3D printing in Vancouver
If you are a beginner, that wants to get into the craft of 3D printing, or are looking to get an objected printed. This guide will help you get started.
Print something for me.
A 3D printing services is useful, If you are looking for a local 3D printing service and want the end product without having to do the work yourself.
3D Hubs is a online market of people with 3D printers that can print your object for you. Normally it takes about 48 hour to print and deliver the 3D printed object. Sometimes you can even meetup with these people and work together to get your product perfect.
Maker Labs is local maker space with lots of different kinds of 3D printers. Their staff can either teach you how to use the 3D printer or print the object for you. They are a great group of knowledgeable people. 780 East Cordova Street,Vancouver. Open 12-9 PM, 778.984.7299
Shapeways is a great online service for 3D printing exotic materials like gold, silver, porcelain, aluminum, etc.. Their prints are always perfect but they do cost more then 3D Hubs. They are not local but they will ship to Vancouver, and anywhere else.
Buying a 3D printer
The 3D printing industry is rapidly changing with new technologies and 3D printers being released everyday. Its hard to recommend a single company or printer because of how fast things are changing. I have found this from guide from 3DHubs on what 3D printer to buy to be one of the best resources for selecting a printer. Their 3D printer index is updated constantly based on the feedback from the 3DHubs comunity.
I personally use a Wanhao Duplicator i3. Its a cheap, workhorse of a printer that has served me for ~1200 hours without too much problems. I also can highly recommend the Ultimaker 2+ and Tinkerine Ditto Pro. They cost more, but they are as close as plug in play as you can get.
Learning about 3D printers.
The best way to learn is by doing. Maker Labs runs a 3D printing & scanning course every few weeks. The course goes though the basics of several different types of 3D printers and how to operate them. This course is open to youths as well as adults.
After you know how to use a 3D printer, the next thing is to join a community and talk with the experts. 3D604 is the local 3D Printer meetup run by John Biehler one of the leading experts in the 3D printing industry. (Named Top 100 Innovator in 3D Printing, and Top 20 Influencer in 3D Printing). I also suggest joining this 3d Printing group on facebook. Its great to see all the amazing things that people make each day with their 3D printers.
3dhubs forums can be over-welling, with dozens of new posts a day, but its one of the best resources online that I have found.
Where do you get 3D printable models ?
- Yobi3D - 3D model search engine. It has a viewer to show search results in 3D.
- Pinshape - A online catalog of 3D printer models. Paid and free.
- MyMiniFactory - A decent selection of curiated 3D-printable models.
- ThingiVerse - The original online catalog of 3D printer models.
- YouMagine - Open source designs and 3D-printable models.
- GrabCAD - Professional 3D models for manufacting parts.
- Yeggi.com - Search Engine for 3D printable Models. Searches a lot of the smaller sites.
- NIH 3D Print Exchange - 3D-printable models that are scientifically accurate or medically applicable.
- Smithsonian 3d models - A large collection of 3d models from the smithsonian.
- CG Trader - 3D models for VR / AR, 3D printing and computer graphics.
Places to avoid
The worst place to print or learn about 3D printing in Vancouver is, The Vancouver hackspace (VHS). Their tools are constantly broken, they have no staff, and the volunteers that run the 3D printers are horrible people. If your first experience is from VHS then you probably won’t like 3D printing. They do a lot of harm to the 3D printing community and make it harder for others to get into it. Avoid them at costs! Luckily there are a lots of alternatives.