The 3D Printing Books to Read This Year

Published on April 19, 2024 by Carlota V.
3d printing book

World Book Day is celebrated annually on April 23rd (except in the UK and Ireland where a similar event is observed in March). And as it is coming up fast, so we thought there was no better occasion to present to you some of the must-read books about 3D printing, updated for 2024. Focusing on recent books, meaning those published since 2022, there is a selection for all levels: from absolute beginners to 3D printing experts looking to better understand certain applications of the technologies. Check out our list below (in no particular order) and see which 3D printing book you will be reading next!

3D Printing for Dummies, 3rd Edition

3D Printing for Dummies by Richard Horne has been revised, with the 3rd edition published at the end of 2023! As with previous versions, the book provides you with all the information you need to immerse yourself in the world of 3D printing, stating that it is “an easy reference for anyone new to the process of taking a digital file and turning it into an object in the real world.” With this book, you will learn about the different types of 3D printers, focused on the latest generation of machines, and which methods of modeling you can use, depending on the software. You will learn more about how to use 3D printers in production and manufacturing, covering as well reuse and recycling, intellectual property design controls and more! Furthermore, the book will cover how 3D printing is transforming industries as well as the pros and cons of 3D printing for hobbies and business needs.

3d printing book

3D Printing Failures, 2022 Edition

The incredibly popular book on how to diagnose and repair all desktop 3D printing issues has been updated for 2022! The new version has been fully revamped and rewritten to ensure that it is up-to-date with a rapidly changing sector. In the 2022 version, the book has been re-written and includes 10 new chapters. Beginners or advanced users of additive manufacturing can learn about how to diagnose and fix any 3D printing issue including, but not limited to, bed adhesion, curling, ghosting, layer shifts, build plat malfunctioning, curling of layers and angles, elephant foot, holes, electrical safety, nozzle clogs, over or under extrusions, and much more. The author has significant experience in 3D printing and this guide is a must-have whether you are a relatively new hobbyist or a seasoned user of 3D printers.

3d printing book

Unlock the Power of G-Code

If you are inexperienced with additive manufacturing, you may not have heard of G-Code. Simply put, this programming language is how the 3D printer is able to understand what commands must be followed in creating the final part. And though it is unlikely you will write your own, in fact after slicing it will be available for inputting in a 3D printing file format like STL or OBJ, understanding what it is can be useful in furthering your 3D printing knowledge. This is where Unlock the Power of G-Code: Master CNC Machining and 3D Printing by Maxwell Innovations comes in. The book promises to teach the basic of G-Code from basics to advanced mastery including troubleshooting guides, hands-on-learning, application cases for both CNC machine and 3D printing and comprehensive coverage of everything someone would need to know to “demystify G-code” whether a teacher, a hobbyist or a professional.

3D Printing (Without the Geek Speak)

Another great resource for beginning to 3D printing, 3D Printing (Without the Geek Speak) by Samantha Harding. Though relatively short at only 62 pages, the book promises to “cover everything a beginner needs to know to get started in the 3D printing world.” At its core, the book promises to be the important information about 3D printing without the more complicated extra “stuff” that often gets thrown in. For example, do you really need to know how to replace a control board? Probably not. Instead, the book focuses on how to get good, reliable print as well as common problems and how to fix them as well as the necessary maintenance of a printer. A great and easy to read starter guide to 3D printers!

3d printing book

The First Layer: The Beginner’s Guide to 3D Printing

Yet another one for the newbies, First Layer: The Beginner’s Guide to 3D Printing, as its name suggests, is a short but comprehensive introduction to 3D printing. Like other ones on the list, the basic idea behind this book is to make 3D printing more accessible, as it “demystifies the process of 3D printing.” Covering everything from 3D printer choice and the myriad of available 3D printing materials to the complexities of 3D modeling and slicing and software, the book hopes to give users all the tools they need to start printing. This is done through practical tips and hands-on projects, teaching fundamentals while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

3d printing book

Everything 3D Printing

This next book actually is part of a series called 3D PRINTING MADE EASY and both books are worth a look with the second more focused on troubleshooting. However, we want to focus on the first as it seeks to be an “A-Z mastery guide for exploring the hardware, software and service that make 3D printing.” Though “learn everything about 3D printing” is certainly a lofty goal, the book does seem to be comprehensive covering what exactly 3D printing is, how to choose a 3D printer, the different 3D printing processes and modeling, maintenance of 3D printers, support structures, important software and hardware and even how to make money using the technologies. An interesting way to start your 3D printing journey!

3d printing book

3D Printing With SketchUp

SketchUp is one of the more popular 3D modeling software that is currently available and though it is most commonly used in sectors like architecture and interior design, it also has a decent following among users of 3D printing technologies. This is where this guide comes in. Written by Aaron Dietzen, the self-claimed ‘Sketchup Guy,’  the book shows readers how to create 3D print-ready, models with any version of SketchUp. Covering SketchUp Free, Go and Pro, this ultimate guide will show how to create models, going from a basic understanding of how to use SketchUp for 3D printing to an advanced look at creating designs with this software. The book is perfect for anyone looking to dip their toe into DfAM rather than relying on models made by someone else and downloaded from sites like Thingiverse.

3d printing book

Metal Additive Manufacturing for Propulsion Applications

This next book is certainly not for beginners. Written by NASA engineers Paul R. Gradl, Omar R. Mireles, Christopher S. Protz and Chance P. Garcia, Metal Additive Manufacturing for Propulsion Applications is an in-depth look at metal AM process and how they can be used in propulsion applications such as rockets. Both early AM adopters and veteran AM users can find something in the book, as it shows how to intentionally apply these technologies to the proper technologies and serve as a reference guide. It covers not only the basics, but also design and implementation as it is written as a practical guide with lessons learned by NASA as they themselves has integrated metal AM.

Handbook of Surgical Planning and 3D Printing

Another book focusing on a specific application, the Handbook of Surgical Planning is destined towards a more experienced medical audience seeking to understand the intersection of 3D printing with surgical planning. The 395-page guide seeks to address knowledge gaps, especially as they relate to the types of medical images needed for 3D printing, the possible applications, the necessary software, data protection concerns, necessary skills and the differences between imaging, segmentation, and 3D printing. Check it out to learn more about the use of 3D printing in surgical planning from clinical, technical and economical points of view as you explore applications such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, maxillofacial, orthodontistry, and more.

Honorable Mentions

Of course, though we focused on books published or updated since 2022, that does not mean there are not other books that were worthy of being included. Some like the 3D Printing Handbook by Hubs or The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D Printing have been included before as they are practical and interesting ways to get into 3D printing. Additional mentions include Making Money With 3D Printing, any of the Make series focusing on 3D printing, Fusion 360 for Makers and 3D Printing Made Easy for Newbies & Hobbyists. Furthermore, for the more advanced users, famed educational publisher Springer has a series on books dedicated to additive manufacturing covering everything from the basics to comprehensive studies of the different technologies and going into applications and even 4D printing.

Did one of these books spark your interest? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox!

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  1. i am a beginner ( 2 printers already) . IS it worth buying “How to Make Money with 3D printing ” ? does it has any stable idea or the basic stuff like jetsy etc

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