What Is A 3D Printer?

By Tanner Abraham •  Updated: 08/22/22 •  4 min read

If we had to mention one of the most interesting inventions that represent an important advance for our society and it’s functioning. It would be 3D printers; at first glance it may seem useful only for certain things but the truth is that it is not. We ask that you do not stay alone with the possibility of printing figurines, open your mind and think… What things could you print in 3D? By asking yourself this question, you will discover the potential of this invention.

Today 3D printers are something that not everyone could obtain, not at least one with very limited financial resources. And although at a commercial level and use they will have will depend on the owner. The truth is that it has been proven that these machines can allow the creation of increasingly interesting things. As can be the case of a Canadian who created a fully functional mini motorcycle. Printing most of the vehicle structure with a 3D printer.

This is what we mean by the potential they have, what’s more, today they are even working on the possibility of printing entire houses with 3D printers of industrial magnitude. Simply genius! If you want to know more about 3D printers. We invite you to read this post until its completion.

What is a 3D printer and what is it used for?

Although the name of this invention is quite specific, and in itself it allows us to get an idea of ​​what it is and what it does. It never hurts to provide a more precise or exact definition. These machines can be understood as artifacts capable of making an exact copy or replica of 3D models. Creating small parts of pieces or volumetric models, starting from a design that was elaborated from a computer. These machines were born from the idea of ​​wanting to convert 2D files into real three-dimensional prototypes.

Knowing what it is, the question arises… What is it for? Well, this is an answer that will only be given depending on the carrier of one of these machines. The most popular or frequent use that is given to them; It is for the realization of small-scale figures, although they can also have a more scientific purpose.

There are those who use 3D printers to build other more complex objects. Working something like a huge puzzle in three dimensions. Or you can even print clothing designs. The possibilities that these printers offer us are increasing. So in summary, they will be used for what you need to print.

How do these printers work?

Regarding the operation of a 3D printer, we are going to explain it in a simple way, so that you can understand how these machines are capable of creating 3D figures. The process they carry out could be considered as additive manufacturing, which is capable of manufacturing tangible objects from the information provided by a digital object (See, a 3D model from a computer). This digital model is cut or divided into different thin layers, which are then sent to the 3D printer to print them, layer by layer. By stacking these layers in an orderly manner, the printer creates the figure, until it concludes with the final layer. That in short is what the 3D printer does.

As for the 3D models, there are two ways to obtain them. The first is doing 3D modeling on our own (for this you must have knowledge of 3D modeling software). Or you can buy these  models from the internet, there are many websites that are dedicated to sharing 3D models, many dedicated specifically to 3D printing. For which you will be able to find a handful of things to print.

How much does it cost to get one of these machines?

With so much talk about 3D printers, probably more than one wants to get theirs. So you will be interested in knowing the prices of these artifacts. To begin with, the cheapest ones but that have a fairly good performance are usually around 200 euros. Fairly affordable price, although yes, these printers have several limitations (one of them is the size of their prints).

Then the good printers are at 600 euros, here we are already talking about quite standard equipment and the most recommended obtaining (If you really plan to use it). And finally we have high consumption printers, which reach several thousand euros.

Tanner Abraham

Data Scientist and Software Engineer with a focus on experimental projects in new budding technologies that incorporate machine learning and quantum computing into web applications.