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Whenever an awesome photo opportunity presents itself, I instinctively grab my iPhone, launch the Camera app and press the shutter button.

But boy, way too many times did I find myself in the wrong camera mode. One time, I would realize I was shooting video instead of taking a great picture. Other times I would snap a selfie, whereas I wanted to take a quick photo of my neighbor’s dog jumping in the air catching her frisbee.

3D Touch can help avoid such distractions when you’re in the middle of your photography moment. With a little help of 3D Touch shortcuts and gestures, iPhone owners will hopefully never miss that important shot again.

3D Touch lets you take a selfie or start shooting video from the Home screen, review the photos you’ve taken without leaving the Camera app, play Live Photos with a press and more. In this tutorial, we’ll take you through every 3D Touch-enhanced feature that’s available to iPhone photography fans in Apple’s built-in Camera app.

Snap a selfie, start shooting video and more, from the Home screen

With 3D Touch, it’s easy to shoot a video, snap a selfie or jump straight into a camera mode wit a press of the Camera icon. In the shortcut menu that appears, the following options are available: Take Selfie, Take Photo, Scan QR Code, and Record Video.

The Take Selfie shortcut launches the Camera app and activates your iPhone’s front-facing camera, so you can instantly take a selfie with a tap of the Shutter button.

The Take Photo shortcut launches Camera and activates your iPhone’s rear camera so you can take a high-resolution image in the default Photo mode.

The Scan QR Code shortcut also takes you to the basic Camera to capture your code.

The Record Video shortcut takes you straight into Camera’s standard video capture mode.

RELATED: Turn off HDR photo duplicates to save space

Review, edit, share, favorite or delete the photos you’ve taken

Every time you take a photo, you can take a quick glance at it without launching Photos. Simply tap the photo thumbnail in the lower left corner of the Camera app. To get back to Camera, you must tap the Done button. So, two taps total. With 3D Touch, one gesture lets you preview the photos you’ve taken while you’re still taking new ones.

Press the thumbnail image in Camera and the last photo you’ve taken will pop up, along with a scrubber to help you navigate photos you took earlier. Without releasing the finger, swipe left and right to review your previous photos. Simply let go to continue taking photos.

To open the photo, press a little deeper to pop into Camera’s dark editing interface, seen above. From there, you share, edit, favorite or delete your image. To get back to the camera, tap Done, or hit All Photos to see everything in the Photos app.

3D Touch photo previews also work in landscape mode…

Play a Live Photo

Though not strictly a feature of the Camera app, iPhone owners can press the thumbnail image of the Live Photo to play it (if your device doesn’t have 3D Touch, simply touch and hold the Live Photo).

And when you set a Live Photo as the wallpaper on your Lock screen, you can press the display while on the Lock screen to play your Live Photo wallpaper.

Related 3D Touch tutorials

The following 3D Touch tips and tricks also might interest to you:

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Ios Shortcuts: Using 3D Touch In Control Center

Apple first brought Force Touch, a pressure-sensitive touch technology, to the Apple Watch. But soon after Android phone maker Huawei released this feature in its new smartphones, Apple released and popularized its use on iPhone, first with the iPhone 6s.

Apple calls this multi-touch capability 3D Touch. This adds an innovative way to open iPhone users’ most often accessed steps or functions. Use 3D Touch by pushing on the iPhone screen and holding the pressure. This exposes whatever shortcuts are available in the app being pressed.

Table of Contents

For example, 3D Touch is best known as a shortcut to app functions. Try using 3D Touch for the Twitter iOS app – one can quickly tweet, DM (direct message), or search.

Less well known is its value in the iOS Control Center, especially with the user’s ability to customize Control Center controls. Let’s then explore how to use some cool shortcuts this way.

3D Touch on Cellular Data

One of the built-in shortcuts in Control Center turns Cellular Data on or off.  You’ll find this control in the top left panel of the Control Center along with Bluetooth, Wifi, and Airplane mode.

When you 3D Touch (press and hold) on the Cellular Data icon, here’s what you see:

It’s worth noting that you can get this same expanded menu by 3D touching any of the four icons in this group. Let’s talk in more detail about the two new options.

