While FDM printing doesn't need as many accessories as resin printing, it can certainly benefit from a few helpful tools. We've put together an ever-expanding list of "must-have" items that will make your printing days easier.
- Bed adhesion king: Magigoo
- Keep your filament dry: Esun Filament box
- For your storage: Dessicant
- Keep those edges clean: Deburring tool
- Lowtech sticky: Aquanet hairspray (2 pack)
- Quick release: Elmers Gluestick
- Perfect cuts: Xuron Flush cutters
- Smoothing time: Assorted sandpapers
- Easy removal: BuildTak removal tool
I have been using Magigoo for a good long while now, and there is nothing quite like it on the market today. I manage to get over 100 prints out of one tube, and none of them failed due to loss of adhesion. If you want your prints to stay put, use Magigoo.
The eSun filament box is a handy little gadget to store the filament you are using. It allows you to keep your filament warm, thus reducing the moisture in it while you print, and it doubles up as a helpful spool holder. Its secret weapon, though, is the scales. Because you know the weight of the filament that is inside the eBox, you can know your filament won't run out mid-print, and that's worth its weight in gold.
Storing filament correctly is essential. If you get too much moisture in your PLA, it will start to break, or just print terribly. The best way is to use a gallon zip lock bag with a couple of desiccant packets in. This will keep the filament moisture free for a long while.
Brims are a useful way to hold your print to the bed, and the first layer can sometimes cause something called elephant foot. The first layer is extra squishy, so prints very wide. A deburring tool allows you to remove excess material around the edges, making them look much more beautiful.
This is a crazy low-tech solution that works amazingly well. The Aquanet hairspray helps to hold your print to the print bed and can be easily washed off with warm water. It's a cheap way to help your prints stay grounded.
While Elmer's glue can be used to hold your prints to the bed, it is used primarily to help with release. Some materials can stick to the bed so hard that they break when you try to remove them. Elmer's glue lets you release your prints safely without risking a break.
Cutters are used in many different aspects of 3D printing. Cutting filament, clearing clogs, trimming supports, and cutting stray strigs are just some of the ways a good set of flush cutters can help you. I currently have seven pairs of differing sizes, but the Xuron ones are my go-to.
Even the best filament print is likely to need post-processing, especially if you want to paint it or use it for cosplay. You need to sand, and you need to start low and work up to smoother sandpapers. This box has every grit you need to smooth out even the roughest PLA.
Every tool's a hammer
If you only pick up one of these items, make it the Magigoo bed adhesive. The magic formula sticks almost any print to the build plate, and yet makes it simple to release the print after completion. For a low tech version of Magigoo, you can pick some Aquanet hairspray to do something similar. The water-based hairspray is easy to clean from the bed and works well in conjunction with a substantial brim.
While it's a little pricey, the eSun eBox is an excellent way to keep your filament dry and in the best condition. It also has a scale inside that helps you determine how much filament you have left so you won't run out before your print finishes!
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