In the past few years, the 3D printing industry has seen unprecedented growth. Thanks to the rapid advancements in technology, 3D printing methods and processes have evolved over time. From the huge sizes, 3D printers of yesteryears that used to cost a bomb to the compact printers that feel right in your pocket, 3D printing has come a long way. But 3D Printing is not only about the 3D printers but it is also about the huge number of tools, products, and accessories that are used in 3D printing and ensuring that the final product is of the highest quality.
Using the right kind of accessories can turn the average printer into a machine of incredible prowess. With the use of these accessories and tools, you can be assured that all your prints will be of the quality that is desired.
In this article, we will provide you with a list of the must-have accessories that enhance the abilities of your 3D printer is a great way. So let’s have a closer look at these.
1. Filament Container (Available on Amazon)
This is a very important accessory that is a must-have for anyone into the business of 3D printing. The filaments form one of the most important components of 3D Printers. But usually, people involved in 3D business do not pay much attention to the importance of these 3D filaments thereby leading to many types of problems such as clogging, breakage, the formation of bad layers, etc.
It is therefore very important to store the filaments in a safe and moisture-free place. These containers, therefore, are perfect for the filaments protecting them from the moisture and storing them safely eliminating any chances of breakage. You can read more about storage options here.
- Good for keeping your 3D printer parts especially the filaments organized.
- Keeps your filaments from getting damaged.
- Increases the longevity of your filaments that you use.
- Cost-Effective and affordable.
2. Masking Tape (Available on Amazon)
Masking tape is widely used with 3D printer hobbyists to ensure that the print sticks properly to their beds thereby accomplishing a perfect finish. Also, the obtained print gets easier to remove from the print bed and also protects the prints from any scratches or unwanted marks. But while choosing the masking tape you need to make sure that you are choosing a masking tape of a width of 2 inches (5 CM).
Wider tape means you need fewer strips to cover the print beds thereby leading to desired and better results. Though masking tape is heavily widely used and there are many options available, Kapton tapes (Available on Amazon) are much better in terms of handling high temperatures. This tape eliminates severe warping thereby resulting in high quality of 3D prints. For best results, you can combine the Kapton tapes with products such as hairspray.
- Acts as a strong adhesive for the 3D Print.
- They are very cheap and easily available almost anywhere.
- Taping helps ensure that the finished 3D Print is Warp Free.
- Taping avoids any type of scratch marks on the 3D printed object and helps protect the bed.
3. PVA Glue Sticks (Available on Amazon)
In 3D printing, it is important to make sure that the prints stick properly to the plates. To increase the adhesion, the build plates can be covered with sticks of washable glue. The glue sticks are one of the best adhesion materials and work extremely well with most of the materials except for a few materials that are high warpage prone such as polycarbonate or ABS.
On top of that, they are available at quite reasonable prices. You can couple the strength of your glue by adding a layer of hairspray. Applying hairspray adds an extra layer of adhesion to your print bed. Having said that special care needs to be taken when using hairspray as if not done carefully, it can lead to damage to your 3D printer.
- These glue sticks act as a strong adhesive for the print.
- The layering of glue stick provides a strong base for the 3D print, the print gets adhered to the print bed comfortably when these glue sticks are used.
- These are washable and can be easily removed.
- Most importantly they don’t cost you a lot of money.
4. Digital Caliper (Available on Amazon)
This is a must-have device for 3D Printing that involved minute detailing. This tool helps in taking all kinds of measurements that may be required to bring out the design and result of the 3D print. The use of an accurate Caliper means precision, accuracy and efficiency increase.
These digital calipers enable you to take precise measurements of any part of an existing design that you wish to replicate. They can also be used to verify the dimensions of the printed product versus the product model in the CAD tool. Calipers also come very handily to measure the diameter of the 3D filaments because there are chances of the same being different from what is advertised. Knowing the exact measurements of the filaments can help you make the necessary adjustments if any.
- Calipers help in taking precise measurements.
- This comes very handily when it comes to measuring the minutest details and replicating it to a new 3D Print.
- Since they are digital the measurements are displayed to the exact measurements.
- They add a good value add to your tools and accessories collection.
- This is the best tool for doing detailed work with utmost precision and accuracy.
5. Extra Print Beds (Available on Amazon)
The print bed is the key to successful 3D printing. The print surface is important to make sure that the first layer goes well. You need to have a good bed surface to ensure a smooth finish and a durable and rigid result. Glass beds often work better than the usual beds since they don’t warp the prints on getting heated. It is recommended you keep a few print beds just in case the default one that you use is not giving the expected results.
Borosilicate glasses are good at handling high temperatures and also provide a smooth surface for a perfect finish. When purchasing an extra print bed for your 3D printer keep in mind the model of your printer and whether it would match your 3D printer.
The Heat Bed Sticker Platforms are usually compatible with most of the printers and printing materials available. Once printing is done, you can easily remove the print beds without any damage. Apart from them, these print beds can be used for multiple printing with just a swipe of isopropyl alcohol between the prints.
- Having an extra print bed is always a bonus, just in case your default one is not in the best shape the extra one can take up its role.
- These extra beds are made of materials such as glass that make 3D Printing very easy and perfect.
- The Glass beds are tempered and as such, they are very durable.
- The Heat Bed Sticker Platforms are known for their compatibility with almost all materials.
- These print beds can be used for multiple prints as well in quick succession.
- They are worth the cost they come in and hence are extremely cost-effective.
