If you belong to the internet, then you’ve probably heard of 3D printing. If not, let us tell you a little about it.
3D printing is a new manufacturing technology. It utilizes a computer-controlled machine to “print” physical objects in 3-dimensions. Almost any 3D model can be imported into a printer and turned into a physical object within several hours.
What’s a 3D model?
3D models are computer-generated objects with length, width, and height. You’ve seen them in video games and movies; these are your virtual characters, weapons, armor, and other graphics. You may also be familiar with them in manufacturing fields. Engineers use CAD programs to create 3D models of new products and tools. Almost any 3D model can be printed with a 3D printer.
How can I make a 3D model?
There are many ways to create 3D models. First you need to have an idea. Then you can start by drawing your idea with a pencil and paper, or you can dive right in and download a 3D modeling program. These programs range in price from absolutely free to several thousand dollars. My favorite programs are SketchUp and FreeCAD. Both of them can be downloaded for free. Check them out to get started designing your own products!
That sounds awfully complicated!
You’re wrong. It’s not awfully complicated. It’s actually relatively simple, but like any other new skill, there is a learning curve to it. You can find lots of tutorials on how to use these programs through YouTube and various other websites and forums. Try not to get frustrated or give up; I assure that you can learn to use these programs. All it takes is a little practice and you’ll be ready to start printing your very own product designs.
I don’t have time to learn all this.
That’s fine also. You don’t need to know how to create 3D models; although it’s a useful skill to have in the age of 3D printing. If you don’t want to learn, there are still thousands of freely-available models that can be downloaded and printed. Many websites even act as repositories for free 3D models. The most popular right now is Thingiverse.
You can also try our custom Google search engine to find models from popular repositories around the internet.
I can’t find the model I’m looking for.
Don’t see your model anywhere? Don’t have time to create it yourself? We can help you bring your product to life. Click the “Get a Quote” link to inquire about having your idea created and printed by us.