3D printing is an increasingly popular technology that is improving the lives of hobbyists and professionals alike. It saves time and money compared to traditional model-building. This is because manufacturing uses multiple machines to build one product, while a 3D printing machine can do it all. More households are investing in 3D printing machines to save on the cost of small replacement parts for common appliances. With this popularity, open-source 3D printing designs have become more accessible.
If you’re starting your own business or even just looking into building fun projects in your spare time, a 3D printer can make a world of difference. While the idea behind a 3D printer may sound simple, it can be complex. That’s where our company comes in. We have the experience and skills needed to create perfect 3D models for the manufacturing projects you’re working on. But how do you obtain the designs necessary for your project?
Getting Started With 3D Printing Designs
You are already located in the best place to get flawless designs and 3D printouts for you or your small business. We offer a way to keep your engineering records organized and professional by providing you with computer-aided design (CAD) and 2D drawings. We pride ourselves in helping anyone start up their company, whether they have complete STL files they need to print, or simply an idea in their mind.
Just some of the things we specialize in are logos, prototypes, Airsoft supplies, appliance parts for homes and automobiles, office organizers/designs, and even gadgets/figurines. We offer the highest quality products, the lowest overhead fees with zero premiums, and top-notch 24/7 customer support. We ensure that we stay in touch with you throughout your project with us.
As 3D printing becomes more and more popular, there will be an increasing number of sites that claim to promise free STL or OBJ files for download. There are already a dizzying number of these websites in existence. You can choose to get your files from here if the site has what you’re looking for in its file library and you don’t need any custom jobs.
We wouldn’t recommend this approach because free sources keep you at the mercy of pre-existing designs that may not have been quality-checked. Some more well-known websites sometimes claim that each file in their library has been quality-tested and even test-printed before being added to the pool. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure if this is the case. It’s better to go with a trustworthy company set on serving you, like us, rather than wasting your time and money on a shoddy product.
Why Go With 3D Printing?
Since 3D printers can do the work of multiple manufacturing machines, one of the biggest advantages of this method is speed. Builders can design, manufacture, and test parts much more efficiently than before.
Prior to 3D printing designs, a manufacturer would take weeks to design and make a product. If it needed changes, there would be another few weeks of waiting. Nowadays people can produce high-quality models within a few days.
Less Waste, Less Cost
3D printing is significantly more cost-effective than traditional manufacturing methods. This is good news for smaller businesses that are just starting out or on a tighter budget. 3D printing replacing traditional manufacturing means fewer machines, fewer operators, and far fewer maintenance costs.
Prior manufacturing methods involved the desired object being carved out of a solid block of material. Since 3D printing involves layers upon layers built from the bottom up, it’s no longer subtractive manufacturing. This means fewer materials are being wasted per project.
Quality and Consistency
The act of building your project using precise step-by-step assembly allows for fewer quality issues. Where previous manufacturing required you to have a complete product before building, 3D printing designs offer opportunities to enhance your current design and get consistently better results.
It’s normally much cheaper to mass-produce products using typical manufacturing rather than purchase one at a time. No problems or defects will be detectable until the final product is made. This means there is a significant risk of inconsistent quality or defective parts on a percentage of the mass-produced objects. 3D printing allows parts to be built in succession and each part is closely quality-controlled.
The Process Behind Our Flawless 3D Creations
The convenience of going with us means we’ll do all the hard work, but it’s still valuable to learn the process that goes behind it. The idea is simple and the steps seem easy on paper, but the process requires skill and experience. The most important thing for us to know is how to produce perfect CAD files, as these are the backbones of what will eventually be a 3D-printed model.
Each file that we make will be in either STL format or object file (OBJ) format. Both
of these are the most useful for 3D
because they tell the printer the dimensions and surface geometry of
3D objects without any colors or textures. The absence of textures is
important because it could sabotage clarity in the final product.
These files are excellent at giving the computer the exact commands
it needs to produce a flawless 3D object.
We’re experts in mechanical design both in 2D and 3D. The first thing we do is meet with you and discuss your goals for your project/business. This gives us a better understanding of what you’re looking for. We typically start with 2D designs that we then carefully craft into properly formatted 3D models. For any of your manufacturing projects, we will custom-build you a 2D drawing template and even create a numbering system to keep things organized.
We keep our printing technology updated to ensure the best possible quality for every single project. We pride ourselves in being able to make models that are precise enough to stay within 0.001 inches of the intended dimensions. To make sure the final product is exactly what you want, we stay in touch with you and provide updates for the entire duration of your project with us.
Once we have perfected the 3D printing designs we will get in touch with you for final confirmation. We aren’t satisfied until you are, so don’t be afraid to request modifications or make additional suggestions. Once you have approved the 3D model, we use special software called “slicing” to generate G-code. We take the G-code instructions and copy these onto an SD card. The card gets placed into our commercial high-quality printer so that the printing process can finally begin.
Considering Do-It-Yourself? Be Warned!
If you plan to take the DIY approach to this, keep in mind the time, precision, and work that goes into it. You can obtain open-source files or make them yourself. Make sure the files you use are in the correct formats if you do this. You may also run into tricky licensing agreements. Make sure you research the open-source models you find online and strictly adhere to the stipulations of the license. When in doubt, credit the original creator.
Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t expect a flawless 3D model the very first time you attempt this. If you’re a hobbyist and have the time to practice and build your skill, this is just fine. If you’re wanting 3D printouts for anything professional or business-related however, we can’t put enough emphasis on going with a trusted company that specializes in 3D printing designs.
Slicing and G-Code
You’ll need slicing software if you intend on printing at home. This software will convert STL or OBJ files to G-code. G-code is necessary because it translates human commands to computer inputs. It tells the machine exactly what movements/calibrations are necessary to create the desired object. Think of it as the brain of the project, pulling the strings to ensure precise actions.
The reason it’s called slicing is that 3D printing is done in layers built on top of one another. The software tells the printer how much material is needed to print the complete model. It also gives the machine specific instructions on building the object. Think of the slicing as instructions on how to build a house brick by brick from the foundation upward, and the specific instructions as turn-by-turn navigation.
The last step is to put the converted G-code onto an SD card and place it inside the 3D printer. Once the printing is finished you can smooth out the edges to make the layers blend if you wish.
While doing this yourself is an option, we highly recommend that you make things easier on yourself and let us take the pressure off of you. You won’t have to worry about obtaining or creating a 3D model, you won’t run into any confusing licensing agreement issues, and we can guarantee you a flawless project. Not to mention all the time and money you’ll save hiring us for your business!
There are many tools available to you if you’re interested in delving into the art of 3D printing. Although some individuals may have the time to spend on 3D projects, many of us feel overwhelmed by the work and time that goes into 3D printing. If you are interested in flawless 3D printouts for your business or hobby without the hassle of doing it yourself, check out our website and give us a call here at MidWest Designs LLC today.