6. Print Removal Tools (Available on Amazon)
At times 3D print gets stuck into the build plate. Using a print removal tool quickly solves the problem. All you need to do is that you will need to gently put the tool under a print and lift it and remove it. They can also be used for scraping the bits of filaments.
The tools come as a set so it ensures that you have a tool for removing anything and any object in a print. These tools are also known as Spatulas very thin but without any sharp edges. They are usually also angled in such a manner the handle can be held parallel to the bed, thereby preventing any damage to the tray or the bed.
- These tools come very handily when you need to remove some print from the print bed.
- They are shaped in such a way that it makes easy to remove the paint without damaging the print bed.
- They are quick and handy tools and have a good grip to remove the extra filament bits with perfection.
- They are made up of durable material and come in various shapes to make sure all sorts of paints can be easily removed.
These pliers come very handily in dealing with a lot of things in 3D printing. You can use the needle-nose pliers (Available on Amazon) to get into some areas of the 3D Printer where hands and fingers might not reach. This ensures you can fix any part of the printer with ease.
These pliers are commonly used to remove any jams in the 3D printer or cut the filaments or even install the new filaments in the printer. You can also use the pliers to remove the prints that get stuck to the print beds and do not relent. You can hold those with the pliers and remove them off the beds.
- Pliers are extremely useful in reaching the areas in the printer that we cannot reach with hands or fingers.
- They provide an extra kind of grip to pull out anything that might get stuck inside the 3D printer.
- They come very handy for quick repairing of wires inside the printing circuit.
- They also can be used to remove the print from the glass beds by holding the thin coat if other methods do not work.
8. Carving Tools (Available on Amazon)
These tools come extremely handy while creating printing works that need some extra detailing, finesse, and artwork at times. These carving tools help you in giving the printing work the desired finished look that the customer is requesting. They help by smoothing the final print by removing the excess filament.
You can also add some minute detailing or designing with these tools if required using these carving tools. The set usually contains carving tools of all shapes and sizes to get the desired result. You can even use similar carving tools that come as diamond needle files which are perfect to work with delicate and short projects.
- These are like the hand tools of the 3D Print Artist.
- These come in handy when some portions are to be removed from the 3D print.
- They can be used to carve the various areas in the print the way it is needed as such they are perfect to take care of any custom requirements.
- These tools come in various sizes and shapes that make it easier to modify or carve the 3D Print the way it is needed including the minutest tweak.
- These tools are cost-effective easy to use and are easily available.
9. 3D Scanner (Available on Amazon)
If you are into 3D printing, having a 3D Scanner will take your customer experience with your 3D Prints to an entirely new level. The 3D Scanner is a high-end technology that helps you to create life-like and accurate 3D models from real objects placed before them. That way you do not miss even a single detail and everything is captured for a precise 3D printing plan. Nowadays there are many reliable options in the market. You can find a lot of portable and cheap 3D Scanners that give you the best results. So you can carry it around to your customer sites and scan the object to print and get it to your printing shop and start printing.
- 3D Scanner enables the 3D print owners to create perfect 3D Prints by replicating a scanned object the way it is.
- These use high-end optical technology thereby giving the CAD system exact dimensions of the object that are used as input for the project to be created.
- These scanners are portable and come very handy when the 3D Print owner needs to go to the customers to understand the requirements. They can simply scan the object that needs to be replicated or created and it can be taken care of.
- These scanners are easy to use and handle. And nowadays is available widely in the market.
- These might cost you a bit but they are extremely cost-effective in terms of the value they generate and the quality of finished products you get if you use them.
10. Solutions for Perfect Finishing
Once any part comes out from the printer, it is required to undergo a thorough surface finishing before the print is ready to be used. That’s because the laminated appearance is visible and there is some roughness. Therefore, to enhance the appearance of the finished print and to smoothen the uneven rough surfaces some solutions can be used as coatings. Based on the 3D material that is in use, you can choose the solution. Some solutions that are used are Acetone and XTC-3D print coating.
Acetone (Available on Amazon)
Acetone helps in smoothing and polishing the surface of the 3D prints. Even a thin coating is enough to achieve the results and the finish that you are looking for. But while using Acetone you need to be careful because acetone may not be compatible with all materials including PLA.
XTC-3D High-Performance Coating (Available on Amazon)
While acetone can be used for smoothing ABS 3D Prints, for PLA prints though acetone may not work. XTC-3D epoxy coatings are used for the smooth finishing of 3D printed parts. A mixture needs to be made and applied to the 3D print. The best part is that it dries without leaving any brush stroke marks. You apply the coating and have to leave it on for 4 hours.
- These solutions are the perfect solution’ to smoothen the rough and laminated surfaces of the 3D Printed products.
- They can be used to smooth all types of surfaces that make them the perfect smoothing agents.
- The best part is that these solutions are very easily available in the market. Acetone is available almost everywhere.
- These solutions enhance the quality of the finished 3D Prints by making them smooth and shiny.
- They are not that heavy on your pocket too thereby giving you a cheap and effective option for smooth products.
Choosing the right set of 3D Printer Accessories would ensure you have a flawless 3D Printing experience and an efficient set up that is high on expected quality standards. These little accessories can take your 3D Printing business to new heights. The 10 accessories that we have listed above are useful and a good starting point but as you grow into the hobby there will be more than you will need/want.
No matter what you decide to choose or buy make sure that you never compromise on quality. Because poor quality products will only make things that were supposed to be better for worse. So always buy high-quality 3D Printer accessories and you will be in for a pleasant surprise to see the quality of your own work and also the number of customers that flow freely!
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