My husband built a 3d printer, gave it to his brother and then purchased another one (he's working on building another at the moment). I wondered what it would be like if we tried printing beads.
|Our M3D printer from PrintM3D.com|
|Spools of PLA|
|Running the printing software|
Before you start to print you must first heat the tip of the printer head and then insert the plastic until it comes out the other end of the extruder. Then you are ready to go! As you can see in the above video, the printer first creates a base for the object to be printed on top of.
Here you can see the bead starting to form. Think of it like icing on a cake. The plastic is being pushed through the extruder and then builds layer upon layer. Instead of icing, it's heated plastic that will cool and form into a solid object.
|Plastic bead in progress|
|Finished low resolution bead|
This particular design came from Thingiverse. Thingiverse is an open-source site from MakerBot where people upload their designs and share them for free.
If you'd like to learn more about 3d printing, then check out MakerBot.