3D printing, along with other desktop fabrication technologies like laser cutting and CNC, is becoming affordable and easy enough to use that we expect to see increasing adoption among end users, small businesses, and creative professionals. In our 3D Printing and Desktop Fabrication Discovery Series, we go hands on and, learning together, begin using, designing, and creating with 3D printing.
If you don't know much about 3D printing and want to come up to speed quickly, start here:
In each section, articles are generally posted in reverse chronological order.
DIY-IT maker projects
These are cool projects we've used desktop fabrication and maker tools to build. They also showcase some of the gear we've reviewed in other articles.
- ZDNet DIY-IT project: Using reclaimed wood to laser-cut office signs
- Building the ultimate cable organizer
- My first laser cutter project: Saint Patrick's Day coasters
- 3D print these 12 designs for a very special Saint Patrick's Day
- I 3D printed a Tesla Cybertruck because...why not?
- Here comes the Fab Lab
- Winterizing your 3D printers with a little help from Harbor Freight
- 3D printing hands on: Making a replacement part
- 3D printing hands on: Working with wood
- 3D printing hands on: Adding a case and camera to Raspberry Pi and LulzBot Mini
- How to add a smartphone-controlled brain to your 3D printer for about fifty bucks
- 3D printing hands on: Customizing an audio console for the Broadband Studio
- Home factory: Short-run manufacturing with your 3D printer
- If you can do PowerPoint, you can do 3D design
- 3D printing hands on: Attempting to print a NASA wrench
- 3D printing hands on: How to design your first 3D project without tears
- 3D printing hands on: How to easily customize objects to the exact size you need
- 3D printing hands on: Lessons learned from my first big project
Desktop fabrication and 3D printing in business
3D printing isn't just for designers and hobbyists. There is a strong need for desktop fabrication capabilities in businesses of all sizes. In these articles, we look at various aspects of desktop fabrication and 3D printing in business
- Everything you need to know about 3D printing and its impact on your business
- Why making is so important to IT professionals in small and large-sized businesses
- Best 3D printers for business in 2020: Stratasys, MakerBot, Ultimaker, and more
- First look: MakerBot takes 3D printing to the cloud with CloudPrint
- Best 3D printers for small businesses on Amazon Business
- Drones, 3D printing, and AR/VR: Unrealized potential, competent results, and worrisome futures
- Is MakerBot's new Method 3D printer ready enough to save the company?
- Exclusive: Ultimaker on 3D printing today and in the future
- When it comes to innovation, even shipping cartons can be improved upon
- Vroom! How 3D printing is revving up to save the auto industry big bucks
- I've seen the future of 3D printing (think Star Trek replicator)
- Inspiring the maker mentality in the corporate world
- 3D printing pirates: When eBay thieves profit from your work
Hands on with the hardware
Here we take a look at specific 3D printers and other desktop fabrication devices. Reviews and hands-on first looks will help you get a feel for each machine.
- Hands on with resin 3D printers: We put the Elegoo Mars, Mars Pro, and Zortrax Inspire to the test
- Getting started with the Dremel Laser Cutter: Before the beam
- A first look at two SLA 3D printers (TL;DR: They're goopy)
- Is the Ultimaker S5 the ultimate Ultimaker 3D printer?
- 3D printing hands-on: LulzBot Mini 2 first look
- Zortrax M300 and M300 Plus: Industrial-class 3D printers ideal for specialty applications
- Back to school: We test inexpensive 3D printers for students of all ages
- 3D printing hands-on: Modding the Ultimaker 3 with 3D printed accessories
- What manufacturers don't want you to know: The truth about 3D printer maximum print areas
- Do this right now to save your Autodesk 123D designs from shutdown oblivion
- 3D printing hands on: Understanding the difference between Delta and Cartesian printers
- 3D printing hands on: A first look at the Overlord Pro+ delta-style printer
- Your desktop 3D printer is really an IoT device in disguise
- 3D printing hands on: Swappable extruders on the Ultimaker 3 provide material flexibility
- 3D printing hands on: Ultimaker 3, a first look
- Battle of the MakerBots: The new Replicator+ versus the 5th Generation
- 3D printer sound test: Which machine is quiet enough for the office?
- 3D printing hands on: Some fascinating Jedi-level PLA filament secrets
- MOD-t first look: a low-cost 3D printer suitable for office or home
- Quick intro: A newcomer's guide to the Raspberry Pi
- 3D printing hands on: Getting to know the LulzBot Mini multi-filament printer
- First look: MakerBot introduces Smart Extruder+ (and it's pretty nice)
- 20 Star Wars goodies you can download and 3D print now
- 3D printing hands on: Downloading and printing physical objects from the Internet
- 3D printing hands on: Getting started with my desktop MakerBot
- 3D printing will be huge, in the most boring and fascinating ways imaginable
Feel free to bookmark this page. More articles are always being added. Now, go out there and make something great!
Also: Best 3D Printer of 2020 CNET
You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.