3D printing is a hot industry at the moment, and there are many places people gather to discuss it. Check out the top online 3D printing forums and groups you can be a part of.
The 3D printing industry and community have been transforming at a rapid rate. As new processes are being developed regularly, it’s useful for experts and hobbyists to share their experiences to benefit the 3D printing ecosystem as a whole. Discussion in these online communities and forums is generally about:
LinkedIn has been the preferred platform for professional networking for many years. Though it has low engagement rates, the content here is rated highly among 3D printing experts.
The International Society for Additive Manufacturing Engineers (iSAME) was founded in 2016 by experts in Colorado. Currently, the group consists of 3D printing enthusiasts from over 14 countries who actively participate in group discussions. The group mostly has interesting discussions on 3D printing news.
The 3D Printing World Community Club is a consortium of individuals including influencers, makers, consultants, and researchers. This is a diverse group with professionals from aerospace, medical, architecture, and manufacturing.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) – Rapid Prototyping, Tooling, and Manufacturing is dedicated to people who are interested in rapid prototyping and generative design. This is usually an active group which has updates every hour. Currently, the group has 15,000 members.
Alexander Daniel is a group for connecting networking professionals across the world. The group mainly intends to connect professionals across 3D printing companies.
Facebook is an active platform where 3D printing users of all calibers and from all over the world can meet each other and share. There are many regional Facebook groups which help users connect offline as well, which is the main difference between communities on Facebook and elsewhere.
“3D Printing Group” is the largest and most active 3D printing Facebook group. The interaction level is high, so queries get a response almost immediately.
3DPC is another group where members can ask questions and share experiences relating to 3D printing.
The abbreviation “RepRap” stands for replicating rapid prototyper. It started in 2005 in England as an initiative to develop a low-cost printer that could print most of its own components and thus could spread quickly.
Ytec3D is a platform which showcases technical projects involving 3D printing. This forum was created by a mechanical engineer to share all the projects he does in 3D printing to inspire people.
A relatively engaged group useful for hobbyists who frequently buy and use machines.
SME’s Additive Manufacturing community has specialized advisors who provide timely and expert guidance to its members. In addition, the platform also offers an Interactive Rapid Additive Manufacturing Portal (iRAMP), which allows you to make informed decisions when considering the purchase of 3D printers.
i-AM Digital is a professional platform that helps in mentoring, coaching, and educating people. The company is based in Barcelona, Spain, and connects talented individuals to additive manufacturing training providers and companies.
The most interesting thing about this platform is the personalized experience it offers, including tailor-made courses.
Much of the discussion here is centered around Ultimaker machines and products, but since this brand is always on the bleeding edge of consumer 3D printing, you can also expect to find chatter on emerging trends. It’s also a good place to go for troubleshooting technical difficulties.
Expect to find discussion on advanced 3D printing technologies and topics specific to Shapeways’ 3D printing service. This is a great place to go if you have questions on professional or industrial 3D printing processes, such as SLS, especially as a creator or designer.
This forum specializes in the technical: hardware and software topics. Perhaps this is because the discussion centers on Lulzbot machines, which are highly upgradeable and open-source.
These 3D printing forums can help you by connecting you to experts in the industry. It’s best to spend some time picking which forum is best for you so that you not only gain value from the interactions, but also provide value back into the community.
(Lead image source: World Economic Forum / Flickr)
License: The text of "Best 3D Printing Forums, Boards, and Groups" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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