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Blender 3D Printing Essentials by Gordon C. Fisher

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How is a 3D printer controlled?

Generally, the answer is stepper motors. Stepper motors are motors that move in small discrete angles of rotation instead of spinning like most regular motors. This allows you to make definite, easily repeatable motions. It is also one reason why there are minimum sizes on the detail that you can make. A 3D printer can't make detail smaller than one step of the stepper motor.

Then, through wires, drums, gears, and threaded rods, the motion of the stepper motor is scaled to fit the medium that the printer uses. A hobbyist printer that uses a filament of the ABS or PLA plastic that feeds off of a reel will provide the kind of detail that those plastics can support. A high-end stereolithography printer may get much ...

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