3D Printing Resources – 2014 Update
Here is just a quick shout about the updated resources section of our website. We have been hard at work over the last few weeks to compile what we hope to be one of the best resources pages for 3D printing. We have significantly extended the existing resources and added a few new pages such that our resources section now covers:
- 3D Model Repositories
- 3D Printing Services
- 3D Printing Stores
- Fairs & Events
- Software & Tools
3D Model Repositories
3D model repositories are the most convenient way to quickly find items to 3D print. If you are not yet familiar with 3D modeling software or simply want to benefit from the great designs that are shared by other users you should take a look at some of the 3D model repositories. There is an amazing number and variety of excellent free 3D models out there (check out this article on how to use models from Thingiverse). A few repositories also offer premium models that you need to pay for but we have clearly marked these for easy reference.
3D Printing Services
The 3D Printing Services section is a selection of the most widely used 3D printing services out there. These cover companies like Shapeways or Sculpteo. Check these out if you either don’t own a 3D printer yet or if you want to print in materials not available for your home 3D printer. For example, Sculpteo allows you to realize your designs in such materials as silver, wood or even gold!
3D Printing Stores
The 3D Printing Stores section is a new additional to our resources page. As we noticed that there is an increasing number of brick and mortar 3D printing retail shops popping up across the globe. As first time buyers of 3D printers there is a bewildering choice of 3D printers out there. Getting the help of a knowledgeable sales man can make it a lot easier for you to pick the right machine.
Hence why we compiled this list, happy shopping!
3D Printing Books
This is the section of our website that has gotten the most thorough overhaul. We have significantly extended the number of 3D printing books in our selection and broke it down into English, German and French books. You can also conveniently sort by genre: 3D printing, 3D modeling and Makers & Making.
The number of 3D printing related books has certainly been on the rise recently and we don’t claim to have read them all. However, for those books that we have read, we included our full reviews.
To be completely transparent here: the book listed here are Amazon affiliate links which means that if you decide to buy any of them by following a link from our site we will receive a commission. The price you pay for the book does not increase, we just get to split part of the revenues with Amazon.
Now, should you decide that you don’t want us to earn an affiliate commission, you are welcome to take the reference of the book and head over straight to Amazon. No hard feelings!
For those of you that feel that 3dprintingforbeginners.com provides you value, we appreciate the kindness of buying via our affiliate links. Producing content and maintaining this site takes quite some time and effort therefore we appreciate every little contribution.
3D Printing Fairs
This is a hot topic in 2014! In quite a few countries, 2013 marked the first year that a dedicated 3D printing fair or trade show took place. A lot more events are planned for 2014 and we regrouped them all in the 3D printing fairs section. The list literally spans the global and is as up-to-date as it can be. We try our best to keep this current, in some cases the event organizers haven’t released the full details of their events yet.
3D Printing Glossary
As 3D printing is still a relatively tech heavy topic it comes with its fair share of abbreviations, acronyms and industry specific jargon. In order to help 3D printing newbies to get a faster grasp of the key concepts in 3D printing we developed a dedicated glossary. You can browse the glossary directly by clicking here. Alternatively, you will notice that each glossary term is highlighted the first time it is mentioned in an article. The glossary terms are marked in orange and if you hover over them with your mouse a neat little tool tip with a brief explanation will pop up.
We are hoping this makes it easier for the uninitiated reader to navigate the world of 3D printing.
3D Printing Software & Tools
The Software & Tools section is a new addition to the resources section. This page regroups 3D modeling tools, slicing tools as well as 3D printer front-ends.
The 3D modeling tools section is sub-divided by tool type: CAD tools, freeform modeling tools and sculpting tools. For quick orientation, we also included user level (beginner to pro) and price such that you can pick the right tool for your skill level and budget.
The slicers & 3D print front-ends section lists a selection of tools required to prepare your 3D models for printing. Whereas the 3D printer front-ends allow you to completely control a 3D printer, the slicers generate the machine code necessary to instruct the 3D printer on how to execute the 3D print.
Overall, this section has a pretty vast selection of software programs. We recommend that you pick a few tools corresponding to your skill set and start experimenting. Once you feel that you have outgrown your current software of choice, come back and select an upgrade to the next level.
What you think of our 3D printing resources page? Does it prove useful to you? We would like to hear your comments and feedback! If you know of any great services, stores, fairs or online platforms that we not yet listed, give us a shout and we’ll be happy to update our list. Any suggestions welcome!