3D Printing Tips and 3D Printer Accessories
Successful 3D printing does not only depend on the machine and materials used, good results can be achieved by using some accessories designed for the 3D printing process. Diverse and varied, they will improve the user experience. They are used before or after the printing process itself, whether to prepare the 3D model or to facilitate post-processing after the part has been created. We have prepared a list of some 3D printer accessories that will help you get better results!
3D Printer Accessories before 3D Printing
The Digital Caliper
To have a perfect draft of the desired object, it is sometimes necessary to take very precise measurements. Even more so if the output needs to be assembled with other parts. In order to increase efficiency and accuracy, there is nothing like a digital caliper that will give you the exact dimensions of your design.
If you don’t have a passion for design and 3D modeling is not yet your cup of tea, you can use a 3D scanner to get your 3D file directly. With a few movements, you will have a digital image to use for printing. There exist many accessible and easy-to-use scanners on the market, an ideal 3D printer accessory for all beginners!
Remote Control Solutions
Some 3D printers do not have WiFi connectivity to transfer the 3D model from the computer to the printer, which requires the use of SD cards or USB cables. Therefore multiplying the trips between the two machines, which can damage the user experience. This is why print control systems have been developed, such as Astroprint. They allow you to connect your 3D printer to your computer or smartphone, all in Bluetooth. Printing can then start at the click of a button and be remotely controlled if you combine the solution with a camera.
3D Printer Accessories during Printing
An Additional Printing Tray
In order to print several parts easily and quickly continuously, it is useful to have another printing tray. This means that the tray can be exchanged without having to remove the printed parts from it, saving time. A glass plate is recommended because it can withstand higher temperatures and has a smoother surface, which will improve the final surface condition of the part.
Improving Adhesion to the Tray
The adhesion of the filament to the 3D printing plate is a key aspect during the creation process of your part. The higher the adhesion, the better the object will be formed and as a result detachable, thus reducing the risk of damage. An adhesive tape can be used that is easily glued, making it easier to remove the part from the tray. You can also opt for an aerosol adhesive, 3DLac, which is quicker to apply.
Protecting yourself from emissions
Some 3D printers have closed covers or enclosures that protect the user from the emissions created during printing. This is a definite advantage that offers greater safety, reduces odours and thus improves the user experience. There is an interesting alternative for all 3D printers that do not have this integrated filtration system: Zimpure from Zimple. It is a small 3D printer accessory to connect to your office machine that will suck up toxic particles as close as possible to the nozzle, thus considerably reducing emissions during printing.
Cleaning up your 3D printer
Like any machine, a 3D printer needs to be cleaned regularly if you expect good long-term results. In nozzles, for example, materials can easily get stuck or on the tray, adhesive residues can be found. There are cleaning kits for the extruder part; for your tray, you can use isopropyl alcohol.
3D Printer Accessories Post Printing
A spatula is recommended to remove the print from its tray, even if you have used adhesive. It will prevent you from scratching the tray or damaging the part. Different spatula shapes are available depending on the printed parts.
Small Knives and Pliers
When printing objects that have a high level of detail, it often requires a slightly longer and more detailed post-processing job because the part is not as detailed when it leaves the printer. For a perfect result, you can use a small knife and pliers to remove excess material.
Some Solutions for a Better Finish
When a part comes out of the 3D printer, you often see its laminated appearance and roughness, even though more and more machines tend to reduce this. By using acetone, you can obtain a smooth and polished surface. A thin layer of chemical product will suffice for a better finish. Be careful, however, acetone is not compatible with all materials! You can also choose sandpaper which will allow you to better define the details but will represent a longer post-processing job. Different grain sizes are available depending on the desired results.
Which of these 3D printer accessories do you already use? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Sign up for our free weekly Newsletter, all the latest news in 3D printing straight to your inbox!