3D printers have become more popular as well as more accessible. Because of lower prices and maker communities simplifying 3D printing for beginners, 3D printing is easier for the masses. With excellent 3D printers under $500 such as the Elegoo Neptune 3D printer, virtually anyone can get started with 3D printing. However, you'll want a slew of accessories in addition to a 3D printer itself. Check out the top must-have 3D printing accessories to transform your 3D printing journey!
Filament is among the must-have 3D printer accessories. Quite literally. You won't be able to print any designs sans filament. Thus, you'll want to keep a few spools of filament lying around. Which type of 3D printing filament you pick depends on your specific unit. PLA is a fantastic choice with its eco-friendly properties. ABS provides a simple printing medium as well. There's also PET, nylon, wood, and more. Part of what dictates the 3D printer filament you'll need is dictated by what printer you're using. But the project you're working on also shapes which 3D printing materials are suitable.
2. Backup 3D Printer Nozzle - Must-have 3D Printing Accessories for Maintenance
Since filament comes through a nozzle, clogs can occur. Thankfully, the process for unclogging a 3D printer nozzle isn't terribly difficult. Nevertheless, it's best to keep an extra nozzle around. That way, you can swap nozzles and use a backup nozzle while you're cleaning or unclogging another nozzle. Plus, changing your nozzle is a 3D printing best practice. How long you go between nozzle changes varies, but it's definitely suggested regular maintenance to keep your 3D printer running smoothly.
3. Glue Stick or Other Adhesive - Best Accessories for 3D Printer Usage
My Elegoo Neptune 3D printer came complete with a slew of accessories including a glue stick. Adhesive is one of the best 3D printing accessories you can buy. It's perfect for repairing imperfections in 3D printed objects, joining multiple or even improving adhesion on your print bed. The applications for adhesive when using a 3D printer are nearly limitless. It's an affordable and useful 3D printing accessory. Plus, glue has a bevy of non-3D printing utility as well.
4. Tweezers - 3D Printing Accessories for Makers
Likewise, tweezers belong not only in the bathroom, but in your maker kit. These must-have 3D printing accessories come in handy for final processing. I used my tweezers while adjusting the fiddly printer bed feet of my Elegoo Neptune. Should your 3D printed project stick to your print bed, tweezers arrive as the ideal implement for gently prying it from the bed. Although you've likely got a set of tweezers lying around, it's worth picking up an extra set or two for your maker toolbox.
5. Knives - Must-have 3D Printing Tools
That's not a knife, THIS is a knife. A utility knife, palette knife, or other similar object is a 3D printing necessity. Palette knives remove excess bits of filament from the print bed or your project piece without scuffing up delicate surfaces. Utility knives or sculpting knives may be utilized for finishing a build and cutting off chunks from the finished piece. For trimming filament, gently prying off filament, and
6. Pliers - Top Tools for 3D Printing
No maker space if complete without pliers. A solid pair of needle nose pliers helps you grip hard to reach areas, snip filament, resolve extruder jams, and a host of other 3D printing tasks. As such, pliers fall under the umbrella of must-have 3D printing tools. They're incredibly utilitarian, and have a bevy of non-3D printing uses as well.
7. Acetone - A 3D Printing Necessity
For giving a polished look to 3D printed objects, acetone does the trick. Just dab it on in small quantities to achieve a smooth finish to finalized prints. But you'll need to be careful that your filament is compatible with acetone since not all filament holds up to solvent like acetone. This is easily among the best accessories for 3D printer enthusiasts.
8. Spare Print Bed - Best 3D Printing Add-on You Should Buy
Because the print bed is central to the art of 3D printing, you might consider picking up a spare print bed. Maybe you'd like to be able to swap out beds between prints, or possibly you'd like to upgrade your stock 3D printer bed. I suggest a glass-plated print bed, as it's more resilient to heat and warping. You'll also want a durable, smooth surface.
9. Filament Storage Containers - Keep Your 3D Printing Organized
Just as with building a PC or setting up a maker space, cable management and organization are crucial. To avoid messy tangles of filament, you'll want to store your filament properly. Although you can buy dedicated 3D printing filament storage boxes, these range from cheap zippered bags and inexpensive hard boxes to premium vacuum sealed storage containers. An appropriately sized and shaped Tupperware should suffice. Regardless, you'll want to avoid leaving 3D printer filament lying about with the potential to tangle.
A Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi alternative pairs well with a 3D printer. You can run software such as Repetier on a Raspberry Pi for leveling up your 3D printed projects. Moreover, for remote control and monitoring of 3D printed projects, a single-board computer works phenomenally well. It's easy, and highly suggested to use a Raspberry Pi with a 3D printer. When it comes to Raspberry Pi competitors, I suggest the ASUS Tinker Board or Odroid XU4.
11. Octoprint - Must-have Software for 3D Printing
Check out Octoprint, a piece of must-have 3D printing software. With Octoprint, you'll gain a lovely web interface for 3D printing. It's packed with plugins, allows for remote control and monitoring of 3D printed projects, and totally open-source. Simple to install on a variety of devices including the Raspberry Pi, OctoPrint is the top recommended 3D printer software option.
12. Digital Calipers - A 3D Printing Maker Must
If you're like me, you want your finalized projects to be perfect. A set of digital calipers ensures perfection with 3D printed designs. You'll be able to accurately measure sections of prints and crosscheck dimensions. I'd definitely recommend snagging a digital caliper, a small investment which will take your 3D printing journey a long way.
Must-have 3D Printing Accessories
From software to hardware, there's no shortage of 3D printer accessories on the market. I'd definitely recommend snagging a decent set of tools such as a set of hex wrenches, utility knife, palette knives, needle nose pliers, and tweezers. Storage containers are excellent for ensuring a tidy workspace. You'll probably want several different types of filament as well. A backup nozzle and spare print bed transform any 3D printing experience. Now that you've selected your 3D printing accessories, find an awesome project to create such as a BB8 robot or coin sorter!
What 3D printer accessories do you recommend for makers?