Home 3d Printing How to Make Your First 3D Print: From STL to Printed Model

How to Make Your First 3D Print: From STL to Printed Model


Preparing your first 3D model for 3D printing can be a daunting experience. Fortunately, you don’t need to design your own model as there are thousands of great designs available for free as STL files on sites such as Thingiverse.  However, once you’ve chosen a model that you want to print, you still need to follow a few steps to turn that STL file in physical print. 

Below, we’ll show you how to print a typical STL file on a typical FDM printer, though no matter what devices you use, the basic steps should be similar. If you’re never 3D printed before, this is a great way to get started. 

Here’s what you need to 3D Print 

  • 3D Printer: We’re using the Creality Ender 3 Pro, a solid entry-level 3D printer. However, other filament-based (aka FDM) printers should work similarly.
  • Filament: PLA is one of the most commonly used materials on the Ender 3, and in this article we’ll be using Begonova branded material.
  • 3D Model: The 3D Benchy is an ideal first print for your 3D printer; it offers a calibration test and is a fun model in a single print. However you can also download STL files from sites such as Thingiverse.
  • Slicing Software: In order to print your model, you’ll need to convert it from a solid 3D model to a series of slices that can be printed using an app called a slicer. We’ll be using Creality Slicer for this article, but most slicing apps offer similar features and the basic principles are the same. 
  • microSD Card: The Ender 3 Pro includes an 8GB microSD card for transferring files, but some printers include a USB drive. Most sliced gcode files will be between 5MB and 15MB, so anything over 1GB should work fine. 

Getting Started 

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