3D Printing 101 A Beginners Guide

3D printers are a very new technology and as a MOD-t user, youre one of the first consumers to use one. Thats why youve probably been asked these questions by your friends and family:

Does it just create things out of thin air instantaneously?

Can you print organs like they do on

Cant youmake candywith a printer?

The answer to all of these questions is No. Not because it isnt possible to print any of these things, but because desktop printers arent advanced enough (just yet!) to do so.

But that shouldnt be a surprise! A decade ago, almost all 3D printers were bulky, expensive, and difficult to use. The calibration and operation processes were tricky and not worth the effort if you were just a casual user. Three decades ago, 3D printing barely existed. The first patent for a printer was filed in the early 1980s and the first 3D printing patent was awarded to Charles Hull in 1984.

Fused Filament Fabrication was created in the 1990s and builds models by extruding filament layer by layer. This is the technology the MOD-t and many other consumer-friendly printers use. Its not as high resolution as some more dangerous and expensive methods of printing, and it certainly cant make martinis like the Replicator from Star Trek, but its still an incredibly developed technology for its age.

More and more materials are becoming available for FFF printers and new ways of laying down layers of filament are being developed. The MOD-t itself has pushed the boundaries of 3D printing by using encrypted G-code and a specialized carriage/build tray interaction.

As great as FFF is, it still has some drawbacks. One is filament, which can be fussy and can restrict what materials you can print in. (You can read thisblog postto learn how to properly care for filament, though!)

Youve probably noticed the MOD-t is optimized for PLA a plant-based filament. While you could certainly print a replica of the aforementioned  body part or candy, we dont suggest printing the real thing. Inserting human tissue into the MOD-t or trying to take a bite out of PLA candy would most likely yield unpleasant results. Besides, where would you even find human tissue? (Dont answer that.)

The MOD-t is made for homes and schools, so safety and ease-of-use were huge factors in its design. The industrial printers that make rocket engines, titanium pieces, and other metal parts are used by 3D printing experts and have fewer safety features. These printers can usedangerousphotopolymers and powders at sometimes incredibly high temperatures to build just about anything. Trust us, you wouldnt want it in your house.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Stereolithography (SLA) use lasers to print. SLS is powder-powered and SLA works with resins. Both processes allow for a wider variety of models, sizes, and materials. Theyre also incredibly expensive, with machine price points reaching the hundreds of thousands and, sometimes, millions.

Another issue FFF faces is surface adhesion. The MOD-t is actually one of the easiest printers to use in this regard. You can read thisblog postto learn how to properly care for your print surface and optimize your surface adhesion. As a MOD-t user, you have it easy! A lot of other FFF printers require special glues and tapes for every print job. How messy!

Youve also probably noticed that some geometric shapes are impossible to print. Thats because FFF builds layer-by-layer. Some angles or shapes require the MOD-t to lay a layer on top of nothing. Thats most likely going to fail, even if you have a swaggy, million dollar 3D printer. You can learn how to format your models so they successfully print in thisblog post.

Not surprisingly, many folks still have questions about what 3D printing is or why youd want to use it. Simply put, 3D printers are great for protoyping, customizing, crafting, and creating. You can use your MOD-t to print items from our store and other online marketplaces, or you can design your own products and print them with ease.

If you follow our tips and maintain realistic expectations (i.e.: dont expect a machine out of Star Trek that can make things appear like a wizard in Harry Potter), youll have a wonderful experience with 3D printing and the MOD-t.

Let yourself feel inspired that youre a part of a brand new frontier. Youre making things you can use out of a spool of plastic. Thats incredible! And now that you have a front row seat to watching this technology improve, dont let the occasional hiccup stop you from making great things.

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New Matter was founded in 2014 with a mission to bring 3D printing to every home, school, and office. Led by its flagship product, the MOD-t desktop 3D printer, New Matter is poised to revolutionize the consumer 3D printing market by providing the first and only affordable, fully integrated, end-to-end consumer 3D printing experience.

See how we got our start onIndiegogo.

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