3D Printers have become more and more popular over time as their uses expand from prototyping to manufacturing replacement parts for everything from toys to cars. We realize that it’s more than just your 3d printer that delivers great results, a comprehensive supply of 3d printer accessories and parts also play a key role when it comes to determining the final quality of a product. With the right accessories, an average printer can become incredibly useful.
In this article I will be going over some of the best 3d printer accessories you can buy and how they can benefit you in the long run! I’ll also be giving a couple examples of each accessory so that you have a better idea of what I’m talking about when I say these things. Let’s get started!
A glass plate is handy for printing flat and level objects. But they can also come in handy when you need to print on a non-heated bed or want to be able to remove your printed object easily.
A magnetic plate is also vital for holding your tools and spare parts. You can easily attach a magnetic plate to the side of your printer.
If you notice that your printed objects are brittle or breaking apart, using a filament dryer could help fix the problem.
Most filaments will come with a moisture barrier bag and some desiccant packs to keep all traces of water and humidity from the filament while being stored before use.
You must let your filament dry for about 24 hours after unboxing it before printing anything, so the inside of the spool doesn’t get moist and ruin all of your prints. There are many different models of filament dryers available choose an affordable and one of the best quality.
A glue stick is handy for getting prints stuck down onto the build plate so that they won’t slide around while they are being printed, but if you already have some glass tape laying around, then you might want to use that instead because it has more features compared to just sticking things down.
If you have a heated print bed, I recommend buying a glue stick with ‘Acrylic-Based’ or ‘Plastic Safe’ on the label because it will not damage your build plate over time.
A digital caliper is very useful when trying to measure specific thicknesses of an object accurately.
But there are a lot of different thicknesses that you should keep track of in 3D printing. You can get your printer’s accuracy improved by ensuring that your printed parts are the exact size as you designed them to be, without any dimensions being off due to measurement errors.
If you want to check if a print came out correctly or not, then measuring it with a digital caliper is an accurate way to ensure things were printed right.
A digital caliper also comes in handy when calibrating your printer too because it will tell you exactly how much each axis moves per mm so that you can set up your prints properly. When calibrating, there are many factors involved, such as:
- Filament diameter variation
- Backlash compensation
A multimeter is also a helpful tool if you are just starting because it can measure electrical resistance, voltage, current, frequency, etc.
Multimeters are useful in checking your power supply wires to ensure you don’t have any shorts or other issues with them. Besides, they can also be used to check your electronics’ output on the board by hooking up probes to specific pins on the board itself.
A multimeter can come in handy when trying to diagnose problems with your printer because multiple different things could go wrong, such as:
- Motors not working
- Servos not moving correctly
- Stepper drivers overheating
Pilers are used to remove stubborn screws from the frame of the machine itself. The most commonly used thing for this is an Exacto knife, but having a set of pliers will make things a lot easier whenever you need to get into your printer’s electronics or change out parts that have been damaged by force or other means.
Suppose there happens to be something inside your 3D printed model that is holding it together too tightly. In that case, pilers may also come in handy while removing the finished part from its supports so that you can clean it up and re-print it again without any issues.
Tweezers can be helpful when trying to pull prints off of the build plate after they are done. But you should always make sure your hands are perfectly clean before using them because one small piece of lint or dust might prevent that print from sticking to the glass afterward.
Tweezers are also useful if you want to pick up other small things like springs or washers while working on something else. But it’s probably good to keep a set of precision pliers, too, because tweezers won’t work for everything like soldering wires onto PCB boards.
If you have any pets in your household, then there will be fur particles coming off their bodies all the time, making it hard for you to do anything with your bare hands, but tweezers will help you get rid of that hair for good.
Sandpaper helps to smooth out any sharp edges on parts that have been printed out using ABS plastic filament because it tends to become more brittle over time.
A file may also work if you don’t have any sandpaper around, but the result will always be different because files leave a very rippled finish, while sanding down parts will give it a nice smooth edge.
It’s advised that you use medium-grit sandpaper when working with ABS plastic because anything rougher might cause damage to your printer, and anything smoother won’t make as much of a difference compared to something in between those two grits.
Spare Nozzle Set
Having spare nozzle sets is probably one of the most important things that you should keep on hand. An extra set of nozzles is necessary, especially if your 3D printer has been printing out dozens or even hundreds of prints since you bought it from its original owner.
Having spare nozzles on hand will allow you to swap out your primary nozzle for something new if it gets clogged up with too much filament.
