My intent for this post was to list the top 3d printing books for beginners or those looking to widen their knowledge in the field. Now I’ve spent a lot of time reading these books from start to finish and below I am presenting them in order from least useful to most useful. I picked books which presented themselves as general intro to 3d printing books and will do follow up posts on more specific subjects (Keep an eye out for the making money with 3d printing one!)
But the big question why a book vs the internet? Well technically yes every single bit of information presented in these books is available online. Sometimes though the focussed nature of a book can really help guide your learning experience. I find learning from the internet ideal for very specific problems or once you already have a good foundation level understanding of a topic.
Unfortunately buying lots of books can be pricey so I focused on books available as part of the amazon kindle unlimited scheme. Right now you can sign up for 2 months for totally free with no commitment contract (So you can cancel it as soon as you have read these books and it won’t cost you a penny but it will help support and fund this blog!).
3D Printing Ideas for Students
In last place 3D printing ideas for students gives some introduction to 3d printing methods and processes but the book it littered with typos and poorly worded sentences. It starts from the introduction on the first page and continues throughout the book. To give the author some credit the information contained within the book is factually correct. That said it was a painful read – I honestly wouldn’t recommend reading this one unless you are really struggling for sources of information even if you have already got a kindle unlimited subscription.
3D Printing Made Easy
3D printing made easy is a great book for the person just getting their first printer. It gives a quick insight into 3d printing in general and then focuses more on getting you started with a desktop FDM machine. I particularly like the troubleshooting section at the end where the author goes through a bunch of the common pitfalls every new user experiences!
This book is perfect for those new to 3d printing but won’t add a huge amount of value if you have been in the game for a few years already. The one downside is this book will not work on a standard paper style kindle, it requires either the fire tablets, phone app or desktop app.
3D Printing Failures
The latest revision of 3D printing failures is a much better organised book than the early versions. I particularly like that the author brings up good practice to be followed with regards to slicer profiles and keeping backups. I know I’m guilty of tweaking a working profile into something awful and realising I’ve lost the good starting point I had! I also like that electrical safety is brought up. I’ve seen far too many worryingly dangerous questions about mains (240v UK) electrical wiring on 3d printing forums! Be safe people, if you don’t have the right experience or knowledge find someone in real life who does to help you. The book also has a really useful section on good starting points and tips for a wide range of materials.
The layout for the second half of this book is really useful. You essentially browse through 10 or so pages of print failure images and use those to compare against your part/issue. From there the book guides you towards the sections most likely to solve your issue! This is invaluable to a beginner because there is so much terminology floating around the 3d printing world that it can be hard to actually find what you are after using regular text searches.
3D Printing Handbook
The 3D Printing Handbook is a fantastically written source of information that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in 3d printing or Additive Manufacturing. It goes to a good depth when explaining all of the common 3d printing methods. This is very useful as most hobbyist 3d printers don’t know much outside of the FFF/FDM and resin desktop printing options. It then goes on to describe design methods specific for each 3d printing process and industrial applications/examples. I am a mechanical engineer working within the Additive Manufacturing field for my day job (mostly FDM and metal powder bed processes) and I still learnt a fair few things about SLA part orientation for example. This should give an indication of the level of detail the book goes into. Lastly the information included in the book is up to date which you will notice was an issue with some of the others available in this list. I would recommend this book as the number 1 book for a beginner or even experienced 3d printer user to read to expand their knowledge! It’s probably worth the direct purchase cost just to have as a reference material going forwards.
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