Learn more than just the basics with one of these best 3D printing books.
The best and, perhaps, the oldest method of learning is through reading. Whether you’re discovering a new hobby or just dusting off some old knowledge, books play a fundamental role in that.
Getting started with 3D printing is easy. However, it will take you time and determination to actually master it. With books, you can learn something in a couple of hours that took the author years to discover. Learning from someoneís experiences in just a few hours can save you months of trial and error.
Why should buy 3D printing books when the technology is relatively new? Simple: there is already a vast amount of information about the topic. Why wouldnít you want to educate yourself?
3D printing has just become mainstream in the past few years. However, it has been making rounds for decades.
All the 3D printing books recommended in this article will improve your skills from basic to advanced. The books lay the foundation of what you need to get good prints. You can also explore the social impact of 3D printing through these books. Some books are broad while others focus on single topics only.
Best 3D Printing Books for Beginners
#1. Make: Getting Started with 3D Printing
- Liza Wallach Kloski, Nick Kloski
- Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
- Edition no. 1 (05/31/2016)
- Paperback: 238 pages
The target audience of Make: Getting Started with 3D Printing by Liza Wallach Kloski &Nick Kloski is 3D printing beginners. The book takes you through the most basic things you need to know, including the software you should be using.
We love the troubleshooting section of the book. There, youíll find useful and practical examples of some general problems you might encounter when using a 3D printer. You don’t need a technical background to understand the well-written advice and solutions.
Although the initial publish date of the book was May 2016, its still as relevant today as it was back then.
The only downside to reading this book is the bias of the authors towards 3D printer kits. The printer kits were relevant at the time the book was published. However, since the prices of 3D printers have dropped, it makes more sense to invest in a standard 3D printer.
Make: Getting Started with 3D Printing is excellent for first time 3D printer users. It is engaging and takes the reader on a journey of what to look out for and avoid, and what to do to get the most out of their 3D printer.
#2. Make: Design for 3D Printing
- Maker Media Inc
- Samuel N. Bernier, Bertier Luyt, Tatiana Reinhard
- Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
- Edition no. 1 (10/11/2015)
- Paperback: 160 pages
The main theme of Make: Design for 3D Printing by Samuel N. Bernier, Bertier Luyt & Tatiana Reinhard is using computer software that youíll utilize for 3D printing. You wonít find any practical or hardware solution in the book.
Various 3D printing technologies are summarized nicely in this book. Some technologies discussed in the book have become outdated and their use too. For such technologies, you’ll have to head over to their website to get more information about the latest technological advances.
The most useful section of this book focusses on transforming the concepts you have to a CAD model that is ready to be printed. The book covers how to use CAD software through clearly written instructions. Besides the tutorials, there are guides to help you understand the concepts better.
Thingiverse is one of the websites mentioned in the book where you can download pre-made 3D models. You can then modify the models into something unique. You will end up with a quality 3D model when you follow the tutorials in the book.
Since most users might not afford commercial CAD software, the book has used freeware options in the examples. Gradually, youíll be introduced to more advanced object designs until you reach Autodesk 123D, which you can use to design a model from scratch.
On completing the tutorials in the book, you will have drastically improved your 3D printing skills. You will be in a position to produce your own objects without using pre-existing models from Thingiverse.
Make: Design for 3D Printing tries to avoid using jargon terms. Everything 3D printing software is covered, from getting pre-made models to modify, to creating a model from scratch. It’s hard to find books that cater very well to the design aspect of the 3D printing knowledge area like this one. This book is a must-have for 3D printing beginners.
#3. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer
- Charles Bell
- Publisher: Apress
- Edition no. 1 (08/28/2014)
- Paperback: 528 pages
If your 3D printer manufacturer didnít include a proper user manual, you need this book. The Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer by Charles Bell is like the Bible for 3D printer users.
The book brings together years of hands-on 3D printing experience by the author. It closely analyses common printer problems and provides a useful solution to each. For example, getting your first layer to attach itself to the building plate is covered well in the book.
Calibration and why you should have your build plate aligned correctly to receive optimal results are also covered. You will also learn how to determine when your build plate might require realignment and some of the maintenance aspects of a 3D printer.
This Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer is the perfect companion for most users. Although you might not read this book so often, it will prove itself in the long run.
Best Book for 3D Printing (for Intermediates)
#3. A Beginnerís Guide To 3D Printing
- Mike Rigsby
- Publisher: Chicago Review Press
- Paperback: 304 pages
The A Beginnerís Guide To 3D Printing by Mike Rigsby is a hands-on guide that will take you through the foundation phases of 3D printing. In the book, youíll learn how to create a toy based on 14 smaller projects. There is very little theory, which is good as you want to follow along with the practicals as they will prove more useful.
