Wednesday, May 30, 2012

3D Printing Workflow

3D Printing Workflow

Here is a summary of 3D Printing workflow written by Florian Horsch on his blog.

3D Printing Workflow
(Source: http://techwall.net/ultimaker-3d-printing-workflow)

As seen from the diagram the process of 3D printing requires the use of multiple programs. During the process several files with different formats are generated. The use of these applications require skill and knowledge. In order to get a quality print you need to set profiles in your slicing application. Dave Durant has a nice blog post on importance of profiles.

It would be nice if the files we get from Thingeverse would contain recommended profiles. I don't know technically, but if the profiles are standard across different printers then this could be possible. Otherwise it is impractical to include profiles for each printer on the market.
The software behind personal 3D printing needs serious improvement before it is adapted by the end users. This work can be carried out independent of 3D printing technology.

My preferences for the software are:

  • There should be one application handling all the required steps.
  • The application can be composed of modules developed by different venders, but the UI should be same and integration between the modules should be smooth.