Stop struggling with 3D printing and get the right tools for the job.
In the world of 3D printing, understanding the significance of the right accessories is crucial to achieving optimal results and an efficient workflow. High-quality accessories can make all the difference in the final output, whether you're a professional working on intricate designs or a hobbyist exploring the creative possibilities of additive manufacturing. As you delve deeper into 3D printing, knowing which accessories to invest in can save you time and effort, while enhancing the quality of your projects. In this article, we provide a comprehensive list of top accessories that will elevate your 3D printing experience and help you make the most of this innovative technology.
Build Plate Adhesion Solutions
Securing optimal build plate adhesion is crucial for 3D printing triumph. It guarantees your printed creation firmly adheres to the print bed, warding off warping and other pesky print defects. Check out these top-notch adhesion solutions:
- Polyetherimide (PEI) Film - This crowd-pleaser is the go-to build surface for many. PEI film is an adhesive-backed sheet that clings to a spring steel or metal plate. It's compatible with common 3D printing materials like PLA, ABS, TPU, and Nylon. However, PEI films are consumable and will need replacing eventually. Wuxn's collaboration with BuildTak resulted in a premium PEI film surface boasting an easy-peel adhesive and a distinctive textured surface to enhance part adhesion.
- Textured Polymetherimide (PEI) Sheet - Rising in popularity, textured PEI sheets feature a spring steel sheet or metal plate powder coated with PEI for a textured finish. Boasting durability and compatibility with most materials, this surface makes part removal a cinch once it cools to room temperature.
- Garolite G10 Print Bed - A fiberglass laminate, Garolite print surfaces excel when printing with Nylon and PETG filaments. It's a handy backup for PEI because PLA filament struggles to bind to this surface.
- Painters Tape - Surprisingly, standard blue painters tape from your local hardware store performs well with most common filaments. However, this budget-friendly option degrades quickly, demanding frequent removal and application of new strips.
- Adhesion sprays and glues - Products like hairspray, glue stick, or specialized 3D printing adhesives can be applied directly to the build plate for better adhesion. When using glue sticks on PEI surfaces, they act as release agents for PETG filament. Remember, less is more! Use caution with sprays to avoid damaging your printer – that's why we're not huge fans of sprays.
The Wuxn Print Surface Plate, designed to withstand temperatures up to 120 degrees Celsius, offers excellent adhesion for PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, TPU, and Nylon filaments. This print surface plate features a spring steel sheet and a dual-sided textured PEI coating.
Filament Storage Solutions
Preserving filament quality is key to getting top-notch results from your 3D printing materials. Moisture and dust can be filament foes, causing inconsistent print quality. Say goodbye to degradation with these storage options:
- Vacuum-Sealed Containers - Shield your filament from moisture and dust, extending its shelf life. Pair airtight containers with desiccant packs for a budget-friendly filament storage solution that works wonders.
- Filament Dry Boxes - These specialty boxes keep humidity levels in check through heating. The mild temperature increase ensures low humidity, creating an ideal environment for filament storage. Filament dry boxes are designed for extended heating periods at lower temperatures.
- Filament Ovens - Crank up the heat for shorter durations with filament ovens, which provide consistent heating and programmable timing. These specialized ovens cook your filament at high temperatures, ensuring optimal storage conditions. Looking for a low-cost alternative? Try using your kitchen oven. Follow the recommended drying temperature and times to avoid damaging your filament:
FDM/FFF 3D printer filament drying temperatures and time durations.
Print Removal Tools
Liberating your parts from the build platform might seem daunting. To keep your 3D-printed creations and the platform intact, arm yourself with these essential print removal instruments:
- Agile Spatulas and Scrapers: Sleek, bendable spatulas easily slip beneath your 3D-printed object, simplifying its detachment from the build plate.
- Needle Nose Pliers: Pliers offer a secure grip and delicate handling, perfect for extracting smaller or intricate pieces without inflicting damage.
- Flush Cutters: Providing a flawless straight-edged trim, flush cutters are essential tools for removing skirts, brims, rafts, and support structures. Additionally, they can be employed for loading filament by cutting it at a 45-degree angle, ensuring effortless insertion into the extruder.
Flush cutters serve as an indispensable tool in the realm of 3D printing. Explore Out of Darts to acquire a top-notch pair, designed for long-lasting performance and durability.
