3D printing is not only a great additive manufacturing solution for the production sector but also an incredible hobby with many advantages. 3D printing can be utilized to manufacture everything; from smartphone covers to cookie cutters, spare bits for toys and furniture to appliances, and the list goes on. There is a lot of information available on the web that can help hobbyists use 3D printing to create amazing products. 3D Printing for Hobbyists is a great way to have a productive pastime as opposed to wasting those hours. Why spend your leisurely time binging series on Netflix or playing Warzone, when you can use a 3D printer to bring those characters to life?

When we talk about 3D printed designs, the possibilities are almost endless. You can use existing model designs and customize them, or you can simply create your own from scratch. 3D printing is also fun and informative for children and families. The parents will enjoy having their youngsters learn 3D printing. However, it is recommended that they master the basics first before they could teach the kids. They can create puzzles, atoms, planets, and a bunch of other 3D printed educational items. If you need guidance at any point, you can search the Internet for tutorials.

3D Printing for Hobbyists

The manufacturing industry uses 3D printing to create prototypes quickly and affordably. In simple terms, for those who manufacture parts, tools, and other “necessities”, 3D printing is a cheaper and faster alternative to making and reconstructing injection molds for prototypes. Companies are using 3D printing to produce parts that are needed for equipment and companies. It can also be done on a smaller scale. On the other hand, it can be used on a larger scale where companies are using 3D printers to build concrete houses.

3D Printing for Hobbyists can be used in a variety of ways. The first thing you can do is to print “cool stuff”. Ever wanted to create models of characters and sigils from Game of Thrones, or Fortnite, or a Deadpool mask? Well, with a 3D printer and a bit of post-processing paint job, you can have a nice scale model of your favorite characters. The practicality of 3D printing does not stop there, as hobbyists can create useful household items and pieces as well.

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Types of 3D Printing for Hobbyists

Although there are several 3D printing technologies, the two most commonly used ones by hobbyists are SLA and FDM.

SLA 3D Printing

SLA 3D printing uses resin to create the model. The print head illuminates the platform with laser light reflected from a mirror and cures the resin to create layers. The platform moves up slightly and the laser cures the next layers. The process continues until the model takes its final shape.

There are many benefits of using SLA 3D Printing for Hobbyists. You can get better quality results and higher resolution. You can also print with medical-grade filaments. A few pain points when using SLA 3D printers is that they can get a bit messy and should be thoroughly cleaned after a print. The models also require further cleaning and curing step after printing.

FDM 3D Printing

The FDM 3D printing involves feeding filament to a heated nozzle, which extrudes it in the form of layers to create the shape of a model. Depending on the model of the device, either the extruder moves up and prints the next layer, while the print bed remains, is its place. In some models, as each layer is printed, the bed descends, and the print head extrudes the material from different layers. This continues until the printer has completed each layer.

There are also some advantages of using FDM 3D Printing for Hobbyists. FDM 3D printers are usually inexpensive and are excellent budget devices. The printed items are normally ready to be used as soon as the machine stops printing. You can then also take the additional post-processing steps like sanding and painting to give the model a nice finish.

3D Printing for Hobbyists
Among Us by Liang0108 (Thingiverse.com)

As for the disadvantages of the FDM printer, it can be a bit challenging and frustrating for beginners. You can encounter a variety of issues like an uneven or uncalibrated bed, adhesion issues, extruder temperature trouble, and more. You will also have to be careful about the slicer settings. Getting your printer to produce great results is usually a game of trial and error. You will need to configure the printer according to the working settings. You can ask other manufacturers to show their settings, but ultimately it is up to you to choose what works for you.

Generally, you will not notice these problems until several hours into printing. This usually happens with prints that last all night. When you go to bed, everything seems fine, but when you wake up, you see a large smudge of plastic dangling from the nozzle.

3D Printing Requires Patience

One thing that you should keep in mind is that no matter which printer you choose, 3D printing requires patience and will take time to master. Once you get a hang of it, the results will be worth the effort. As for the time 3D printers take to 3D print models, miniature prints can be done in less than an hour, while some prints can take anywhere from three to eight hours. Larger models can take 24 to 48 hours or more to print. There are settings to increase the speed, but you should not expect to receive items as quickly as a regular inkjet printer.


Whether you like miniature video game pieces and DIY objects or are drawn to complex, multi-part models, 3D Printing for Hobbyists offers a variety of possibilities. 3D printing technology is constantly introducing new features to attract hobbyists. We look forward to the innovations this technology will bring for DIY and model making in the future.

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