AirDrop Shortcut

AirDrop is how Apple device users can wirelessly transfer files to close-by OS X and iOS devices. One can choose among several receipt modes, including Receiving Off to Contacts Only to Everyone. But if one sets the receipt mode to Everyone to receive a file from a known person close by, that setting remains until manually changed.

Personal Hotspot Shortcut

Personal Hotspot is a cellular setting that lets you create a WiFi hotspot using your iPhone cellular data connection. This will let you connect laptops and other devices to this network for Internet connectivity. This feature must be enabled by your cellular company, but all the major companies now support it.

Even though it eats up your cellular data and depends on your cellular network speed, adding Internet connectivity to your devices anywhere you have LTE is a great productivity enhancer. Plus, just using your iPhone to add connectivity for friends and business associates is bound to increase your popularity.

Anyway, use this shortcut to quickly turn this hotspot On (Discoverable) or Off  (Not Discoverable).

Note that for people to join, iOS requires the use of a password for these personal hotspots. You must go to Settings – Personal Hotspot – Wi-Fi Password.

Screen Record Shortcut

One can add the screen recording control to Control Center, as we explained in the previous post linked to above. Once Screen Recording is in your Control Center panel, use 3D touch on the icon, and voila!

Choose a destination for the recording.

Not long ago, one could save a screen recording only to the iPhone camera roll. However, now one can broadcast to Facebook Live directly from the screen record, and even the My Verizon iOS app wants me to broadcast the screen to its Diagnostics feature!  Note that the shortcut says Start Recording if destination is the camera roll, but Start Broadcasting, if to Facebook.

Do you want to speak while recording your iPhone screen? This button turns on the microphone to enable audio while recording the screen.

Note that the list of apps listed here will depend on what is currently installed on your iPhone. Since I have Facebook and My Verizon installed, those two apps show up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a definitive list online of all apps that work with the screen recording feature in iOS.

Notes Shortcut

Another useful add-on to Control Center is the Notes control.  The main shortcut will open a new note, but if you often use the checklist feature in Notes, then 3D touching the Notes icon in Control Center will create a new note with a checklist!

The Best Iphone 6S 3D Touch Features

Apple’s iPhone 6s is finally here and it comes along with a new feature that you may not be familiar with. Today we’re checking out the best 3D Touch features. Some of you are probably thinking, how is this any different from a long press, right? Well its uses may not be very different at the moment, but the technology that makes this possible is a very different thing.

3D Touch will sense the amount of pressure your finger applies to the screen and trigger various actions. So instead of a short press or a long press, 3D Touch enables a soft press and a hard press. So you can “tap” on the display, but then you can go even further (quite literally) and press into the display at multiple levels. Once you’ve reached the amount of pressure to trigger an event, the iPhone will provide slight haptic feedback to let you know. So what can 3D Touch actually do?

Check out our 3D Touch top features video below:

Once you’re inside of those apps, there are a lot of 3D Touch features as well, but you need to know where to look. First off, any list style view will likely have 3D Touch features that go along with it. For example, the Messages app you can lightly press on a message thread to “peek” at the conversation quickly. You can release to go back to the previous screen, but if you see an arrow at the top of the screen and slide up with the peek window, you’ll have some addition options. If you press even harder, the message will “pop” open. The same is true for many other apps with a list-style view such as Notes. and the native Mail app, but hopefully more support for other apps will come through in the future.

Even image based apps like Photos and Instagram have a peek and pop ability with 3D Touch. It’s a super helpful feature to have, but I’m not sure if it’ll always save you time over the traditional way of taking a look at something quickly. The calendar app does this with events scheduled for different days as well. 3D Touch on a single day and you’ll be able to peek at the schedule.

If you’re inside of any app that utilizes a keyboard, there’s a very cool feature to help with your text edits. If you press hard on the keyboard, it’ll turn into a trackpad and allow you to easily move the cursor to another spot. You can also press and slide in from the side of the screen to access the app switcher view, or you can simply press harder on the edge of the screen for it. Both of them seem a little awkward though, but it’s there if you need it.

Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus cameras come along with a new Live Photos feature which will capture a second and a half of the action with audio before and after you take a photo and allow you to animate your photo by pressing into it. Along with that, you can set these Live Photos as wallpaper and even 3D Touch on the lock screen to animate them there as well.

