Questions and answers
The most common questions and answers about 3D Printers and Filaments.
What is 3D Printing?
3D-Printing is the method of producing an object through additive manufacturing. The most common process is FFF (also referred to as FDM). Within FFF, a filament of plastic is melted, while the nozzle moves in the X, Y and sometimes also the Z direction (Often it is the table that moves in the Z direction). While the plastic hardens, it is built layer upon layer until an object is finished.
If you want to learn all about 3D Printers and how they work, you can read in our complete guide about 3D Printers.
What is filament?
Filament is the raw material that 3D Printers according to the process FFF (FDM) prints. It’s actually plastic, which is melted through a nozzle in the 3D Printer.
Read all about filaments in our guide on different types of filaments.
What can you create with a 3D Printer?
It is possible to create basically every conceivable shape and figure with a 3D Printer. In some advanced and complex models, a dual extruder can help. This is because so-called support material is required to hold the model together while it is being printed.
What is support material?
Support materials for 3D printers are materials that are printed to, for example, maintain the incomplete shape until the shape is complete. Take a bridge as an example, before the bridge is connected, a support structure (scaffold) is required to hold it up, until the last pieces are fused together.
This is achieved with a dual-extruder that can print support material while printing the primary material.
Is it difficult to 3D-Print?
No! The great thing about 3D printing is that everyone can handle it. It only takes a little computer skills.
How long does it take to 3D print?
Depending on the size of the model, it takes a few minutes to several hours. The speed and settings of the 3D Printer also affect this. But count on a number of hours.
Do I need to monitor the 3D Printer while it is printing?
It is enough to be at home and aware that something is being printed. You do not have to constantly stand next to the printer, but we recommend that you be vigilant. There are webcams available for this.
If you have a fence, it is safer. The reason for monitoring is mainly the risk of fire.
What prior knowledge is needed?
You can learn everything very easily if you buy a 3D Printer that is plug-n-play. There are many ones that are very good and relatively inexpensive.
How Much Does a 3D Printer Cost?
The standard price for an FFF 3D Printer is around 4,000 SEK for a good machine, but there are 3D Printers that cost anywhere from 1,500 SEK to 50,000 SEK.
There are also even more expensive machines, more geared towards industries, and other special industries.
What does filament cost?
Filaments are not very expensive, unless you want special filament types, or have limited yourself to a certain brand due to the machine (some 3D printers advocate that you have to use their own filaments).
250 – 350 SEK is a good price range for 1KG filament.
How much filament is needed to print in 3D?
It all depends on the model, but it is possible to print a lot with 1KG filament. There are also meter specifications on many models you download, ie how many meters of filament they require to be completed. 1KG PLA filament is about 300m long, usually.
Does filament have a best-before date?
PLA, ABS, and most others do not have a best before date.
However, there are the plastics that absorb moisture much more easily, and thus can become bad over time in humid environments. Keep track of the manufacturer’s specifications.
Can 3D Printers Print Metal?
FFF 3D Printer can print metal filaments, which are actually plastic filaments with metal additives. The amount of additives determines how real and close to pure metal look you get.
Worth mentioning is that it eats away at the nozzle.
Can 3D Printers Print Carbon Fiber?
FFF 3D Printers can print carbon fiber filaments, which are actually plastic filaments with carbon fiber additives.
Worth mentioning is that it eats away at the nozzle.
What is wood filament?
Wood filaments are plastic filaments with wood fibers as additives to create a wood feel. You can even get wood odor from the fibers. It is quite gentle on the nozzle, and many people like these types of filaments.
Can High School Students Use 3D Printers?
Yes! And we recommend it.
3D printing is becoming more common, and it is part of more and more schools’ activities to introduce and make students familiar with these machines.
Can you rent a 3D Printer?
Yes! But it is limited geographically. Hygglo and other sites have a couple of what we have seen.
Which 3D Printer is Best?
Here we recommend that you read our review of the best 3D Printers.
Which file name is best?
Here we recommend that you read our recommendations of the best PLA filament.
Can you build a 3D Printer?
Yes! But it requires some technical knowledge and receptivity to learn new things.
It is i.a. a fun project for schools to do this. Very instructive.
Do you need to buy software and software for 3D printers separately?
No! In most cases, the programs are included in the price of the 3D Printer.
In addition, there are free programs to download.
Are there many models to download and print?
Yes, there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. See our section on Free 3D Models to Download.
What is G-code?
It is the code, or instructions, that 3D Printers use to know how the shafts of the machine should move, as well as how much filament to extrude.
What is an STL file?
It is the 3D model itself that is saved in a so-called STL file. There are other file types that do the same thing.
What is the difference between 1.75mm and 2.85mm filaments?
Here we refer to our guide on what filament is.
Can you scan objects and then print them?
A 3D Scanner, or even a standard mobile camera, can be used to scan an object and then print it with a 3D Printer. Great for things that break at home, but are difficult to get hold of .