3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.

3D printing is great technology for prototyping or even producing small series of parts. Most common 3D printing method is FDM that uses a filament of extruded material to build its 3D model. FDM deposits near molten material from a nozzle, tracing the boundary of each layer.

Kinematic of FDM 3D printer is basically 3 axis CNC machine with extruder – fourth axis added. Rigidity of construction is not a priority, because there are no cutting forces. The machine should be capable of dealing with kinematic forces during the acceleration and deceleration.

CNC USB controllers have stable acceleration ramps and exact axis synchronization which is one of factors needed for high quality prints.

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How to setup CNC machine using PlanetCNC software and controller?

I will try to show you how to setup your CNC using PlanetCNC software. I will use my router machine as an example but you can do it similar way on all machine types. I use metric (millimeter) units but everything is same with imperial (inches) units except numbers are different (1mm is apporximately 0.03937in). […]

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