3D Printing FAQ

If you’re new to the world of 3D printing and feeling a little overwhelmed trying to absorb all of the information out there then our list of frequently asked questions should help to get you started.

  • What is 3D printing?

– 3D printing, which falls under the category of additive manufacturing, is a digital manufacturing process which creates an object from a 3D file by building it up one solid layer at a time.

  • How does it work? 

– After you design your 3D model you’ll need to run the design through a software programme which will slice the whole object into thousands of tiny slices. Then the 3D printer will print your design from the bottom up, sticking each of the tiny layers together to create your finished 3D model.

  • Why use 3D printing?

– There are many reasons why more and more manufacturers are utilising 3D printing technology but the main benefits are that in comparison to traditional manufacturing methods, 3D printing is cheaper, faster and more efficient. The overhead costs for 3D printers are much lower than traditional machines and as they work with the push of a button labour costs are also low. 3D printers can create objects in a matter of hours depending on the dimensions of the object and due to the fact that the objects are built from the bottom up, one layer at a time, 3D printing creates virtually no waste.  Using a 3d printing service such as Ryobe’s means you don’t need to worry about large upfront costs to invest in technology (and no need to re-invest as newer, more efficient models are released onto the market.)

  • How long does it take to print a 3D model?

– The time it takes to 3D print an object ultimately depends on the size, complexity and quality of the design you wish to print. Small, simple, low quality objects like a key ring can take as little as 10 minutes to be completed where as it can take several hours to print a large, complicated and high quality model.

  • How much can I print with one roll of filament?

– This is a difficult question to answer, again, this will depend on the object(s) you are printing and the type of filament you are using. The most basic answer we can give you is that since filament usually comes in 1kg rolls you could hypothetically print 1kg worth of printed parts. If you know how much your printed model weighs and have a basic understanding of mathematics, you should be able to work out how many you can print before your roll of filament runs out.

  • What is the best type of filament?

– There is a wide variety of filament types to choose from. Thermoplastics PLA (Polyactic Acid) and ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) tend to be the most popular types but when it comes to choosing the best one for you it depends on the object you are printing and its purpose. Before you make your choice it is important to inform yourself about the durability, flexibility and other qualities of different filaments and whether those qualities will have a positive or negative effect on your model and its intended use.

We hope you found this page helpful, if you have any enquires please use the contact form here and we’ll be happy to assist you. Looking to learn more? Check out our 3D Printing courses.