Are you interested in getting started in the world of 3D printing? Your answer might well be yes, but you just feel that you don’t know how to get started. Perhaps you’ve already sourced your printer and are just looking for good ways to start making use of it. Whatever your current stage of involvement, the following tips you should find quite useful.
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1. Research and Invest in Good Filament
3D printers and the job they do is only really as good as the quality of the materials that one uses. Therefore, top quality ASA 3D printing filament is really a must. Other factors such as layer height when printing will be important in determining how well your first 3D-printed models turn out, but at least investing in a top-quality filament is a great start.
Look into different filament materials and what they offer and compare that to your current level of knowledge, and your current expectations on what you hope to get out of your new 3D printing hobby.
2. Make Sure You Know How to Level Your Print Bed
One of the most fundamental skills you have to learn when 3D printing is how to level your print bed. The print bed is the “floor” of your printer onto which your model will be printed. If it’s not exactly level, then it could well translate to imperfections in your final model from the first layer. If the first layer isn’t done well, then it will carry on through all the other layers getting progressively worse.
You can level the print bed manually or automatically. The automatic function is obviously great to start with and will ensure that you get good early results. However, at some point you should also learn how to manually level the bed so that you have that skill on hand.
3. Learn About Cleaning and Printer Maintenance
Keeping the 3D printer spotless inside is another key point of care that you’ll need to master. Two areas in particular that need close attention are the printing nozzle head, and the print bed. The nozzle needs to be cleaned to prevent clogging, which can cause serious disruption during the printing process. If the print bed isn’t cleaned after each job, then remnants of filament from previous jobs can create an uneven surface, which as we mentioned above will negatively affect the quality of all print jobs that come after it.
4. Find a Design Software You Like and Explore in Depth
There are many different options when it comes to printing software, but it’s important that you find one that you’re comfortable with and then spend time getting familiar with that and mastering its features. If you try to be the Jack of all trades with the various design software options, you’ll most likely just end up being a master of none.
5. Don’t Run Before You Can Walk
It’s important not to overstretch when you’re just starting out in 3D printing. Getting overly ambitious with projects is a fast way to ensure that you make big mistakes that could even put you off from continuing. Start with simple projects that will deliver good results. Seeing your own good work will spur you on to keep doing more.
6. Get Your Filament Storage Solution Right!
One more aspect of printer care and maintenance that you need to master is printing filament storage. Unlike a regular ink or toner cartridge, filament is loaded in for each printing job so that you can print in different colours or styles each time. The rest of your filament therefore needs a place to be safely stored. There are many ways to store filament, but at least be sure to keep it in a cool, dry location. Moisture is the biggest enemy with printing filament.