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3D Printing: Threatening IP Protections

For 3D printing purposes, the U.S.A., the E.U., and other members of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) provide legal protections under patents for both [more…]

The Legal Liability of 3D Printing

Currently, individuals can still use 3D printing to make items for their own use without having to retain a lawyer and pay for a full search of all IP registrations to identify potential conflicts. This [more…]

3D Printing: Protecting Intellectual Property Rights

Without the barrier created by 3D Systems's control of the original SLA patents, the PolyJet alternative might not have become available for much longer. As the earliest additive manufacturing technologies [more…]

Ethical Controls for 3D Printing

New systems promise to protect against the creation of 3D-printable firearms by identifying characteristic components, which could run into problems when they block the fabrication of any tube that is [more…]

Functional Designs for 3D Printing

Disney is examining ways to integrate electronics into 3D-printed objects to create the next generation of toys, as with the chess pieces, which can display a current board position or one planned by a [more…]

How to Visualize the Abstract with 3D Printing

One of the magnificent aspects of 3D printing as a medium for artistic expression is that it allows very abstract ideas to be represented in solid form. Often difficult concepts become easier to understand [more…]

How to Evaluate Your 3D-Printing Needs

When selecting a design for your first 3D printer, it's good to determine what you plan to do with it. Ask yourself, “What do I need a 3D printer for? What am I expecting a 3D printer to do?” Often the [more…]

How to Use Motor-Driver Modules on Your RepRap 3D Printer

Every RepRap 3D printer has its movement provided by stepper motors. This type of electric motor requires a special driver device to pulse the motor forward or backward; each step rotates [more…]

Home 3D-Printer Kit Options

There are a whole host of home 3D-printer kits are now available and many, like the Printrbot, replace the use of 3D-printed parts with machined, laser-cut, or stamped-out parts. Whether you want a kit [more…]

3D-Printing: Experimental Options

At any given time, the 3D printing RepRap community has thousands of experimental modifications going on all around the world. Every now and again, a totally new branch sprouts out. These new or vastly [more…]

Software Options for 3D Printing

One critical part of 3D printing is the software used to design, output (or convert), repair, and then process 3D models into code that can be understood by the 3D printer. [more…]

How to Assemble the Prusa i3 Y Axis 3D Printer Frame

The first part of construction for your 3D printer is with the Y axis frame. The frame is made from four printed corners, with M8 and M10 threaded rods and nuts, and this forms a rectangle of smooth bars [more…]

3D Printing: How to Assemble the Prusa i3 Moving Y Axis

Once you have your frame built for your 3D printer, you continue with adding the moving elements to the basic frame above. Here you use linear bearings and smooth rods for the motion of the Y axis. [more…]

3D Printing: How to Assemble the Prusa i3 Moving Z and X Axes

If you’re building your own 3D printer, you will have to build up the second laser cut axis. This mounts both the vertical Z axis and the horizontal X axis. You will need printed parts before you begin [more…]

3D Printing: How to Join the Z, X, and Y Axes All Together on the Prusa i3

Once you have the assembled Z/X axes and a separate assembled Y axis, you need to join both parts of the 3D printer frames together, align everything, and tighten. The metal plate of the Z/X axes is fitted [more…]

How to Sense the Home Position on a 3D Printer

For any 3D printer to understand where its print head is, it needs a reference point, called the home position. Before a 3D printer begins a print job, one of the very first actions it performs is to locate [more…]

How to Fit the Positional Sensors to the Frame of Your RepRap 3D Printer

Once the frame is assembled, you need to fit the position sensors on your RepRap 3D printer. Your kit may come with an optical or magnetic position sensor. All such components perform the same function [more…]

How to Fit the Heated Bed to the Y Carriage of Your RepRap 3D Printer

You will eventually need to prepare to fit the heated-bed to the laser-cut Y axis on your 3D printer. Make sure you have all the parts required for this procedure before you get started. [more…]

How to Prepare and Fit the Main Electronics on Your RepRap 3D Printer

When assembling a RepRap 3D printer, you will need to prepare and fit a set of RAMPS electronics to the aluminum frame of the printer. Make sure you have all the required parts. [more…]

How to Prepare the Power Supply and Connect to the Electronics on Your RepRap 3D Printer

When you are ready, you will need to prepare and connect your 3D printer’s power supply. Check to be sure you've been supplied with good instructions for using and fitting your specific power supply. [more…]

How to Connect the Motor and Position-Sensing Wiring to the Electronics on Your RepRap 3D Printer

As an aid to wiring all aspects of the RAMPS control board on your RepRap 3D printer, you can see a very clear diagram produced by Neil Underwood on the [more…]

How to Assemble the Extruder and Hot-End on Your Prusa i3 3D Printer

The final procedure for building your own Prusa i3 3D printer is to assemble the extruder and hot-end — in this case, a modern, compact, geared extruder with a J-head hot-end. [more…]

Which Position Sensing Module Should You Use for Your RepRap 3D Printer?

With almost every RepRap 3D printer, the electronics need to know where the “home” position is. This is achieved by slowly driving each axis in a known direction until a limit switch or sensor is triggered [more…]

How to Add Fans and Lighting to Your RepRap 3D Printer

Fans are widely used with RepRap home 3D printers; they help keep critical parts like the hot-end thermal insulator cool, and can also assist you with a smooth printing process. [more…]

How to Wire Your RepRap 3D Printer

Even with a full, ready-to-build RepRap kit of parts, you will always have to connect various components and devices to the electronics — and sometimes that means crimping connectors or doing a little [more…]

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