When you’re just getting started with your 3D printer, you’re super-excited about the prints to come. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming. Luckily, there are quite a few 3D printing tips and tricks that you can try to make your prints the best they can be.
Using 3D printing can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, it can become disheartening if you’re not getting the results that you want, and even dangerous if you aren’t careful. We will explore seven of the most useful 3D printing tips and tricks. With these suggestions, you will learn how to get the quality prints that you want:
Tip #1: Always Put Your Safety First
As with any other equipment out there, it’s important to be safe around a 3D printer. For the most part, this type of printer is no more dangerous than any other electrical device. Just make sure to keep kids and pets away from it, don’t use it near water, and watch for any frayed cords and the like. There are a few things you should be aware of, however, before you begin using your 3D printer.
Tip #2: Never Leave Your Printer Unattended
Since 3D printers provide virtually no feedback when they are printing, they have no way of knowing, or letting you know that your build platform is being shredded. They don’t know that they aren’t working properly, so it’s up to you to keep and eye on them.
It’s super-important to keep kids, pets, fingers, and hands away from the operating 3D printer as well. It has no way of knowing there is an obstruction in the way of its printing, and someone could get injured easily. To avoid this from happening, keep an eye on your 3D printer, and keep hands, feet, and anything that could be injured far away.
Tip #3: Have a High-Quality Smoke Detector
3D printers are known to have moving parts that heat to extremely high temperatures. This high heat is what melts the plastic, or the filament as it is known. It is strongly encouraged that anyone who has a 3D printer install a high-quality smoke detector in their home or office.
While fires are not common with 3D printers, it’s still best to err on the side of caution and have a smoke detector in the room where printing will take place. Since smoke detectors are relatively inexpensive, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind when printing.
Tip #4: Good Ventilation is Key
Having good ventilation is one of the most useful 3D printing tips and tricks to remember. During recent studies, it was found that 3D printers produce airborne particulate matter, that humans can end up inhaling. That’s why it’s essential, and good practice, to only print in a well-ventilated area. If at possible, it’s best to have a window open to let in fresh air, whenever you’re printing.
Tip #5: Keep the 3D Printer Clean
You can’t expect to get quality prints or to be safe with your 3D printer if you don’t keep the machine clean. It’s important to pay close attention to the printer’s build surface, as this is what holds your print as it’s being printed. It’s not only one of the most vital parts of your printer, it’s also the one that is the most neglected, resulting in safety issues, and low-quality prints.
There are two common build surfaces for 3D printers out there. These are PEI’s and glass. No matter which build surface you have, it’s important to keep it as clean as possible at all times, during and between prints.
Tip #6: Do Some Research
If you want to get good prints from your clean and well-taken care of 3D printer, it’s never a bad idea to first do some research. There are plenty of forums to ask questions in, as well as books and articles out there that you can read to find out what you need to know to make safe, yet high-quality prints. Remember, just like any other electrical appliance in your home or office, you have to learn to use a 3D printer as well.
Tip #7: Help and Support Are Always Available
3D printing is fun, but it’s anything but simple. It’s in fact, a very complex process that involves many parts. You’re going to have many failures before you make your first successful print. However, you’re not alone in those mistakes. Reach out for support anytime you feel you need it and do it together.
These are just a few safety tips and tricks for 3D printing beginners. Remember, safety should always come first with your prints, and the rest will naturally follow. Until next time, happy 3D printing, to one and all.