10 excellent tips & tutorials on 3D printing

So you’ve seen the famous wrench video, you’ve got yourself a 3D design program, and you’re ready to try out 3D printing.

But where do you start?

If you’re not using your own desktop 3D printer, you’ll want to check this out:

Things you must know for 3D printing with Ponoko. This forum post lists 6 key considerations when using 3D printing — things like minimum wall thickness, hollowing out your geometry, and material selection.

For details on all that stuff plus a lot more, jump into these super helpful tips and tutorials.

1. Strength guidelines of 3D printing materials

You need to pick a material before you start designing, so you can take the benefits and limitations of each material into consideration as you design. This strength guideline depicts what proportions are suitable for which materials.

2. What does wall thickness mean, and how do I get it right?

This is one of *the* most important things for getting a successful 3D print. This post explains how to determine the minimum wall thickness you’ll need to get a sturdy result.

3. Creating watertight meshes

It is important to create watertight meshes in your design, so that it is clear to the 3D printer what is the “inside” (which needs to be made up of 3D print material) and what is the “outside”. In short, ‘watertight mesh’ means that there are no holes, cracks or missing features on the mesh.

4. Hollowing out your design to reduce the cost of 3D printing

Hollow objects are a great way to save on the cost of your part, as well as reducing weight which means cheaper shipping. This example shows how hollowing out the design decreased the cost of production by a 62%!!

5. Optimizing your 3D design file for lower costs

For more tips on getting the best price on your 3D printing order, check out these tips from our in-house 3D printing pros.

6. Converting a DAE into an STL to check for errors

Uploading a DAE file can sometimes give you messy mesh errors, or a too small or too large error because of meshes that are not quite right. This tutorial shows you how to convert a DAE file into an STL file to check and fix errors with internal geometry.

7. How to design 3D printed pin hinges, no assembly required!

This is a cool tutorial that shows you how to design 3D printed hinges that are completely intact with no assembly required — something not possible without 3D printing!

8. Getting the best results from 3D printed Glazed Ceramic

Ceramic is one of the most exciting materials for 3D printing. But there’s a lot to think about when using this material. This post tells you how to get the best results with 3D printed Glazed Ceramic.

9. Coloring your 3D printed plastic design with RIT fabric dye

You don’t have to print in color to have a colored 3D printed design. This fun, post-production tutorial shows you how to dye your 3D printed white plastic designs with RIT fabric dye.

10. Rich’s top ten list of stuff-ups in 3D printing

When it comes to 3D printing, you probably won’t get it right the first time. But take a look at this list from our 3DP guru Richard on the top ten stuff-ups in 3D printing, and you might save yourself some costly and frustrating mistakes.