More on cartridges and 3d printing

As was explained in the previous blog about cartridges and 3d-printing, 3d-printers build tangible objects by printing layers. So instead of creating a ‘flat’ word file with letters on it as you would with a normal printer, with 3d-printers you have to create a 3d model. The 3d printer will know how to translate this model into layers. However, how does that precisely work and what kind of cartridges are needed? This blog will elaborate on the techniques used by 3d-printers and the type of cartridges you can choose from.

Broadly speaking there are three steps in the 3d-printing process: modeling, printing and finishing. First you have to create a 3d model. This can be done with different types of software. You can either choose to create the model entirely by yourself, or you can choose to make a 3d scan of an object. With the former method you have more freedom of course, but the latter offers the interesting experience of rebuilding an object you already know as it were. Building a 3d model is not unlike sculpting and scanning an object merely involves the gathering of data. For the average consumer both options can be quite difficult when you don’t have experience with it, so it might be advisable to ask help from a more experienced user.

When the 3d model has been built, you will need software that can slice the 3d file. By slicing the object the software translates the object into layers. This is how the 3d-printer knows how to print the object. This is also the moment when the cartridge becomes important. It is not possible to use just any material for your 3d-object. Most printers have restrictions, because different materials need different printing processes. So before you buy a 3d printer make sure that you check out which cartridges can be used.