Illustration of How a 3D Printer Works and the Steps

3D Printers (3D Printers) for short (3DP) is an amazing printer designed by an inventor named Enrico Dini, which can not only "print" a complete building, but can even print the shape of any object needed for astronauts in a spacecraft. But generally speaking, 3D printing is a model of the object, not the function of the object.

Generally speaking 3D printers are FDM (material stacking type), SLA (light curing type) and metal sintering printers, the common one is FDM type printer, this printer is through the nozzle to melt the filamentary supplies (generally PLA, ABS and other materials), and then layer by layer coated on the hot bed, layer by layer lifted up.

 Basic parts and roles


3D printers generally have nozzles (also called hot head), hot bed, filament, stepper motor and control board and other components, the following will talk about one by one.

  1. Nozzle

Nozzle is generally composed of a stepper motor, a heater, a nozzle and a fan. The heater heats the nozzle, the shaft of the stepper motor rotates and extrudes the consumable filament to the nozzle, then the nozzle dips the material on the hot bed or the previous layer of material, and the fan dissipates heat to the stepper motor.

  1. Hot bed

The hot bed generally heats the material and sticks the material on it to prevent warping.

  1. Filament rod

The printer nozzle and hot bed are fixed on the slider on the filament rod, the filament rod rotation, you can let the slider on the filament rod in the direction of the filament rod to move, but also let the nozzle and the hot bed move.

  1. Stepper motor

Stepper motor drives the filament rod rotation, which allows the nozzle and hot bed to move, in addition to the nozzle at the stepper motor also plays a role in the base consumables.

  1. Control board

Control board is a circuit board, with the control of the chip and row of pins, etc., used to process information and send instructions to the stepper motor.

The FDM type printer

FDM printer is divided into two general structures, triangular and quadratic (easy to understand).

  1. Triangle type printer

In the above figure, the part circled with a red pen is the nozzle, the orange pen part circled is the slider, the green pen circled the plate is the hot bed, below the electric heating module and other components.

Triangular type printer is less common, generally speaking, there is no four-sided printer stability, it has three sliders, each slider up and down will drive the printhead to move, this printer does not move the hot bed, but the printhead up and down to achieve different layers of printing, hot bed under the stepper motor and control board, the control board to send instructions to the stepper motor, and then the stepper motor through the screw drive three sliders to move, thus driving Printhead up and down, left and right, back and forth movement, and then print layer by layer.

  1. Four-sided printer

The part circled by red pen in the picture above is the nozzle, while the part circled by yellow pen is the hot bed.

Quadrilateral 3D printer and triangular 3D printer principle is similar, but the structure is different, quadrilateral 3D printer hot bed up and down movement, while the nozzle left and right back and forth movement. When the nozzle moves, the stepper motor extrudes the material, the nozzle applies the material, and then prints one layer at a time.

SLA printer

SLA (light-curing) printer principle and FDM printer principle is not quite the same, SLA is mainly printed with photosensitive resin liquid material, probably filled with liquid print space, and then use light in accordance with the procedure for curing photosensitive resin, and finally molding.

This printer has many advantages over FDM printers, such as there will be no high-temperature parts, faster printing speed, etc.

Laser sintered metal printer

Laser sintered metal printer is through the injection of metal powder, and then irradiated with high temperature laser to make the powder melt, solidification molding printer, generally speaking, this printer is extremely uncommon, but widely used in industry, but also has many advantages, such as high precision, better workpiece, usually and milling and drilling machine with the use of finishing.

Precautions for the use of 3D printers.

  1. Do not touch the heated nozzle and hot bed, high temperature, it is easy to cause burns.
  2. Do not violent operation of the printer, such as breaking, hammering, etc., the accuracy and function of the printer have damage.
  3. When using the printer to pay attention to the placement of supplies, do not let the printer feed too much effort, will affect the quality of printing.

The basic use of 3D printers steps

Generally speaking, the steps are divided into the following steps: 1. design the model on the computer. 2. layering the model on the computer, into the control board can read the Gcode code. 3. send the code to the printer (can be SD card, U disk, can also be sent directly to the network or line connection). 4. printer in accordance with the code to start printing. 5. printer printing is over, remove the printed pieces and processing.

Finally, I wish you all can use the 3D printer to make what you like and realize your ideas!