer a heated platform either as a kit or as an option. In extreme cases, it is extremely easy to make the heated platform from the material at hand. The task of the platform is to prevent tears or cracks in the model, as well as to provide reliable adhesion between the first layers of the printed part and the working surface.

    The platform surface is usually made of glass or aluminum to better distribute heat across the working platform for a smooth and level surface. Glass gives a smoother surface, while aluminum distributes heat better in the case of a heated platform. To prevent the printed model from flying off during the creation process, the surface is often covered with some kind of adhesive or film, and a surface is created that will be inexpensive to change if necessary. Such materials often consist of kaptons or polyimide tape, PET or polyester silicon tape, it all depends on the type of plastic.

    Linear motor

    The type of linear motor (drive) that is used on a particular 3D printer largely determines how accurately the device will print, how quickly, and how often and how much the 3D printer will need to be serviced. Many 3D printers use smooth, precise rods for each axis, and plastic or bronze ball bearings to move along each rod. Linear ball bearings, which have gained great popularity due to their durability and better performance, are often noisier than bronze ones, which, however, are more difficult to calibrate at the time of assembly.

    The best choice of linear actuator for a 3D printer depends on your preference as well as choosing a personal car. You can use 3D printed bushings as shown in the picture above, but this will not be a very durable solution. Conventionally made plastic bushings work very well and smoothly, but tend to deform after a long time. On the other hand, the quality of foresight also depends on the quality and smoothness of the rails on which they move. exotic materials such as felt have been tried with varying results.

    The range of motion of linear actuators is usually limited by a mechanical or optical retainer. Roughly speaking, these are just limiters that signal to the printer that it has approached the edge of the working surface to prevent it from going beyond the platform.

    Although the presence of clamps is NOT required in the operation of 3D printers, the presence of them will allow the printer to calibrate the position before starting each printing process, which will make the printing more accurate and accurate.

    That which holds all of the above described elements together is called a frame. The shape of the frames, as well as the material from which they are made, greatly affect the accuracy and quality of printing. Many 3D printers use threaded rods and other materials in the frame construction. Many printers also use laser cut plywood sheets to create a frame.

    Such a system is BASED on the principle of slots, when one part has a slot for connecting to another part, and together they are connected by bolts and nuts. This frame is usually easier to assemble and more accurate for calibrating the printer, however it is usually noisier and will need to be tightened over time. In general, threaded rods make the unit quieter, but complicate assembly and calibration.

    Connect the printer to your computer

    How to connect a printer to a computer

    There are only two ways to connect the printer to the computer:

    • Local.
      This method involves connecting the printer to a computer via Wi-Fi or USB. In this case, the connection takes place with the introduction of the driver included in the kit to the purchased printer. Also, the driver can be downloaded from the Internet. As a rule, connecting in this way eliminates any problems with the connected printer, in contrast to the second method.
    • Network.
      With this method, the printer can be connected to the computer locally, and thanks to the shared access provided, it also becomes possible to connect this printer to other computers on the local network or print server. It is very simple to make a network printer: just connect it to a computer or a print server using Wi-Fi, USB or Lan and open access to all users of this network.

    How to connect a printer using a network method

    Situations often arise when the number of printers in the office or home is less than the number of computers on the network, and when printing documents, additional configuration of the printer is required so that it can print over the network.

    An example of the most common situation. There is a printer to which one computer is connected, and printing is required from another over the network. In such cases, there are several options for connecting the printer to a second computer. The simplest ones are as follows:

    Connect a network printer using a computer

    Sometimes, in order for two computers to work with the printer over the network at the same time, additional settings are required (if during the process of configuring the network printer an “Access All” error occurs).

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    Initially, you should find out the name of the computer (to which the printer is connected). To do this, you will need to name it with the right mouse button on the “My Computer” icon. In this menu, select the “Properties” mark and in it. the tab called “Computer name”. In Windows7 software, this tab will be the last in the list of “Properties”. You can also get to this menu in the second way. go to the control panel menu, find the “System” icon (“System Properties”).

    Having learned the name of the computer we need, we can go to the second computer. In it, click on the “START execute” button, or you can simply open one of the folders. Further, in the line that appears at the top, the address (folder address) must be entered \\ computer name. Example: if the computer name is “printserver”, then “\\ printserver” must be entered into the line. After these manipulations, ENTER is pressed. Thus, we get to the remote computer and can see all the network resources available to it. This includes a printer, which can be installed by simply clicking on it.

    If the device is not displayed in the list of available network resources, then access must be opened for it. To do this, go to the computer to which the printer is connected. In it we go to “START”, then choosing the “Printers” tab and already in this window that appears, it is worth naming the right mouse button on the printer that we need. In this menu window, select “Properties”, then find the tab “Access”. In this tab, you must check the box next to the “Open public access” checkbox. Thus, this printer will appear in the list of network resources.

    Method number 2

    You need to go to the control panel and select the “devices and printers” folder from the offered menus. Then you should click “Add Printer” (or in other versions “Add Printer”). In the appeared window of the wizard for installing new devices, you need to click the “Next” button, then choosing “Connect to a printer” or “Browse printers on the network”, confirm your choice by clicking “Next”. A new window that appears will offer a list of devices on the network, where you will need to find the printer you need and confirm its selection by clicking the “Next” button. The process will be completed by the operating system without your further participation.


    There are times (if computers are on a network with different versions of Windows) when during installation you may need a driver for the printer. Such a driver can be taken from a disk, which was supplied with the printer, or downloaded from the Internet. from the website of the manufacturer of this printer.

    If the printer is connected to the network directly using its own network interface or through a print server, then such a device is easier to connect using the installation wizard, which usually comes with the printer (all-in-one printer) in the form of a CD.

    If there is an opportunity to use such a disk, then you should use the second method. To do this, go to the “Add Printer Wizard” following the instructions of 2 ways. Here you should select the checkbox “Local printer” and then. “Create a new port”. In this menu, select “Standard TCP / IP Port”. The “Add Printer Wizard” appears on the screen. In the “Printer name / IP addresses” field, you must enter the printer’s IP addresses, which are specified in the instructions and settings of the printer itself. Having completed all the steps correctly, the process can be completed with a few clicks of the “Next” button in the windows that appear.

    Some printing devices need additional settings, which predict the TCP / IP port settings.

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