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This book is very good. It introduces concepts of design that were completely new for me. I learned a lot. However, it is not a perfect book. First, there is some repetition through the book. This is not a big flaw, the repetition helps with fixating the knowledge. My main criticism, however, is the lack of practical exercises. There are many examples, but it would be even better if the author designed some exercises for the reader. Maybe in a next book the author could add such exercises so that readers could try in a hands-on approach. I think this is necessary because, as the author himself explains in a part of the book, design is complex and based on scientific and engineering knowledge, which is impossible to cover properly without a deep study of the subject. If the intention of the author is to provide, say, enough knowledge to the reader so that he can design useful parts without doing a 5 year engineering course, the best way would be through practical exercises.
Most of this book is not really about functional design, its about the low level finagling which is necessary to get fused filament fabrication (fff) type consumer 3d printers to produce acceptable output.
Ok, lets talk about the functional design aspect first. As far as I know, all the current 3d printing processes create prints using some kind of layer-by-layer method. The behaviour of the material of the print will vary according to direction. For example, fff prints tend to fail by separation of adjacent layers when subjected to tension in the z-direction and consequently end up being relatively weak under this kind of stress. As a designer you may want to take account of this by re-orientating parts relative to the layering direction. The book also talks about how to get hinges to work and how to arrange the geometry to get parts to snap together. Thats about it for functional design insight.
Most of the material is about how to cope with the practical issues of getting fff 3d printing to work using today's flaky printers and buggy software. For example, he talks about improving bed adhesion by various means and how you might want to connect inner voids to the outside with holes so that today's slicers don't (contrary to design intent) ignore them. This is quite low level stuff and although useful it does not really fit with the term functional deisgn.
Getting in the way of this useful, albeit mistitled material is the author's writing style. He seems to have sacrificed clarity for some other priority. I have the feeling he is trying to conform to some misconceived notion of how a technical author should write. At its least intrusive this takes the form of labelling his illustrations with the tags "(illustration by author)" or "(photo by author)" which seems entirely unnecessary. Then I noticed an "Author's note:" which begs the question as to who else might be leaving notes for the reader. This is odd but unobstructive. Then there are things like this: "The number of solid layers dictates the solid layers at the Z terminus, or top and bottom, of any models or printed features" as a description of a slicer parameter ... hmm, "Z terminus"? He has 'problematic situations' rather than 'problems' and 'X-Y oriented tubes' rather than 'horizontal tubes'. Very occasionally the meaning disappears but mostly this kind of stuff makes the book an unnecessarily tiring read.
So in summary: hints for using fused filament 3d printers and software with a smidgeon of functional design nous written in a reader-tiring style.
As far as I have found, this book is unique. This is not a basic primer on 3D printers and printing - that's covered by pretty much every other book on 3D printing.
Instead, this book explains design considerations and associated options when creating models that will be 3D printed using FFF/FFM machines i.e. the "domestic" 3D printers.
If you're serious about implementing designs that work whilst minimising structural failures, i.e. creations that don't instantly break, this is a "must read" book.
A very clearly written, clearly typset book with plenty of useful diagrams, you do NOT need to be a mechanical engineer to follow this. Indeed, this is for all of us who don't have that structural engineering background.
There's far more to succesful 3D design and printing than infill % and layer height!
I struggled over 4 stars vs 5. Whilst being very useful I kept wishing for more. But I decided that perhaps that's just me. This book is filled with practical content and I will benefit from rereading it. There is nothing similar available. 5 stars it is :-)
A substantial part of it is a reprint of his book "The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D Printing" (which is an excellent book) that I had previously purchased and so felt as though I should have a rebate. Nevertheless the book as a whole is excellent and I have used many of the tips already. It would be better value for money if you didn't buy the previous book beforehand!
I've used 3D printers for many years but had not considered design specific to 3D printing, this book has opened my eyes to how to get the best out of the things that I print. Being a practical person I have printed out some of the items discussed in the book to actually see for myself what the author was talking about. This has really reinforced the concepts covered within the book. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to do more than print out items from thingiverse.
Things like tolerances, materials and some engineering principles.
However, the book states it is not for beginners, but doesn't give enough information for the intermediate user. Also, too much focus on planes and drone parts and not enough discussion about the failure of the tarp hook.
This book is very informative, even if it looks like someone's school homework where they've used as big a font as possible, huge line spacing, and massive margins to make it look a lot more substantial than it really is. I did feel a little cheated when I first opened it. A lot is common sense (to me anyway) but there are a lot of useful tips and ideas which get you thinking. Good if you're clueless about how to design stuff....