3D printers have taken the world by storm, becoming more accessible and available to anyone invested in the concept. It gives you the power to produce whatever you can imagine right in your room. However, being a very new piece of technology means that many beginners can struggle. That is what we are here to help you with, providing you with a list of 3D printing tips and tricks for beginners. Considering the vast amount of information on 3D printing available on the internet, we narrowed it down to 15. These tips and tricks should help you better understand your 3D printer and how you can get the most out of it. So, let us dive into the article.
3D Printing Tips And Tricks For Beginners
These tips will help improve the quality of your 3D prints and make the 3D printing process much more manageable.
A Good First Layer
A good tip for anyone new to 3D printing is to get an excellent first layer done. It sets a foundation for your 3D print to work from. Furthermore, it can even prevent many problems you can find further down the printing process.
It is a crucial 3D printing quality tip, as it will affect the later layers tremendously and the end quality of your print. To get a solid first layer, ensure that the printer nozzle is close enough.
Keeping The Filament Dry
Another crucial 3D printing beginner tip for anyone getting into the 3D printing hobby is taking proper care of your filaments. Filaments for 3D printing are mostly hygroscopic. Thus they are prone to absorbing moisture from their surroundings. Keeping your filament dry guarantees optimal performance. Furthermore, having a dry filament prevents a poor print surface texture. Check our post “Can 3D Printer Filament Go Bad? How long does filament last?” to find out what to do if filaments get damped.
Reducing Your Print Speed
Print speed has a significant effect on the quality of your end product. Where using a lower print speed improves the quality of your print. However, this results in the overall printing taking longer. It is an excellent 3D printing figurines tip as they usually do not require much time, so a slower print process will only benefit it. But, under normal circumstances, the time difference is not that significant. Unless your project is massive or you lower the speed far too much. If you are not sure about what’s the best printing speed, a speed test print would remove all doubts.
Calibrating The Bed Temperature And Nozzle
To get the best result while 3D printing, you should be mindful of the bed temperature (Find the best bed & nozzle temperature for different filaments in our previous post “What’s the Best 3D Printing Temperature for Filaments?“). Getting the bed temperature right increases your success rate and ensures the best quality. On the other hand, if your bed temperature is incorrect, you will find imperfections in your print, like bad surface quality or layer separation.
Calibration for the print temperature and nozzle is done by printing a temperature tower. This 3D model prints a tower with blocks that change temperature as it prints, calibrating both the nozzle and temperature.
You can find various bed surfaces that you can use for your 3D printer. Each of these surfaces has its own benefits to them. For example, PEI beds boast easy print removal and do not require the use of adhesives. The most popular bed surfaces currently available are Buildtalk, PEI, and glass. Each has its benefits, so pick one that suits your needs.
Divide Your Model Into Parts
Another trick that can help new 3D printing enthusiasts is splitting your model into two or more parts. It allows you to print much larger projects and maintains the overall quality. Software like Cura, Meshmixer, Blender, and Fusion 360 makes splitting the model easier.
Changing Your Nozzle
Maintenance is crucial no matter what machinery you work with. For 3D printers changing your nozzle is a standard part of maintenance. Furthermore, changing out a worn-out nozzle in your 3D printers can improve your printing quality.
Using An Enclosure
We highly recommend using an enclosure for your 3D printer, especially working with larger models. It may not be essential; however, it does prevent potential failures caused by drafts or changes in the temperature outside. There are also 3D printer models like our SP-5 that are designed with an optional enclosure.
Use A Larger Nozzle
We recommend switching to a larger model and doubling the layer height when working with a larger model. However, this results in a drop in quality, but you should opt to use a larger nozzle for large projects where detail is not as significant. Thus, due to producing almost half the number of layers, you can significantly reduce the print time.
Once you finish printing your model, you should further process it. It will result in a much cleaner finished product, known as post-processing. Typically post-processing involves cleaning up small zits/blobs and any other imperfections and removing the supports. You can go the extra mile and sand it down to eliminate the layer lines.
Warping is another common issue that beginners can encounter. It results in your model’s layers turning inwards from their corners. Beginners often experience it when they start 3D printing, leading to low-quality 3D prints.
The leading cause of this is rapidly changing temperatures or abrupt cooling. An enclosure can solve this issue quite quickly, but you can also try increasing or lowering the bed temperature to try and see if that solves the problem. You might also check our post “3D Printing Warping- 10 Tips to Prevent 3D Print from Warping” for more tips.
Learning And Research
No matter what you are looking to do, researching and learning can help you immensely. Watch YouTube videos and read more articles like this one to help you better understand your equipment. You should also look to other sources like the 3D printing help forum or 3D printing tips on Reddit.
Having a good grasp of what they are and what they are not capable of can help you in future projects, so do your research.
It would be best to handle your 3D printer with care as you can injure yourself while using it. Firstly, the nozzle on your device can get very hot, so be careful not to touch it, or you can end up burning yourself. Furthermore, many filaments can produce harmful fumes when heated, so we recommend using an enclosure when working with Polycarbonate, Nylon, and ABS.
Start with PLA Filament
Despite it not being as popular among other 3D printing enthusiasts, PLA is an excellent filament for beginners. It provides a decent level of surface quality, is easy to use, and is biodegradable. It makes it perfect when you start 3D printing, so you practice using PLA before moving on to more complex projects with other filaments(Check our post “Ultimate Guide On 3D Printer Filaments” to learn more about different filaments).
Lastly, bed leveling plays a significant role in 3D printing. The level of your bed sets the foundation for the rest of your project. You can still prepare a proper model without leveling your bed. However, there is a very high chance it will fail. Before printing anything, make sure your bed is completely flat and stays that way throughout the printing process. One most popular bed leveling tech is the paper test as following video.
In this article, we went over some excellent 3D printing tips and tricks for beginners. With this, we are arming you with the tools and information you need to set off on your 3D printing journey. We hope that you enjoyed the article and that it was helpful. Thank you and Goodluck!