One of my favorite 3D Touch features has to be with system-wide links. Most anywhere you see a link, you’ll be able to press hard on it and pop up a preview of that website. It works similarly on MacBook as well if you have a Force Touch trackpad. Either way, it’s super helpful and will save you some time if you’re unsure about the page being linked. This will allow you to quickly preview it before launching it in a full browser.

Also, check out our iPhone 6s and 6s Plus unboxing + impressions video here. 

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Wikipedia For Ios Updated W/ Redesigned Interface, 3D Touch, Handoff & More

Wikipedia today has released an update to its iOS app that adds a host of new features and capabilities. The latest version of the app offers a redesigned interface that places a focus on “exploration” as opposed to the normal quick fact-checking that we’ve come to use Wikipedia for. The update also adds features like 3D Touch support, Handoff support, and more.

One of the biggest changes in the app is the addition of a new “Explore” feed. This feed allows you to view content tailored specifically towards your interests, as opposed to generic recommendations. In addition to content based on what you’ve viewed in the past, there are other sections such as pictures and images of the day, a random article generator, and more. Wikipedia hopes that this Explore feed will lead people to navigate throughout the app continuously, jumping from article to article as means of entertainment and learning as opposed to just research.

The update also adds a host of enhancements for recent iOS features.

First off, your saved content will now show up when you search via Spotlight on iOS. There’s also peek and pop support for viewing articles, and 3D Touch support from the Home screen icon to quickly jump to content. Handoff support also allows you to quickly jump between reading articles on your different devices.

The updated and redesigned Wikipedia app for iOS is available now on the App Store for free. The full press release and change log for the update can be read below:

New Wikipedia app for iOS puts the joy of exploration in your hand

It’s another day on your commute home from work or school. You want something interesting to pass the time so you pull out your phone and open the Wikipedia app.

As you scroll through the featured articles and images, something catches your eye– a beautiful  image  of Monarch butterflies piled together on heavy branches of an entire tree. It’s the article for the  Monarch butterfly migration. You open it. Ah, the butterflies start their migration north this month from Mexico.

You save the article to check out again later, and head back to the Explore feed and find new suggested articles based on the Monarch butterfly migration:  butterfly conservation in California, the  Queen butterfly, and  Diapause… What’s diapause? You open the article to find out. Before you know it, you’ve made your stop to head home.

The newly released Wikipedia app for iOS is designed to put that joy of exploration in your hands. The app delivers content tailored to your interests and surroundings through a new Explore feed. By scrolling down in the Explore feed, you can easily browse a personalized and dynamic set of Wikipedia articles and images including:

Featured article of the day

Top read articles

Picture of the day

Random articles

Nearby articles

Recommended articles based on what you’ve read

Find content that most interests you, easily move from article to article, and save articles for later reading, all while never losing your place. This new feature makes exploring knowledge a journey, even if your ‘final destination’ is just the start.

In addition to the Explore feed, the new Wikipedia app for iOS features major design and usability improvements. Now you can:

Navigate using gestures, including 3D Touch –  Multi-touch gestures, including swipe, tap, and  3D Touch  features that help readers navigate more quickly and simply.

Search from Spotlight, even with Emojis  –   Search for saved articles using the Spotlight feature on your device. You can even search with your favorite emojis!

Read Wikipedia in multiple languages – Set up your preferences for multiple preferred browsing languages. Then get one touch access to search across languages, or read an article in another language with a quick tap.

Access right from home – Use shortcuts to open search, read a random article, and more with a 3D touch on our icon from your device’s home screen.

Save articles to read later  – Save articles for reading later, even when you’re offline.

Enjoy improved image galleries  – Enjoy high resolution image galleries and prominent article images as you navigate through the app.

Share your discoveries –  Easily share articles, images, and facts from Wikipedia on social media or by email. Or use  Handoff  to continue reading articles across your iOS devices.

The newly redesigned app helps you find the information you need now, while satisfying your curiosity.

