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What is a 3D Printer?

What is a 3D Printer?

Jan 8, 2013

A 3-D Printer is a machine which prints out 3-D objects. Just like a 2-D printer scans a paper and print out another paper, 3-D printer has a 3-D Scanner to scan a 3-D object. This Scanner makes a 3-D model image which is sent to 3-D printer’s computer. Latest 3-D printer’s accuracy is in 40 microns, (A Human Hair). 3-D printers are existing from 30 years, but used in High-Tech corporations. A commercial 3-D Printer is not less than 2.5 Million rupees. They are widely used by High-Tech Corporations. (e.g Z-Corporation).


Uses: Uses of 3-D printers are almost all fields, mainly:

  • Medical 
  • Dental
  • Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Art and Sculpture


What is a “RepRap” 3D printer? 

The word RepRap stands for Replicating Rapid prototype. RepRap is human’s first General purpose Rapid Prototype machine. Prototype means a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied. RepRap is about making self-replicating machines, and making them freely available for the benefit of everyone. It also means that – if you have one RepRap you can print lots of useful stuff, and you can print another RepRap for a friend…It is just like a 3D printer, reduced in size and weight but produces the output in the thermoplastic form and do not have the accuracy like 3D printers. It uses different types of plastic (e.g PLA, ABS, Acrylic etc).  This picture on right side is the first RepRap 3D Printer made in Pakistan, Fortunately I am the First guy to make RepRap in Pakistan Successfully working. Here are some Examples Which i have made out of my 3D Printer.

sculpteo_online_3d_printer_make_your_own_action_figure_2 miicraft-2-11372300


RepRap Project: Reprap.org is a community project website, Just like wikipedia anybody can edit most pages on this site, or better yet, create new pages of their own. Their community portal and New Development pages have more information on how to get involved. RepRap was the first of the low-cost 3D printers, and the RepRap Project started the open-source 3D printer revolution. It has become the most widely-used 3D printer among the global members of the Maker Community. Here is an Exemplary RepRap Prusa mendel.


  1. Take Measurements of all dimensions of the Object we will print out using Vernier Callipers or 3D scanner. Vernier Calliper can also be used
  2. Using precise measurements make a 3D model using CAD(Computer Added design ) Tools. (e.g TinkerCAD, Google Sketchup, AutoCAD)
  3. After making a 3D model you can print it by sending the information to Microcontroller. Gen6 microcontroller is one special microcontroller made for RepRaps


Software Tool Chain: A RepRap software toolchain consists of all the software elements needed to create printed 3d model. To help visualize this, here is a chart.

Design a new 3D model in a CAD package (ex: TinkerCad, FreeCAD, Google Sketchup,)

  1. Export the design’s geometry to a .stl file
  2. Generate motion paths(motors) & extruder commands in GCODE format by means of a “slicing” program (e.g: skeinforge,  repsnapper)
  3. Use a host software package to communicate the GCODE to the printer machine (e.g: printrun, repsnapper, replicatorG)
  4. Determine how your printer reacts to the GCODE by configuring the firmware for your printer controller (ex. FiveD, Sprinter, Teacup, or we will try our best to make our own)