We can indicate two aspects related to programming within 3D printing technology. The first is 3D graphics programming, and the other is programming the 3D printer itself. These two important issues are what lets you make the most of 3D printing. However, to operate a Zortrax 3D printer you don’t need any programming skills at all.
Coded 3D Model
3D graphics has an air of artistic creativity around it. It’s the work of architects, interior designers, computer graphics artists and all other people who do modeling. Indeed, a large proportion of graphics software is based on drawing and creating 3D objects. But there is an alternative, one that’s at the base of computer generated 3D graphics: parametric modeling. You design by editing the script, not by drawing. You simply code your 3D model and create drawings. OpenSCAD is a good example of software of this kind. Working in it is based on creating basic solids: spheres, cones, cubes etc. Then you perform cutting and joining so as to create a complete model.
Graphics in 3D video games and animations is usually created in a similar manner. The same technology can by used in 3D printing. It’s the perfect method for people who are adept at coding, but aren’t familiar with typical 3D graphics software. Remember, though, that for basic operation of the Zortrax M200 and M300 3D printers there’s no coding skills required. Besides creating your own projects coded or designed in graphics software you can take advantage of projects by other users, e.g. in the vast Zortrax Library from the Z-SUITE software which comes with the printer. You can also commission someone more experienced to create the model.
Programming the 3D Printer
When you read about 3D printing, you can come across G-CodeL a programming language that transforms 3D models into instructions which a 3D printer can understand. The language can be mastered in order to modify parameters of the printout by operating on the code. In their M200 and M300 3D printers Zortrax have decided not to implement this solution and to give their users a much simpler tool, which doesn’t require knowledge and skills in programming. Once you buy a Zortrax printer, you’ll be able to download the free Z-SUITE software from their website after providing the 3D printer’s serial number.
Z-SUITE gives you an intuitive means of preparing your files for 3D printing and deciding on specific parameters, such as ventilator speed, print precision, layer thickness and type of infill. Everything is done as if it were a simple computer program. If you’re able to deal with online banking and social media, you’ll also manage to prepare a 3D model for printing on a Zortrax 3D printer.
Coding Is the Future
Coding will be a valuable skill and its importance will continue to grow. The world is already lacking hundreds of thousands of programers. In many countries young children are already being taught coding and it’s becoming a staple in the curriculum due to the electronics surrounding us and the possibilities it brings. Moreover, coding helps develop logical thinking. Coding opens up the door to additional functions of a device and lets you create new things. That is also the case with 3D printing. Graphics coding lets you create advanced objects based on realistic solids. You don’t need to be an artist, just get the hang of the coding and know what you want of your 3D model.