You could also need it if the nozzle is worn out by the print head moving around hundreds of thousands of times across many different project files.
Replacing the nozzle is very easy, but if you get any glue residue left over after removing the old one, then some acetone may be able to melt that off for you without causing any further damage to the print head itself.
While having a 3D scanner on hand may not seem like something necessary for most printers, it will still be very useful whenever you need to re-print an old project file using a completely different machine with brand-new print settings.
It’s also useful if you want to improve an old project file by making it look smoother or more detailed than before, and most 3D scanners will come with their software that makes it easier for you to turn the scan data into STL file, which can be edited within your existing computer OS after installing the right software.
3d Printer Enclosure
It’s probably not safe for everyone to put their printers in a normal room where people like to walk around because there is always a chance that someone will accidentally bump into it and knock everything over onto the ground below.
Some of those components might not be too heavy, but others may end up snapping off if visitors or family members accidentally step on them. You can prevent that from happening by placing your 3D printer in an enclosure with walls at least 1cm thick.
Still, it’s best if you also install a door with a large window to keep track of any problems whenever something unusual happens, like the filament getting jammed up inside of the extruder.
Support Removal Tool
Probably one of the most frustrating things about using ABS plastic as your primary printing material is having to clean up all of those support structures because they tend to accumulate within tight corners and narrow spaces where it may be challenging for you to access with a razor blade or even some needle-nose pliers.
The problem is that those support structures might not ever come off on their own if you leave them in place until they run out of plastic that can support them, so it’s best to use some tool around the house that will give you more leverage over how much force is being applied when you finally cut each one off at a time.
Hex Key Wrench Set
A hex key wrench set might not be necessary for everyone because most 3D printers already come with all of the tools needed to take everything apart when some problems or upgrades need to be installed within the machine itself.
These may include different sizes of screwdrivers, pliers, and maybe even an adjustable wrench, depending on how large your printer happens to be once it has been put together again after a major upgrade or repair.
You might not need them anytime soon, but it’s still better to have some on hand just in case you happen to encounter a problem with the printer itself at any point in the future.
3D printers can create some potent fumes when melted filament touches down onto the print bed after being extruded from the hot-end just a few centimeters away from where your choice of masking tape has been applied to cover everything up so that there is no risk of anything permanently damaging your glass plate.
At the same time, it’s being heated up by a 900W heater cartridge all day long during every new build.
It’s recommended that you use three to four layers of masking tape across an entire 8″x8″ square of your glass bed.
This ensures that you have a nice, even surface over which to lay down ABS plastic as it’s being melted. It might be a good idea to cover the entire bottom of your printer and each side because those fumes can escape through any openings you may have missed during this initial installation phase.
While most printers will not need a computer that is always on to work correctly or perform certain actions within the machine itself, there are still some features worth having whenever possible.
Automatically pausing the build once it has been done for several minutes without any input from you whatsoever is crucial.
This means that you’ll have to ensure all of the filament is cleaned off of the bed manually before beginning a new build to save you some time and effort rather than waiting for your machine to do so automatically.
Using a black permanent marker is usually enough to ensure that all parts can be removed from the glass plate without leaving behind any residue.
But if anything happens within the future where you need to remove prints faster than usual, having one of these markers on hand (or in your toolbox) may help you out. Markers are critical when you’re in a bind and don’t have access to acetone or something like Goo-Gone, which might damage your plastic components in some way.
While this method is only recommended for ABS prints, it should still work with most other filament types, provided that the surface tension is reduced before beginning a new build.
3D printing with ABS plastic is similar to working with wood without a protective finish on top of it to keep it from chipping away at the edges.
After it’s been handled too much, regular scrapers are used to scrape all of this material off of both your print bed as well as any wooden components within the printer itself.
Aquanet Hair Spray
Hair spray is only used in ABS prints when you don’t have access to acetone which can be used in some cases. It will break down the surface tension of the materials being laid on top of it while still requiring heat to be fully effective after it’s been applied Beforehand.
Wire Stripper and Cutter
This accessory is often overlooked by most users who will use their teeth or a sharp object instead. Stripper and cutter are used to strip away the exterior insulation from wires before soldering them together.
Although the latter is rarely included with these types of tools, it’s still possible to find a good pair for as low as ten dollars on just about any online store.
These 20 products all help make the 3D printing process that much more enjoyable. See a 3D printer accessory that’s not on the list and should be? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
I hope this list is helpful in finding what it is that will work best for your printing needs. We want to thank you again for reading and wish you all the success in your future endeavors!