Enclosures and Ventilation Systems
3D printer encasements provide a multitude of advantages, such as enhanced print precision, heightened safety measures, and minimized noise. Moreover, they help establish a stable printing atmosphere—a critical factor when using high temperature filaments such as ASA/ABS. Uncover popular enclosure and ventilation selections below:
- Custom-fit Enclosures: Tailor-made for specific 3D printer models, these enclosures guarantee a seamless fit and effortless setup.
- Inventive DIY Enclosures: Craft a personalized enclosure with accessible materials that cater to your 3D printer's needs. The IKEA Lack enclosure remains a favored DIY solution.
- Efficient Air Filtration Systems: As some 3D printing substances emit fumes during the process, air filtration systems effectively neutralize odors and preserve a secure environment.
Upgraded Nozzles and Hotends
Improving your 3D printer's nozzle and hotend can substantially boost print quality, efficiency, and adaptability to diverse materials. Nozzles are available in numerous forms and dimensions. Opt for a broader diameter nozzle to increase filament deposition and reduce print duration. To accommodate more abrasive filaments like glow-in-the-dark, carbon-fiber filled, glass-reinforced, or metal-filled materials, consider upgrading to a hardened steel nozzle. Moreover, unique nozzles featuring triple-hole orifices are available to enhance flow rates.
Additional 3D Printing Tools and Accessories
An all-inclusive toolkit is vital for efficient and trouble-free 3D printing. Enhance your setup by integrating these indispensable tools and accessories:
- Digital Calipers: These accurate measuring devices help you determine the dimensions of your printed items and ensure their precision.
- Tweezers: Effective for removing excess filament and keeping the nozzle clean.
- Filament Dust Filter: This attachment aids in removing dust and debris from the filament before it reaches the extruder, preventing clogs and improving print quality. Easily download and 3D print your own filament dust filter.
- Filament Clip: Print your own filament clip to avoid filament tangling on the spool. The clip consistently sits on the spool, securing the filament strand.
- Heat Gun: Filament wisps may remain on your printed object due to excessive printing temperatures, incorrect retraction values, slow travel speed, or moisture within the filament. Consider investing in a heat gun to melt and contract the filament wisps, simplifying their removal.
- Belt Tension Meter: Proper belt tension is essential to minimize ringing and layer shifting. Many manufacturers lack explicit guidelines for adjusting belt tension. Wuxn created a downloadable belt tension meter that connects to the belt, with indicators to show when to tighten or loosen the belt.
- Nozzle Cleaning Kits: These kits usually include fine needles and brushes for removing blockages and ensuring optimal nozzle functionality.
- Lubrication: All mechanical motion systems necessitate lubrication. Use white lithium grease for metal lead screw nuts, low-viscosity oil like BOESHIELD T-9 for V wheel rollers, and slightly higher viscosity oil such as Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil for linear rails.
Software and Slicing Programs
Selecting the appropriate software is crucial in 3D printing, as it converts your 3D model into comprehensible instructions for your printer. To elevate your printing experience, consider using one of these leading slicing applications:
- Cura: Created by Ultimaker, this complimentary, open-source slicer is user-friendly and compatible with numerous 3D printers.
- Simplify3D: This high-end slicing software provides advanced features and customization possibilities for experienced users.
- PrusaSlicer: Developed by Prusa Research, this open-source slicer is tailored for their range of 3D printers, but it is also compatible with other printer models.
- WuxnSlicer: Wuxn 3D's free, open-source slicer is specifically designed for Wuxn 3D printers.
Keep in mind that all of these slicing applications can yield excellent 3D printing outcomes. However, the key lies in optimizing the multitude of settings within the slicer program for your particular machine. It is generally easier to download and use a manufacturer's slicer with their pre-configured settings.
Selecting a suitable build plate surface is crucial for avoiding part distortion and detachment from the print surface. Storing 3D printer filament in a dry environment is necessary, as it can absorb moisture. Key 3D printing tools encompass a heat gun, flush cutters, digital calipers, and a glue stick. Enclosures are an excellent resource for minimizing dust, debris, raising ambient temperatures, and filtering emitted gases from high-temperature filaments. Although slicers differ in features and functionalities, the most advantageous element is the availability of pre-configured profiles from the manufacturer.