Imagine an object, define its material, dimensions, color, then push on a button and… watch as it becomes real! 3D printing brings custom objects manufacturing within everyone’s reach, for a limited investment. For a long time, this technology was reserved to industry, where it was mainly used to create prototypes. Cost of machinery and materials, as well as the patent barrier, used to make it a “closed” technology.

In the mid-2000s, the RepRap project has revolutionized the world of 3D printing, applying the concept ofOpen Source; since then, and thanks also to advances in FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology, based on the fusion of a plastic filament, by far the most popular in the world of makers), mainstream 3D printers have been continuously improving their performance, and simplifying their use.

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Today, for a reasonable budget, you can offer yourself a 3D printer capable of producing very good quality objects. But is it enough to exploit the potential of these futuristic toys?

The first step you need to take, if you want to give shape to your ideas, is learning how to 3D-model objects with your computer. Also in this field, many tools are available. Some are free, some have a license price. By the way, the software you’ll be using is often the same that engineers or architects, or even animation movie designers, use professionally. Getting started in 3D modeling can be more or less challenging depending on the type of software you choose: often, the more complex the tool is, the more features and abilities you will get. Very simple software is also available, allowing the youngest to step into this technology for little effort.

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This process is called “3D modeling” and it involves drawing geometric shapes and defining their dimensions with the help of a software.

At Les Ingéniaux, young and adults can learn 3D modeling, with the best-suited software!

Once you have created your 3D model, you can move to the realization step: choose the material of your creation, its color, the level of detail, the duration of the printing process… Makers must decide all this before pressing on the “Start Print” button! Our specialists will also show you the tips and tricks that will take your 3D print to live up to your expectations.

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