Hello and welcome to make360, everything about 3D Printing!

Home to the latest in the world of 3D printing, an exciting and fast changing technology, opening new opportunities in design and the manufacturing process at home and at work.

3D Printing

There are many different types of 3D printing processes, also known as additive manufacturing. Two common methods are:

  • Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) also known as Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). This method involves extruding material through a nozzle similar to a hot glue gun.
  • Stereolithography (SLA) and Digital Light Processing (DLP), which are vat photopolymerization types.

For further insight to these and more 3D Printing technologies see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing_processes.

3D Printers

3D printers can be purchased in two forms, either assembled or as an assembly kit. Buying assembled, from a reputable local source would offer the greatest amount of support.

Kit form can contain hundreds of parts including wiring. This can involve mains connection exposing conductive live parts and be potentially very dangerous.

Self assembly can save quite a bit of money. For example the Original Prusa i3 MK3S 3D printer kit £699.00 vs assembled £899.01.

These printers have great support and the kit comes with a sealed power supply and plug, something to consider especially for whippersnappers.

There are many Entry level 3D printing kits now available at prices under £200 such as the Creality Ender 3, making it more accessible then ever.

Combined with the availability of some great free CAD and slicing software means you do not need deep pockets to get making right now!

For more on 3D printing software have a gander at https://3dprinting.com/software.

Keep an eye out here for in depth reviews and special deals.

Getting Started 3D Printing

Below are two Benchy models (STL files avaliable to download here). They are an ideal first print for beginners and for bench marking a new printer or filament.

My first attempt on the left revealed a loose belt and required re-calibration. As a result, an immediate improvement in the quality was noticed, on the right.


For further guidance on how you can use your prints to optimize your hardware and software settings check out http://www.3dbenchy.com.

It is worth taking the time to explore your printer and software capabilities. This should help you avoid wasting time and material on failed larger and more complex prints.

Two good sources for free 3D designs are thingiverse a large repository and the 3D model search engine yeggi which returned 1,970,119 results on 6/7/2019.

Hovership MHQ2 by Hovership
Hovership MHQ2 by Hovership Published on October 22, 2014 www.thingiverse.com/thing:511668 Creative Commons – Attribution – Non-Commercial
Bag Clip - PLA compatible by MasterFX
Bag Clip – PLA compatible by MasterFX Published on May 13, 2014 www.thingiverse.com/thing:330151 Creative Commons – Attribution – Non-Commercial


Make your own BMW Vision M NEXT!

BMW have made a free STL file available of their latest concept car, the Vision M NEXT. I printed it at 50% scale and the wheels separately .

Don’t have a 3D printer? there is also a poster, wallpaper and even a sound file to download so you don’t have to go broom… broom…!

Feel inspired by the idea of being able to make almost anything that you can imagine? make360 wants to help you along that journey.

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