The projects are simple. For example, you will learn how to design and build a domino and a spin button. As you go through the book, you will be advancing your 3D printing skills gradually.
All the tutorials include a screen capture of Autodesk 123D that shows you how things should be by following the well-written instructions.
If you are inexperienced with CAD and other 3D printing software, A Beginnerís Guide To 3D Printing will be excellent for you. The book provides a great overview of what you can and canít do in these programs.
When it comes to the tutorials, this is perhaps one of the best 3D printing books for intermediate users.
Best Book for 3D Printing (for Kids)
#4. LEO the Maker Prince: Journeys in 3D Printing
- Carla Diana
- Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
- Edition no. 1 (12/14/2013)
- Hardcover: 64 pages
LEO the Maker Prince: Journeys in 3D Printing by Carla Diana will take you on a journey through a well-written storyline by the author. Any 3D printing beginner can benefit from the information in this book. However, it is primarily aimed at 5 to 10-year-old children.
Your children will find this book entertaining while being introduced to the complex world of 3D printing at the same time. The different characters mentioned in this book can be downloaded on Thingiverse.
LEO the Maker Prince: Journeys in 3D Printing is entertaining and introduces 3D printing to little ones at the same time.
Best 3D Printing Books for Experts
#5. The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D printing: Designing and Printing Practical Objects
- Clifford T Smyth
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Edition no. 1 (03/13/2016)
- Paperback: 188 pages
The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D Printing by Clifford T Smyth focuses on users that are already familiar with the basics of 3D printing and building models. Instead of showing you how to create more entertaining objects, the book focuses primarily on creating objects that are useful around the house.
Throughout this book, there are a lot of references on the Zombie Apocalypse and the things that you can design to survive it.
The 3D printing book for experts also covers how you should better manage your time and the strength properties to check depending on the models you want to produce. The skills include basic engineering and calculation of your workload to finish parts on time.
One outstanding example provided in the book is the design of a chainsawís replacement part. Without the part, it would simply become obsolete. This guide covers the important steps involved in the process.
Optimizing the actual printing process, build plate calibration, and other things are also covered in this book.
The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D Printing will introduce you to the more practical side of manufacturing 3D models. You will learn how to design simple miniatures as well as create big desk ornaments. This is the perfect book to help you upgrade your engineering solution skills.
#6. The Great Disruption: Competing and Surviving in the Second Wave of the Industrial Revolution
- Thomas Dunne Books
- Rick Smith, Mitch Free
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
- Hardcover: 240 pages
The Great Disruption by Rick Smith & Mitch Free looks at how we forgot about the Industrial Revolution and why 3D printing technology is the second Industrial Revolution happening under our eyes. The social impact of 3D printing is analyzed. The book illustrates how the Revolution and 3D printing fits into our lives.
Most major corporations are already using 3D printing. For companies that are not already using the technology, the book reveals what can be done to ensure they don’t get left behind in the technological advancements. There are various risks of 3D printing that companies need to be aware of. This book provides useful information to companies to help them plan better.
The authors of The Great Disruption are clearly passionate 3D printing fans. Throughout the book, you can see their enthusiasm and excitement as they explore 3D printing. Recognizing the industrial challenges that many businesses and corporations face today when it comes to 3D printing and writing such inspiring content about it truly makes this book stand out.
This book will leave you with expectations of the things that are enthusiastically mentioned.
#7. 3D Printing: Legal, Philosophical and Economic Dimensions
- 3D Printing Legal Philosophical and Economic Dimensions Information Technology and Law Series
- Publisher: T.M.C. Asser Press
- Edition no. 12016 (01/23/2016)
- Hardcover: 212 pages
3D Printing: Legal, Philosophical and Economic Dimensions by Bibi van den Berg, Simone van der Hof &Eleni Kosta looks at the social impact 3D printing has on our everyday lives. Without a doubt, 3D printing will become more integral in our daily life just like smartphones.
Consumers are not far away from manufacturing their own clothing, food, and even medication from the comfort of their homes. The environment can benefit the most from consumer self-print facilities as things will only be printed when needed. This will help to save on materials and eliminate the need of keeping any stock.
There are a lot of legal questions that come with a 3D printed objects manufactured by consumers for consumer use. Amongst those question would be who should be held accountable if a 3D manufactured product from one consumer injures another? Should it be okay to design weapons with my 3D printer?
D Printing: Legal, Philosophical and Economic Dimensions mainly focuses on the social impact that 3D printing. The book deeply analyses the possible legal implications that might arise when consumers start producing products for their own use.
This 3D printing technology book is easy to read and educates you on some of the evolving issues around 3D printing in the world we live in today.