This week’s selection is “Practical Electronics for Inventors” by Paul Scherz and Simon Monk.
Electronics are at the heart of every 3D printer, and in fact are often the heart of items made with 3D printers as well.
Many 3D printer operators are printing parts for mechanical devices that include electronics. These could be sensors, circuits, cameras, networking or processing, but their implementation will require some knowledge of electronics.
Additionally, those seeking to build or repair a 3D printer often get deep into electronics during design or maintenance activities. While machine designers likely know the basics of electronics, 3D printer operators looking to repair a machine may lack basic understanding of electronics. This is essential, as it is easy to make a mistake a do further damage.
That’s why this book is important for anyone making 3D printers, or using 3D printers to make electronic devices.
If you’re looking for a quickie introduction to electronics, this book is not that. It’s almost 1,000 pages of highly detailed explanations of all aspects of electronics. In fact, the table of contents alone is 14 pages long!
The book begins with the basics of electricity, explaining the concepts of circuits, resistance, voltage, etc. Common electronic components are reviewed, such as capacitors, where the authors spend no less than twenty pages explaining all aspects of how capacitors work and the different types you may encounter.
There are large sections discussing semiconductors, optoelectronics and sensors.
Once the basic rules and components are established, the book proceeds to discuss common electronic functions, like amplification, filtering, regulation, etc. This is followed by a review of common digital electronics approaches, such as logic gates, sequential logic, analog-to-digital and much more.
Complex topics such as the use of motors, audio, power distribution are also discussed.
It’s pretty clear that if one were able to make their way through this book, they’d have a very comprehensive understanding of the electronics used in 3D printing.
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