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The Best 3D Printers For Beginners

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Written By Terry Sullivan

Updated Jul 6, 2023 11:30 AM

Even 3D printers for beginners can feel intimidating if you’re not familiar with the process. For instance, a recent 3D Printing Sentiment Index survey by Ultimaker revealed that 71 percent of professionals surveyed are aware of 3D printing. However, 29% of businesses that could potentially use 3D printing have no current familiarity with the technology. Nevertheless, engineers and entrepreneurs continue to use 3D printers in some very inventive ways: Astronauts plan to use a 3D printer on the International Space Station to print out elements of a human knee and engineers at Columbia University in New York have recently figured out how to replicate a seven-layer cheesecake. What’s encouraging is that in the last 12 years, 3D printers have also gotten more affordable.

But what exactly does a 3D printer do? Most consumer-grade 3D printers produce, or print, a three-dimensional object using a technology called “additive printing.” The process creates a three-dimensional object by building it layer upon layer using various materials, such as plastic or metal that adhere together during the process to eventually form the object. (The design of the object is based on a digital file, which is most often made using computer-aided design software, or CAD.) You’ll have to get over the initial learning curve, but watching that first print take shape can feel downright magical. The best 3D printers for beginners offer a simple setup, intuitive interfaces, and enough flexibility to grow with your skills.

How we chose the best 3D printers for beginners

In order to compile the list of 3D printers we recommend for this guide, we considered a number of factors. We prioritized intuitive models capable of more complex projects as your skills improve. Additionally, we made sure that the 3D printer came with compatible software, in order to develop and create the digital design yourself, which your print would be based on. Lastly, we considered price. Although you can spend as much as $2,000 to $10,000, or more, on professional- or commercial-grade 3D printers, we chose printers for this guide that were less than $1,000. Our specific picks are based on a mixture of personal experience, spec comparisons, user feedback, and editorial reviews.

The best 3D printers for beginners: Reviews & Recommendations

In the past 12 years, 3D printers have not just come down in price, but they’ve also become easier to use, for a number of reasons, most notably because of the involvement of the RepRap movement, which helped forge the way for the 3D-printing industry to create products that were more affordable, accessible, and reliant on open-source technology. The movement also helped standardize many aspects of 3D-printing technology, which benefits all consumers and businesses. While you’re at it, check out the best 3D printer filaments to put into your lovely new 3D printer.

Best overall: Creality Ender 3 V2 Neo

Why it made the cut: It takes a little more setup than some other models, but it’s a near ideal mix of features and value for beginners.  


Materials supported: PLA, ABS, PETG, 

Print volume (HWD): 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches

Connectivity: Micro USB, transflash memory card

Dimensions (HWD): 17.2 x 16.7 x 18.6 inches

Weight: 21.60 lbs.



Its redesign improves the overall experience of it

Faster than predecessor 


Learning curve can be steep for some

The new iteration of this Creality 3D printer includes some impressive enhancements to an already solid-performing 3D printer. Its CR-Touch feature, for instance, gathers the bed deviation data by touching multiple points in the bed and compensating for them accordingly, allowing for hassle-free bed leveling. It now comes with a full-metal Bowden extruder, which the company says makes for smooth feeding through the system. 

Creality has also overhauled the UI: Its new 4.3-inch user interface is easier to read. It also has a new build plate: The PC spring steel magnetic build plate has good adhesion to the model, and it enables quick removal of the print with just a slight bend of the platform.

With prints measuring up to 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches, this model can easily churn out some of the most popular 3D-printed objects like fidget toys, replacement parts, and gaming miniatures.

While this isn’t the simplest model on the list (you’ll find some truly automated versions later on down the line), it isn’t prohibitively difficult to learn. Plus, it leaves room for users to sharpen their skills and improve their 3D printing process as they learn. If you’re a quick learner, too much automation can rapidly start to feel like more of a hindrance than a help.

Because Creality is one of the more popular brands in the space, it’s also very simple to find information, communities, and discussions online to help troubleshoot issues or clear up trouble spots.

Why it made the cut: This very versatile and reliable 3D printer is for those who are experienced in 3D printing and for those just learning 


Materials supported: PLA, ABS, PETG, ASA, 

Print volume (HWD): 9.8 x 8.3 x 8.3 inches

Connectivity: USB, SD Card

Dimensions (HWD): 19.6 x 21.6 x 15.7 inches 

Weight: 15.4 lbs.


