When we bought our first printer we didn’t realize that there is a number of essential 3D printing tools to come with it. There are tools for the printing process and also for safety. Day by day we kept filling our toolbox with more essentials and now we have a neat workshop in a spare bedroom.
It is important to know what’s needed in order not to overspend money. We have put together a list to give an idea what’s required and to help find the right items. The list is sorted by: Essential, Safety and Optional 3D printing tools. As we went along and got deeper into 3D printing there were more and more items that became part of the whole process. We will be adding tools for decorating the prints, photo equipment, scanning stations, acetone vapouring products, etc.
Top 10 Essential 3D Printing Tools
Print Removal Tool
Helps to remove newly printed object from the build plate. Thin blade profile slides underneath prints. We use Pointing Trowel. This tool is exceptional as it’s sharp and pointy.
Nozzle Cleaning Kit
Part of 3D printer maintenance routine. The extruder nozzle drill is an essential item for any 3D printer owner. Every extruder nozzle must be cleaned regularly as part of maintenance.
Knife Clean-Up Kit
Multi-blade knife set to clean prints. Easily removes supports, raft and other excess material from your 3D printed objects.
Helps to remove oozing filament from a hot nozzle and to remove support. Great for removing 3D printed support material or cleaning up 3D Printer hot ends. Fine ends let you easily get to hard to reach places.
An adhesive is required to keep object in place during printing. It can be glue or hair spray. Stick glue is recommended for use on a build plate, heated or not heated. Prevents warping. A strong type of glue stick works better.
Must have tools. Preferably a set for all kind of tasks: to cut, clean, adjust, etc. These are used to cut the filament and to remove support. Different size of plier ends helps to get hard-to-reach parts.
A spanner is used when changing the nozzle.
It is very important to store filament correctly. Extra moisture ruins the quality of 3D printing material. Desiccant should be always added to airtight containers where the filament is stored. Excess moisture changes the quality of filament.
For those printers, which do not have a glass bed or smooth printing surface, masking tape is essential.
Helps to clean glass and other printing beds.
Hex aka Allen Key Set
An important tool for the maintenance of 3D printers. It is needed when changing extruder, adjusting the belts, fixing the heated build plate etc. We found that a hex key with a handle is especially comfortable to work with when dealing with a DIY 3D printer kit like Original Prusa i3 MK2.
This is a necessary protection during nozzle cleaning. Blocked nozzle may accumulate pressure inside which can cause a burst of molten filament.
Make sure there is a smoke detector within a proximity of your 3D printer. There are both a complex electical device and high temperatures involved in the process.
Fire Extinguisher ABC class
Can be used when sanding and spray painting for example.
Disposable gloves good for any sort of dirty work including 3D printed object postprocessing. Spray Painting for example.
Optional 3D Printing Tools
For some 3D printers kaption tape is essential tool. High temperature resistant tape for heated printing beds.
Helps to clean your prints from strings caused by oozing.
Easily embeds metal items into your plastic print, for example, bolts.
Sandpaper helps to smooth out your prints. Please note that it may discolour and leave dark marks on your object. If a print is decorated further, sandpaper is one of your essential tools.
Electronic Digital Caliper
Good for measuring filements and objects. High precision measuring device. Offers extreme accuracy. The numbers displayed on the LCD screen are clear, large and easy to read. Can be used to measure length, depth, external and internal scope.
Phone or Camera Holder
For amazing time-lapse videos
Mini photo studio for the best pictures.
Good for filling in the holes in your print and for other decoration purposes.
This tool smooths sharp or rough edges after a brim or support is removed. It is less dangerous to use this tool compared to a knife. It is also less messy than sand paper.
3D Printing Tools in Action
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