FAQ - 3D Printing

Answers to some common 3D printing questions:

Q: What is 3D printing?

A: 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process. There are many different types of 3D printers. I use a "Fused Deposition Modeling" (FDM or FFF) desktop 3D printer. An FDM printer heats thermoplastic to its melting point, extrudes it through a nozzle, and deposits it on a plate layer-by-layer, fusing one on top of another to form a 3D object from the bottom, up.

FDM printed objects have an inherent quality that differs from other types of manufacturing like injection molding, laser cutting, die cutting, and other 3D printing additive manufacturing techniques. Since FDM objects are created layer by layer, they have visible layer and pattern lines based on how the molten plastic is fused with the previous layer.

FDM printed-objects aren't as smooth, or polished, or "professional" looking as commercially-available items that aren't 3D printed. I typically include zoomed-in product photos so you can see the detail of my products before you buy.

Q: Who prints your 3D printed items?

A: I do, on my own desktop 3D printers.

Q: What plastic do you use for your 3D printed items?

A: It depends on the item, but I generally use PLA plastic. I sometimes use PETG. Want to learn more? Check out this article on All3DP.

Q: Are your 3D printed drawing stencils accurate?

A: I print my stencils on my personal desktop 3D printer, so they're not guaranteed to be dimensionally accurate in shape or in size. If you use them for art like I do, they work great. If you need a stencil that's accurate to a standard (e.g., within a tolerance of .001") because you're creating exacting technical drawings, my stencils probably aren't for you. And that's okay.

IMHO, they're great for abstract art. ;-)

Q: I have a question I don't see an answer for; can I contact you?

A: Yes! Please contact me!