Recently on Creative Bloq, we've been looking at 3D printers, in the following posts:
- 5 great 3D printers designers can afford (opens in new tab)
- 3 great desktop 3D printers for clutter-free designers (opens in new tab)
- 3 great 3D printers for the budget-conscious designer (opens in new tab)
- The best 3D printers for those with cash to spare (opens in new tab)
But buying your printer is just the start of things to come. Here we offer 10 tips for beginners wishing to get to grips with 3D printing...
01. Get a good first layer
One of the most critical parts in 3D printing is getting a good first layer; this sets up a solid foundation for the rest of your model and can save problems later on in the print.
To ensure a great first layer, ensure the nozzle is close enough to the print bed. Level the bed and get it close to the surface. Make sure you have an effective adhesion so the model sticks.
02. Check your quality settings
Unless you are 100 per cent sure everything is perfect about your 3D print, when you print it for the first time, ensure the printer is set to the lowest quality setting. You don't want to find out after hours of printing that an object is the wrong size.
03. Use the right materials
Make sure your printer's profile is right for the plastic you are using as they will all require individual settings. For example, if you're printing using ABS plastic, make sure you preheat your build platform to its maximum temperature as this will help prevent edge curling. Also read our easy guide to 3D printing materials (opens in new tab).
04. Check the callibration
Don't assume your new 3D printer is calibrated correctly on delivery. Do the necessary checks before starting, such as testing for a level printing surface, proper clearance from the nozzle to the bed, the correct printer is configured in the software and the bed dimensions are set in the software. If any of these are out, it'll be a waste printing.
05. Keep it clean
As with all machinery, the key to longevity is maintenance. Keeping your printer well-looked after will ensure perfect 3D prints and extend its lifespan. Remember to clean your build platform of old adhesive regularly to ensure the object you're printing sticks properly. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of 3D printing.
Next page: five more tips for 3D printing beginners...