History of 3D printing
3D printing was first mentioned in 1974 in New Scientist Journal.
David E. H. Jones created a concept that was a great base for producing three-dimensional plastic models. In 1981, the idea of a photo-hardening thermoset polymer appeared. This method used a UV exposure area, controlled by a scanning fiber transmitter. Then, after a few years of 3D development, stereolithography was invented as well as STL file format, which is used to this day. The most popular 3D printing method - fused deposition modeling (FDM) used by Prusa i3, earned wide attention after the expiration of FFF patent in 2009. Dr. Adrian Bowyer’s RepRap project from 2006 showed that one day, a 3D printer can become standard equipment in every house. Its relatively simple construction, cheap electronic parts, and the ability to reproduce its own components have significantly influenced this production method's popularity. Now, additive-manufacturing techniques are widely used by both professional and amateur designers to create diverse projects.
PrusaSlicer - a feature-rich tool
To print a 3D object, you must design it in a special software called CAD (computer-aided design) first. In some cases, a model can be created using a 3D scanner or by a standard digital camera and software that makes 3D objects from raw photos. Usually, engineers use CAD programs, because they provide fewer errors than other methods and allow complete control over the form. After modeling an object, printing software analyzes its structure and fixes errors like holes, self-intersections, and others. Available in Botland.store Prusa printers have their own, dedicated slicer software, based on the Slic3r open-source project. Thanks to the strong community and core team of developers PrusaSlicer is always up to date with new features. This tool slices the virtual model into very thin layers and defines the path of a nozzle or laser, depending on the printer's technology. It has clear and simple UI, allows user to create custom supports, and has Octoprint integration, which let you control your printer via a web browser. Simply click “Export” and watch how layer after layer your model is being created.
Prusa 3D printing methods
There are various 3D printing techniques, but one of the most popular is FDM - fused deposition modeling (also called fused filament fabrication (FFF)). This method implements a continuous filament of production-grade thermoplastics. Prusa i3 supports materials like PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, PP, Nylon, and many others. What is more, FDM can also include other special techniques like multi-material extrusion. Thanks to that, you can create multi-colored objects or more complex structures. The modular construction of Prusa i3 allows its users to buy the basic version with only one extruder and upgrade it to print with up to five filaments simultaneously. Stereolithography (SLA) is another printing technology used by Prusa - it applies liquid plastic as the source material. The newest Prusa SLA printer available in our store, unlike FFF machines, uses a high-resolution LCD panel and a UV LED panel to cure the following layers of resin. If you want to buy an advanced 3D printer, which will meet your expectations, check our diverse selection of Prusa products.