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How to start with 3D Printing?

As the world of 3D printing is evolving there are three types of people who print 3D models. 

The first being a person who considers buying their own printer to print the 3D models. 

Secondly, the person finding someone else’s 3D printer to use or rent or even to use a third-party service to 3D printed designs for them. 

Apart from this, the third person might be someone who has a 3D printer but wants to print with exotic materials other than PLA or ABS.

This is when 3D printing service comes to the rescue.

Getting hands-on 3D modelling and printing

It is highly suggested to get hands-on experience on 3D modelling at first. 3D printing is only a cake walk once your expertise into attributes like bed levelling, print adhesion, optimum temperature settings, and many more tweaks. 

It is recommended that before outsourcing the 3D prints that you require you should keenly study 3D modelling and attributes of 3D printing. This is because you should have the technical knowledge of what you are outsourcing for.

3D outsourcing is as simple as uploading your object to a 3D printer provided by a third party and getting it printed.

Find a printer near you

Once your digital file is ready containing the 3D model, all you need to do is pull up your favourite search engine and search for ‘3D printers near me’

If you live in a metropolitan city it’s likely that you might find 3D printing services around easily. Living in the countryside can be a challenge here as not many enthusiasts aspire into 3D printing.

Listed are below all the options regardless of your location-

1. Community services

The services offered by the community are generally public areas hosted by the city, town, or County government for example community recreation centres or a public library engaged in 3D printing services.

However, you might have to pay a small fee for the engagement of materials and usage of the printer. But on the brighter side, this will be the cheapest option available in case you want to outsource 3D printing your model.

 2. Maker spaces

The ideology of maker spaces is similar to that of community service print centres. But unlike the community services, this is for-profit retail stores or centres. Show the major difference is the amount of money that you employ in community services and maker spaces.

Maker spaces are loaded with tools and gadgets that allow anyone to design and craft products in a variety of mediums. This is beneficial in case you want to combine something else into your 3D printer for example robotic elements.

The only difference is the amount of money employed otherwise the services provided by maker spaces are similar to that of community services.

3. Commercial printing companies

Operating just like traditional paper print services in the commercial printing companies you can bring in, send or upload a file for a particular amount of fee. On considering your request and fee, they will assist you in printing your 3D model. Consider it an All-in-One design and print service.

4. Printing hubs

This is a wider concept in terms of commercial printing companies. The companies and the professionals sign up to be a 3D printing partner with the hub.

A customer when uploads a file to be printed and for the select the settings and the materials to be employed in the printing process; he gets automatic quotes from different partners who are willing to print the product for him. 

Later the customer can choose the company via which he wants to print his model. As soon as the model is printed and the post-processing is done the printed object is shipped to your doorstep.

This only includes 5 processes, the first being to upload the file, the second being to configure materials and settings, the third being to get a quote, the fourth step is to submit and pay for the order, and the fifth step is to wait for your delivery.

The most widely used 3D printing service providers across the globe include Makenica, 3DHubs, Xomtery, and Fictiv.

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