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Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing 2014 by Mark Frauenfelder

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SOFTWARE FOR 3D PRINTING

Understanding your options each step of the way.

WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY SEAN MICHAEL RAGAN

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There are basically four steps on the path from concept to printed object: the idea itself, the digital model, the tool paths, and the final print. Three layers of software — CAD, CAM, and “client” — bridge the gaps. For 3D printers, CAD and CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Manufacturing) refer to the production of digital models and their translation into physical instructions for the printer, while “client” software controls the hardware in real time.

Especially at the CAD level, there are many options, some of them quite expensive. ...

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