Produces excellent quality prints 

Very versatile

Easy to Use



A bit pricey

This well-built Prusa 3D printer is for just about any user, from those just getting started to those who’ve been 3D printing for years. That’s because the i3 MK3S+ delivers high-quality results for most typical home users, time after time. But it’s not just reliable. It also produces excellent quality prints with lots of detail, which is partly due to the 3D printer’s very solid build quality, which ensures those details will render properly. Also, the i3 MK3S+ has fewer errors during the printing process than other models in its class. 

It’s not a perfect 3D printer, though. I had a couple of minor quibbles with the i3 MK3S+: For instance, it has a decent-sized 3.4-inch display, but the display is monochrome and not a touchscreen. (Other models have color touchscreens.) You can connect easily enough using an SD card to add your project to the machine. However, if you want to connect via Wi-Fi, you’ll need an accessory—a Raspberry Pi Zero W. 

But those quibbles aside, it’s an excellent performing 3D printer, overall. For instance, it’s compatible with Ultimaker Cura, an open-source slicing application for 3D printers, as well as Prusa’s own software, PrusaSlicer. What’s also nice about this model is you have the option to automatically calibrate it or use the Mesh Bed Leveling process to compensate for microscopic imperfections of the print sheet. Plus, it prints pretty quietly, so it won’t disturb others around you. 

Best for fast printing: Bambu Lab P1P

Why it made the cut: It has very fast printing speed without reducing print quality.


Materials supported: PLA, ABS, PETG 

Print volume (HWD): 10 x 10 x 10 inches

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SD Card

Dimensions (HWD): 15.2 x 15.3 x 18 inches

Weight: 21.3 lbs.


Very fast printing speed

Excellent print quality

Easy to set up

Can print in multiple colors



A bit noisy

While this printer is pricier than the rest of the models on this list, it could save you considerable time. It clocks in at a little more than 8 times the speed of many consumer 3D printers. While most 3D printers produce PLA objects at a speed of 60mm/s (different materials will quicken or slow down the speed), the maximum speed of the Lab P1P’s toolhead is 500 mm/s, according to the manufacturer. But what’s also important to note is that even though this model has a much faster printing speed, the quality of the 3D printing isn’t affected. Such an increase in speed can be incredibly important if you’re using the Lab P1P for a small business. Of course, it’s also important no matter how you use it since no one really likes to waste time waiting around for 3D prints.

That fast print speed also comes with a relatively large maximum print size. So, if you’re trying to print that Iron Man helmet for your massive noggin, this could be your savior.  

Best for printing larger objects: Anycubic Kobra Max

Why it made the cut: This model has great print volume so you can produce larger scale objects than what most consumer-grade 3D printers can create. 


Materials supported: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU

Print volume (HWD): 17.7 x 15.7 x 15.7 inches

Connectivity: MicroSD card

Dimensions (HWD): 28.4 x 28.2 x 26.2 inches

Weight: 43 lbs.


Its large size lets you print larger scale projects

Includes automated features, like its 25-point auto leveling function


Projects take longer to print

The unit is large and heavy 

If you need to produce projects that are somewhat larger than your average-sized 3D printer can produce, you’ll want to check out this Anycubic model. In fact, its build volume is 17.7 x 15.7 x 15.7 in., which is significantly larger than most models in its class. However, one of the downsides of the larger space is that it takes longer to print your items. It also requires more work for calibrating the larger printing field and of course larger prints require more filament.

The 3D printer also comes packed with other useful features: it has a self-developed Anycubic LeviQ leveling function, which uses the printer’s 25-point smart and precise calibration system in order to compensate for the heated bed unevenness automatically. That means, according to the company, leveling and printing can be completed with just the press of a button.

Best budget: Monoprice MP Cadet

Why it made the cut: If you’re on a budget, this small model should fit the bill.


Materials supported: PLA, PLA Pro

Print volume (HWD): 3.9 x 4.1 x 3.9 inches

Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi, microSD card

Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 11.4 inches  

Weight: 6.6 lbs.


Small, compact, and lightweight

Quick set up time

Comes with auto leveling feature


Small print volume

Not as versatile as other models

Although there are plenty of 3D models that you pay a lot of money for, there are also a decent selection of 3D printers that are inexpensive, like this model from Monoprice, which makes it a great model for beginners and students. If you just want to start printing without diving into the process, this is a fast, easy option. 

