3d Printing Tools and How They Can Make Your Life Easier!

3d Printing Tools and How They Can Make Your Life Easier!

So once again you find yourself browsing the web looking at the incredible creations the masses have been creating on their printers, so you did the crazy thing and went and bought yourself a printer!  After a few runs of printing some more cool things you found, you realized that 3d printing comes with its fair share of struggles. To combat these struggles, we turn to our primal instincts. To what separates humans from most living things in the universe. We turn to tools. Like most things, there are a LOT of tools that can be helpful here in 3d printing. Expensive tools that we find at hardware stores to tools that we can create on our own printer! So what tools you ask? 

Well, first and probably the most obvious.... 

A Computer!!

Whether you call this a tool or not, having a 3d printer with no computer to slice your prints on or download your gcodes to your drive with can be a REAL hassle. For those who yonder the creative side of printing, you'll need a computer with design software or autocad to make your creations. Though for the typical nerd who just wishes to print cool stuff from the interwebz, you wont need anything to hefty! A simple laptop with a slicing software like Cura or Slic3r will do the trick!

Hmm.. next on the list I'd definitely have to say...

Allen Keys! Or Hex Keys! Whatever you may call them. You probably received a small set of these with your 3d printer for assembly purposes! Coming from a relatively experienced printer-man, I can confidently tell you that you can NEVER have enough of these laying around. You'll notice there will be times when you have to make physical adjustments to your printer. Though pretty universal, there will be several different sizes of Hex keys needed to perform this task. So don't be afraid to stock up on hex keys and store them somewhere safe and easy to find!

Next on this list, let's go with... 


The mighty SPATULA! With every print, you'll notice often that sometimes... your beautiful creation just doesn't want to come off the print bed! So we reach in our tool bag for this convenient tool! Most printers come with a little scraper, but investing in a better spatula will help you pull those fresh prints off your print bed! While hopefully preserving print quality! Spatulas also come in handy scraping excess filament from your printing surface!  

Another cool thing to have would definitely be...

A totally-not-fancy-little-pair of needle nose pliers! Pliers come in handy in several different scenarios. They can be handy when loading new filament through your extruder, making printer adjustments, cutting excess filament, or cutting excess from your prints! Printing aside, owning a pair of pliers will help with MANY different tasks! A definite MUST for your tool stand!

A big thing to own...

A box to store your filaments in. Some people argue that it pays to drop big money on a nice climate-controlled storage box for your filaments. Realistically you simply need a place to store your filaments so it avoids dust from collecting on it, damage, and prevent swelling from humidity and water vapors. Not to mention having a nice place to store your filaments goes a LOOONNGG way when it comes to keeping your printing area neat and organized! Ask any person who delves into printing, space organization can become a nightmare if you allow it to be! 

ANOTHER important thing to have... 

A Glue Stick! After a while, you'll get to experience the joy  of watching your print nozzle yank a print or two off of your print bed due to bad adhesion. What do we do about bad adhesion? We MAKE the adhesion. Glue sticks create a sticky yet smooth surface for your first few print layers to latch on to to prevent those oh-so-fun print failures! With fewer failed prints you're not wasting filament. When you're not wasting filament you are saving big moneyz! A win-win! So go throw it in your toolbox! Right now! What are you waiting for? 

Another must have would be..

A Nozzle Cleaning Kit! Can be found in many hobby stores and conveniently on most of the big shopping sites such as Amazon. All to often, our nozzles get dirty or clogged by old nasty filaments! Instead of fighting these occurrences with  cheap solutions like wires, it's worth investing the moneys into getting yourself a Cleaning Kit. Don't let your prints fail because of poor nozzle maintenance! Go grab yourself a kit now!

For the time being, LASTLY, 

A Tool Stand! So you have a neat, organized location to store these tools you've recently acquired! Remember the importance of organization we talked about earlier? Don't forget! One cool thing about this tool, is it is something you can create with the printer itself! Gcodes for tool stands and hooks exist everywhere online for you to download for your printing shop convenience! A definite must for that all important organization. Can't have you losing all these tools you just got!


So these are the tools you will need to get going! Eventually you will find your 3d printing tool bag growing with tools such as calipers, sandpapers, carving tools, and other fancy items that help you with 3d design and working with the prints themselves. Most of the items here can easily be acquired either at hardware stores, or taking the easy route by buying them online and having them shipped to your door. As always, it's a pleasure writing for everyone. Good luck on your 3d printing journey!


Does all this fancy 3d printing talk sound foreign to you? Just getting into the mad mad world of additive manufacturing? Was that word weird? Yes, but anyway, go check out our How-To section where you can read our monthly blogs on everything you need to know about 3d printing! And don't forget to go browse our totally awesome catalog of cool stuff! Every month brings new and exciting items to put in the store!

See you Next Month!

- Jonah

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