gmercer_48083
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:49 am

Thinking about purchasing a 3D printer

Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:21 am

Hi, I am a brand new (wet behind the ears) user on this site. I have some privative questions to ask as I am thinking about buying a cheap 3D printer.
1. I have sketchup16 and have installed the stl extension installed … so I can export a stl file. Now what do I do with it?
2. I read about slicing...and I assume I need to import a stl file into it so it can create a file to send to the printer, is that correct?
3. I can't seem to figure out what other software may be needed to purchase along with the 3D printer.

I have no manufacturing background, but at 67 years of age, I have a lot of ideas that could be put to use with a 3D printer, but not a lot of disposable income.
I have a windows10 pc and it does non support open gl video, so I may also have to upgrade or get a newer computer.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks Gary.

S3D-Jake
Posts: 693
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:45 pm

Re: Thinking about purchasing a 3D printer

Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:10 pm

gmercer_48083 wrote: 1. I have sketchup16 and have installed the stl extension installed … so I can export a stl file. Now what do I do with it?
2. I read about slicing...and I assume I need to import a stl file into it so it can create a file to send to the printer, is that correct?
3. I can't seem to figure out what other software may be needed to purchase along with the 3D printer.
  1. Honestly the first thing I'd probably do is send it through a 3D model repair tool. (Sketchup's STL plugin is notorious for having unusable output)
  2. Correct. The STL file needs converted into a set of instructions your 3D printer can understand. A "Slicer" software package will allow you to convert that CAD file and help you bring your vision to life!
    This article on 3dprinting.com is helpful at breaking down the entire process of material extrusion based printing (main technology supported by Simplify3D at this time) https://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-print ... -Extrusion
  3. I'm assuming you're considering Simplify3D, as you signed up for our forum. ;) There are obviously free options and a plethora of guides for both the free softwares as well as Simplify3D. Some of the main benefits of Simplify3D are prominently discussed on our product page. https://www.simplify3d.com/software/
If you have any other questions, just let us know! :mrgreen:
"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song."

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