🚨Stupid Question Alert

I apologize for asking this question of the forums. I’ve scrolled and read and scrolled and read and scrolled for over the past year timeline without success in finding the information I am looking for. I am such a newbie to 3D printing I don’t even know what I don’t know. This being such a cutting edge technology it’s like taking a Boy Scout with a B.B. gun and putting him on Seal Team 6. That’s how bad it is.

I am researching SLA/DLP Printers as well as the software and new hardware (laptop/iPad).

I get it… everyone says you should just pick some program and some printer and just start.

Unfortunately I have very specific business intentions and am looking to make this research into a straight side business/profession versus hobby. That being said, when looking at the Form2 or other SLA printers… making the right decision is a large investment for me and not something I want to leisurely “just start”.

So… the book/articles I’ve read are all FDM based and laptop based. Looking st the Shapr software… this appears to be something that will UNLEASH my creativity and I am frothing at the mouth to get started but need a few more questions answered so this investment will have it’s full payoff.

I get that Shapr is designed for the iPad Pro/ /pencil combo…

Can someone please explain in 3rd grade level instructions how I get the design to my 3D printer?

Once saved/exported what do I do then? Can I buy an adapter for a USB to be plugged into my iPad Pro and then plug it into my printer? Or is there a slicer software that I have to run the STL through prior to being sent to the 3D Printer?

Ultimately if I am going to purchase a new iPad Pro… I am confirming that I will only need an iPad Pro, along with my new 3D Printer (still TBD) and NOT a laptop as well.

Super embarrassed to ask you all so much with such a long post. I feel like a keychain Swiss Army knife looking up to a bunch of Leatherman Multi-tools.

The post is long to respectfully explain my question, thank you for your time whoever is brave enough to take on this special needs new guy.

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Welcome to the club mate :metal:t3:

Firstly, the Form2 is an amazing SLA printer, but there are cheaper alternatives out there. I recommend checking out the Anycubic Photon, which will be my first SLA printer when I get around to buying it. The Wanhao Duplicator often gets good feedback too.

I’ve been using a CR-10 and CR-10S (FDM printers) for nearly a year now and all of my designing has been done on Shapr3D. When you’ve created a model in Shapr3D, you’ll need to export the STL (I use Dropbox) and then slice the file using a slicer (Simplify3D) on a desktop computer or laptop. As far as I know, there currently isn’t any slicing software available on iOS, though it’s hopefully only a matter of time. Once your model is sliced, the output file is a .gcode, which is the file type read by my printers. To my knowledge, the SLA printers mostly (all?) have their own specific slicing software, but these will also need to be run on a laptop/desktop computer.

So to answer your question, to get from concept to physical model/product, you’ll need:

  • iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and Shapr3D
  • Laptop/PC/Mac with slicing software
  • Printer & materials (filament/resin)

With SLA printers, you’ll also need a curing chamber to cure your finished prints, and it’s worth bearing in mind that the resin costs a lot more per KG than plastic filament.

Hope that helps

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Rob-thank you for the input, knowledge, and for taking the time to read my post as well as reply. I’m disappointed in the information but super grateful for you answering… it seems that most forums don’t respond to newbies and you’ve made this forum the exception. Looks like I’ll be purchasing a small laptop/MacBook Air to “get by” on the slicer software in order to make this dream a professional reality.

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I am a beginner also. I have a Prusa MK2s printer that I purchased as a kit. Here is my usual procedure.

  1. I create an object using Shapr3d. I’m slowly learning its ins and outs.
  2. I save the completed object as an “ .stl” file to my account on “One Drive”.
  3. I switch to my MacPro and can then “slice” the object with the Slic3r app. It is free app and it can then save my object as a “.gcode” file. I usually, though, save it as an “.stl” file again and then open the refined “ .stl” file in Prusa Control. It is a free app designed especially for Prusa’s line of 3D printers. It takes a “.stl” file, can refine it a little more, then saves it as “.gcode” file. I have their MK2s. It is my first 3D printer. Here is their home page. https://www.prusa3d.com/
  4. After the object is in the “.gcode” format, either by Slic3r or PrusaControl, I save the “.gcode” file to a SD memory card.
  5. The card is inserted into the console of the MK2s printer.
  6. I can now print the object.
    I hope this helps.
    Good luck.


Joe-thank you thank you thank you for taking the time to explain every step that you are doing in order to go from start to finish.

In a new field it is explainstions like this that make a lot of complicated things comprehensible and applicable.

Your explaination moved a few “mental roadblocks” and I am well on my way.

Thank you.