With that low price, of course, expect a few drawbacks. The primary limitation here is the print size, which tops out around four inches on each axis. At just 6.6 pounds for the whole printer, though, this is the most portable model on our list.

What to consider when shopping for the best 3D printer for your needs

Part of the reason that 3D printers come in all different sizes, with vastly different feature sets, and an even great variety of price points, is that they have many disparate uses. For example, a designer might use it for creating a prototype, while an educator might develop a print to replicate an artifact to use in his history class. An artist might use a 3D printer to explore the potential of working in a new medium. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. That’s why you need to take some time to consider the following features and capabilities before you buy your 3D printer.

Explore methods of 3D printing

There are a number of different processes that can be used in 3D printing. But today, the most commonly used method on consumer 3D printers is fused deposition modeling (FDM)—and all the 3D printers in this review use FDM technology. An FDM printer sends a filament of plastic (most often from a spool within the printer) through a small, heated nozzle, which then precisely lays down the thin layers of plastic on the surface of the base in order to construct the object. (In the 3D printer industry, FDM is also referred to as “fused filament fabrication”, or “FFF.”) An FDM 3D printer is pretty flexible, but if you’re looking for different results, you’ll want to research some of the other processes, such as stereolithography (SLA), which uses a resin-based method to print, or other methods.

Learn about 3D printing materials

It’s important to learn what materials you can use with your 3D printer: The filaments used in FDM 3D printers can be made of different types of material, too. Two of the most popular are polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABD), but there are others you can use. You can buy spools of replacement filament, but just be sure both the material and its size is compatible with your model. Most 3D printers print in just one color, but there are select models that have dual extruders, so you can print with two or more colors.  Adding colors adds complexity, however, so that’s out of the scope for beginner skills.

Analyze your 3D printing needs

When it comes to 3D printers, you’ll also want to closely examine and evaluate the features, specifications, and capabilities you think you’ll need. For example, if you’re looking to print objects that are a bit larger, you’ll want to go with a model with a larger print volume that can handle larger prints. Or maybe you’re looking to produce a lot of objects quickly. Then pay close attention to the printer’s speed. Additionally, look to make sure it has the connectivity options, like Wi-Fi, that allow you to work in the manner you’re expecting. 

There are other considerations you’ll want to consider, as well: 

What is the top resolution on your 3D printer? Resolution is measured in microns (a lower number is more detailed), with the default on many printers being 200 microns. However, some can print at 100 or 50 microns.  

Is it an open frame or close frame? 3D printers that are closed are safer, but open frame 3D printers are generally larger in size.

What’s the size and the quality of the print bed? Having a good quality surface to work on is crucial since the first of your print depends upon a sturdy print bed to build the rest of the object. 

Are there any automated features? More and more 3D printers are including automated features, such as auto leveling the print bed, in order to speed up the process and to make the 3D printer easier to use. 

Are you interested in designing your 3D print yourself? If so, then you’ll need software, which is known as a “slicer” to create it. Some popular choices are PrusaSlicer, from Prucer, and Cura, from Ultimaker. 

FAQs Q: How much do 3D printers cost?

Although you can still find 3D printers that are very pricey, those models are generally targeted at commercial markets. By and large, most 3D printers for home use have come down in price and you can find some very capable models for less than $1,000, even as low as $200. But in order to get a clearer picture of what your cost of ownership of the 3D printer will be, you’ll want to factor in how you’ll actually be using it. You’ll want to assess how much you’ll be printing, which means you’ll also need to find out the price of replacement spools of filament, or other additional materials for your 3D printer.

Q: What are 3D printers used for? 

Today, 3D printers are used in many different industries across the globe, including healthcare, automotive, construction, manufacturing, the food industry, education, as well as in the production of different types of consumer products. At home, 3D printers can produce a variety of hardware items, like hooks, hangers, coasters, clips, various types of desk organizers, etc.

Q: Is 3D printing safe?


While the 3D printing industry as a whole has taken steps to make consumer-grade 3D printers safer for everyone using them, some health experts still express concern. For example, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website says, “3D printing hazards vary depending on the type of printer and materials used.” It also points out that some methods used in 3D printing can cause you to breathe in harmful materials: “3D printing can release particulates and other harmful chemicals into the air.” Some materials can also be harmful if they come into contact with the skin—”metal powders, solvents and other chemicals.” And some materials can also be flammable or combustible. For more, see the CDC’s “3D Printing Safety at Work” webpage. 

