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Waste of money. I have built a Prusa I3 myself which is working quite well and was looking for a book as a easy to read reference. This book however seems more interested in what can be done with 3D printing and not how to 3D print. Get the impression that the writers have never done any 3D printing themselves. Even the building of a printer does not really give much real help. The Slicer chapter is basically a copy and paste from Slicer itself with only the minimal explanation. Zero help in resolving any of the issues 99% of new users will have and no troubleshooting. Also get the impression that the book is very out of date. Very disappointed with this book.
3D Printing for Dummies starts off by speaking about how 3d printing fits into modern manufacturing together with the types of 3d printer and the uses for 3d printing. Different designs of 3D printers are covered, I particularly liked the hanging printer for big prints, although I am dubious it would be of use to people without access to a barn. The next part gives types of materials used to print with, it included designing a 3d print with some of the free or cheap programs like Autodesk Revit, Sketchup and Blender. These programs are only mentioned in the book, they not explained at a level where you could use them. Scanning is partially discussed and it was good to see a mention of the Microsoft Xbox Kinect video game controller as an entry level scanner. I have used the Xbox scanner in the past for designing 3D characters for Animation, so I can see how it would work well for designing 3d prints. The book discusses using lots of photographs to make a 3d image using programs such as Autodesk 123D Catch or Google Glass programs.
The next section explores the business side of 3d printing, this could be useful if you are thinking about selling either your own or a 3rd parties 3D designs. It includes things like Storefronts, Intellectual Property Law, Ethical considerations, and using Expired Patents. But the book doesn’t really go into enough detail for a company to base a commercial decision on.
Following on from that, the book starts by explaining 3D Cartesian techniques for storing a 3D image and subsequently reproducing them using something like a consumer level RepRap printer. It includes details about different strategies for printing and the types of printer needed. SCARA and Robotic arm motion are included here. But most interestingly it talks about ways of having your own printer, this includes how to choose which sort will best suit your needs, and the types of materials available for you to use. With sources for 3D designs to print, the book goes into some of the design programs available, such as Openscad, Sketchup Make, Tikercad, Meshmixer, and many others, but again only as a series of overviews. The checking of the object to be printed is discussed to help avoid some of the problems that unfortunately arise with 3d printing.
Following on from that, the next part is about creating your own RepRap 3d Printer. There are over 80 pages for this, it includes a section on problem solving and upgrading a printer. as well as going into the different components in a printer. The important subject of calibrating a 3d printer gets included here. The book finishes with the customary part of tens for a Dummies book.
This book really illustrates how recent 3D printing is. This is a large book and it tries to have a bit of everything in it. Unfortunately, that does mean that no one subject is developed deeply. It is full of small sections on things, which although interesting only really provided tasters and pointers for you to research later through the Internet or other books. Don't get me wrong, it is useful and I enjoyed the book, even with my own experience of 3D printing it has given me some ideas for things I want to study more deeply. For a complete novice the book gives a lot of detail they may never use again which although being interesting, it is definitely not a tutorial on 3D printing techniques.
I've always avoided the Dummies books as I'm not a dummy nor wish to be treated as one. When it comes to 3D printing though this book seemed the best bet. It covers a lot of ground, including a bit of the history of 3D printing, the different technologies that can be used to 3D print, potential applications and importantly from my perspective, how to construct a RepRap 3D printer. Although the book is great it really needed a bit more hands-on editing. There is quite a lot of repetition in sections in different chapters about current and future uses for 3D printers. Almost unforgivably the detailed section on constructing a Prusa i3 printer seems a bit muddled, partly because information about a different type of printer is interspersed with those for the i3. It also needs more photographs. Parts are mentioned which don't seem to be clearly visible in a photograph and you are repeatedly referred back to photos on earlier pages. Sadly the photos are not as clear as they might be because the book is not printed on very high quality paper. There are lots of tips and hints in the book but irritatingly these aren't collected together so I know I'll struggle to find them when the time comes.
Not at all what I expected from the 'Dummies' series. It reads more like a history book than a hints/tips book and what practical stuff there is probably only applies to one particular machine. Also very poorly bound, mine literally fell apart while reading. Returned as unsuitable/ faulty.
Poorly written doesnt appear to have been proof read before being produced lots of errors within the book (I.e.) missing pictures, sentences not finished etc very poor for a dummies branded book some interesting sections within the book just feels rushed and not finished properly...