This week’s selection is “The 3D Printing Handbook” by 3D Hubs.
This book may look a bit familiar, as we’ve featured it previously. But a good book is a good book, and this one is one of the best in introducing the somewhat complex business of 3D printing.
Written in 2017 by 3D Hubs’ Ben Redwood, Filemon Schöffer, and Brian Garret, the near-300 page book provides a sweeping overview of the entire technology space of 3D printing. Many well-known parties in 3D printing provided reviews and feedback for the book, including our own Sarah Goehrke, and others from Autodesk, Ultimaker, VW, Precision ADM, Oxford University and many more. I myself contributed a testimonial found on the back cover of the book.
The book is smartly divided into three sections that build on each other:
- 3D printing technologies and materials
- Designing for 3D printing
- Applications of 3D printing
As you can see, you must know how to design for 3D printing before you can consider applications. Well, I suppose you could go ahead as some have done, but you wouldn’t be maximally leveraging the technology.
The book covers all the major 3D printing processes, including vat polymerization, binder jetting, powder bed fusion and all the rest, and does so in a way that’s very easy to understand. Each process is examined in a set of consistent categories, including dimensional accuracy, benefits and limitations, variants, materials used, printing characteristics and more.
There are many extremely helpful custom-made illustrations used to demonstrate concepts that may be unfamiliar to those new to 3D printing. There’s also an emphasis on lists that separate and explains different aspects of each 3D printing process.
Reading those sections will provide one with the fastest way to understand all of the major 3D printing processes.
The second section, designing for 3D printing, approaches the topic from the point of view of each 3D printing process. This is the correct method, as each process involves its own unique constraints and capabilities. These constraints are each explored in some detail to explain how to avoid issues, and again, there are plenty of examples, images and charts.
The final section deals with applications of 3D printing. First going over unique methods of model creation, including CAD and generative design tools, the section then proceeds to investigate the most common 3D printing applications. These include: jigs & fixtures, dental appliances, prototypes, reverse engineering and much more.
This book is one that every 3D printing participant should have in their book collections. If there are any “classic” books in 3D printing, this would be one of them.