Final thoughts when buying the best 3D printer

Some scientists and environmentalists have long considered 3D printers a “greener choice.” However, like conventional inkjet and laser printers, 3D printers do produce waste, mainly due to the various processes used in printing 3D objects, which are most often plastic. And adding more plastic into the environment is never a good thing. However, how sustainable your 3D printer is for the environment depends upon many factors, including the materials you use: For instance, PLA plastic is considered relatively easy to recycle and is only more biodegradable than other materials used for filaments. 

Additionally, some experts in the 3D printer industry believe there are some fundamental aspects of 3D printing that should be beneficial for the earth and its environment. For example, one of the projects of the RepRap movement, which made 3D printers and technology more accessible over the past 10 years, was to create self-replicating 3D printers. In doing so, the group predicted that such self-replicating machines could benefit society overall by producing less waste in our global ecosystem. 

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

Clear Temporary Files & App Caches From The Iphone, Ipad, Ipod Touch With Phoneclean

The app isn’t perfect and it has a few quirk, along with an annoying social sharing splash screen, but it does work to recover some space on just about every iOS device we’ve tried it with. In our tests on an iPad and several iPhones, we averaged between 500MB and 1.2GB of storage being freed up using PhoneClean alone, not bad! So if you’re looking beyond the

Download PhoneClean (free) for OS X or Windows and then launch the app

Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the computer with a USB cable

After the scan you’ll be presented with a total amount of space you can recover by choosing the “Clean Up” option. For example, in this screen shot PhoneClean can free up 772MB by removing 9694 files that it considers as ‘caches’ and ‘offline files’, and 5MB of ‘temporary files’, for a grand total of 777.8MB space to be freed – choose “Clean Up” or uncheck any boxes you don’t want cleared out *

Let PhoneClean clean up the temp data on the iOS device, exit the app when done

Like every other operating system, iOS stores temporary files and app caches locally on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and these files can build up over time. Generally iOS is pretty good at housekeeping, but if you’ve had a device for a long time and haven’t deleted old unused apps, resynced recently, or restored from a backup, you may have more of these temporary files and caches stored on your iOS device than you think. That’s where PhoneClean comes in, it’s a free app that targets some of the “junk” that can accumulate over time, helping to free up storage space on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod chúng tôi app isn’t perfect and it has a few quirk, along with an annoying social sharing splash screen, but it does work to recover some space on just about every iOS device we’ve tried it with. In our tests on an iPad and several iPhones, we averaged between 500MB and 1.2GB of storage being freed up using PhoneClean alone, not bad! So if you’re looking beyond the normal tricks to free up storage on your iOS gear and further reclaim that Other space , grab PhoneClean and you’ll likely be able to recover even more storage capacity on your hardware in just a minute or two.

* Warning: Choosing to “Clean Up” the “Cache and Off-line Files” may have unintended consequences for some media files. For example, it routinely deletes all of the contents of any 3rd party app created Photos album, leaving blank albums (the images should still be stored within Camera Roll, however). If you rely on those app-specific albums to help sort your images you may want to reconsider whether or not to delete these so called ‘cache’ files. In testing, PhoneClean deleted the contents of app specific photo albums for Instagram, Snapseed, VSCO Cam, Afterglow, and GifMill. This undoubtedly frees up space and it should not impact Camera Roll at all, but you may want to copy the pictures to your computer before beginning this process just to be safe.

Mac users may need to use Force Quit to exit out of PhoneClean in OS X, which sometimes froze up when attempting to quit the application. If that happens to you, just hit Command+Option+Escape and choose PhoneClean from the list to forcibly exit out of it. We weren’t able to test the app in Windows to determine if the frozen quit problem is universal, or unique to the Mac platform, but that’s not much of a other all things considered.

Once the app is done running you’re free to unplug the iOS device and be on your way with some more storage capacity than when you started. Though recovering 500MB-1GB may not sound like much, that can be several hundred photos, a couple albums, or some new apps, so even if you wind up on the low end of recovered storage capacity from using PhoneClean it can still be worthwhile to check out.


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