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[DPRG] 3D Printing Mania

Subject: [DPRG] 3D Printing Mania
From: Quinones, Jose jquinones at ti.com
Date: Mon Jun 11 09:03:44 CDT 2012

Hi Group!

During the past DPRG meeting (this last Saturday June 9, 2012), there was a wild discussion of 3D printing going on. This came like a blessing from the skies as I was actually wanting to interrogate DPRG members on how to build a 3D printer, so to have an actual discussion on the topic, was like a lottery!

During the meeting, a good deal of members (thanks Glenn, John, Jason and Paul!!!) were gracious enough to offer a multitude of names on the possible software that I could use during the different stages of the 3D printing process. Unfortunately, due to my superbly low memory bank, all I could tie down was the first stage (3D CAD). I know of Google Sketch Up, Inventor and Blender which I will be looking up in the upcoming days.

For the second stage (the slicer) I am at a loss! I mean, the reprag.org website mentions Skeinforge, RepSnapper, RepRap Host SW and Slic3r. Which one of those was recommended? Should I just pick one up and see how many hair strands are left behind on my scalp (not that there are too many left...)

How about for the G Code interpreter? I kind of remember a mention of ReplicatorG. Is this the one most of you would recommend?

Any other suggestions? I have been going to a gazillion different pages treating the 3D printing phenomenon, but to be honest, there is so much information it is almost as hard as having no information at all ;-)

Thanks for your input! Best regards,


PS already bought me 2 pounds of ABS filament, eight 8 mm ball bearings and some steel shafts. Already have the steppers and I will be using my own drivers, so I think I should be up and running in a little bit! This is the part that you remember so you can laugh at my naïveté in a few weeks ;-)
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