02 October 2013

Joe Larson - 3D Printing Blueprints - Ebook review

Packt Publishing recently came out with an ebook "3D Printing Blueprints".  3D printing is something that I am very interested in and since Blender is very good at allowing 3D printing I was instantly interested in reading this book, especially since it covers using Blender to create the models that get 3D printed.  So it was handy because Packt contacted me asking if I would review it, which I was, so I did.

Product Specifications:

        First for those who don't know 3D printing is the process of creating real world physical models using special devices called 3D printers.  Instead of printing words on a page they can use various types of materials to print objects in 3 dimensions.

        Until very recently 3D printers were only available to the professional 3D rapid prototyping business community.  They are very advanced and can print almost anything but with that flexibility comes cost and as a result they were very expensive to both buy and maintain.

        Recently however 3D printers have become much cheaper to buy and maintain;  So cheap in fact that now there are a multitude of low cost 3D printers which are ideally suited to home use.  These home use level 3D printers are not as advanced as those in the professional environment but they are improving quickly.  It probably won't be long before increased demand from the home consumer market starts to be the main driver of the features and flexibility that 3D printers have.

        With a 3D printer and some 3D modeling software to design the things you want to 3D print you can become your own object creator.  The range of objects you can design is almost unlimited.

        This book covers using the Makerbot line of 3D printers to print objects and uses Blender to model those objects.  If you own a different make of 3D printer do not worry all the information in this book can be used with other 3D printer types, with very few changes.

        The images in the Ebook are in full color and for the most part easy to interpret.  The writing style is a little patchy in places there are some typo's and the odd hard to understand section of instructions.  I was however able to do all of the tasks in the book.  It's a very quick paced book it quickly goes from one project to the next building on the previous projects.

        The book takes a graded approach, covering the very basics of using Blender and how to model 3D objects to give them the best possible chance of giving you a successful 3D printed object.

        Each 3D printed object that you model in Blender and then prepare for printing is called a Blueprint.  These Blueprint go from very simple to moderately involved.  If you are a beginning Blender user and have never used a 3D printer before than this book will be useful to you.

        Please be aware though that the coverage of Blender features is very basic if you want an in depth guide to all of Blender's modeling features this is not the book for you.  What it will do is cover the basic features of Blender and show you how to use those features to create simple 3D printed models.

        The 3D printed models that are created in this book are:

        A Small Mug
        A Vase
        An SD Card Holder
        A Toy Robot
        A Number Choose
        A Teddy Bear Figurine

        Joe Larson the author of this book I had not heard of before and that is always a worry but on reading his bio I was less worried as he has had a varied career path, all very interesting.

        So if you want a simple book that covers the basics of using Blender to make simple models which can then be successfully 3D print this is a good book.  Just don't expect and in depth treatment for using Blender or your 3D printer.  This book is a face paced quick read to get you up and running as fast as possible into the world of 3D printing.

        Review Score 75%