★ My Favorites ★
After years of printing and running my YouTube channel, I like to think I know a thing or two about 3D printing and design, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite tools to help out. As I continue to learn, I'll amend this list to stay as up-to-date as possible.
*Full disclosure* : Many products are listed using affiliate links that give me a small royalty for each sale. I am committed to keeping my opinions as unbiased as possible. They are based on my own preferences and what I actually use. These sales help me run my channel and this website.
You can use this Amazon link to give me a royalty on any purchases, regardless of what they are, at no additional cost to you. It's very much appreciated, thank you for your support!
Tevo Tornado : EU version $329.99 with code 'Tornados' ; US version $349.99 with code 'TornadoUS' until 02.15
CR-10 : EU version $369.99 with code '11CR10EU' ; US Version $369.99 with code '11CR10US' until 02.15
CR-10s : EU version $469.99 with code 'GBCR10SEU' ; US version $469.99 with code 'GBCR10S' until 02.15
Anycubic i3 Mega : $315.99 with code 'I3MEGA' until 02.15
Anycubic Kossel : $160 with code 'Kossel10' until 02.15
Anycubic i3 Mega : $364.99 with code 'bestdealus91' until 03.31
Best 3D Printers 2018
Today there are over a thousand 3D printer models out in the wild, making it impossible for anyone to try them all. That said, I have experience with more printers than the average hobbyist, so I've compiled this list of my favorite ones. Why not just list the best? Because there's no such thing! Whether you're most concerned about price, size, quality, ease of use, etc... you might prefer a different printer, but hopefully you'll find my notes helpful in making that decision.
WHY the CR-10 is my FAVORITE 3D printer
The CR-10 has quickly risen in popularity and has been acclaimed as the "Best 3D Printer" by many reviewers like myself. Looking at the specs, it's not hard to understand why. The CR-10 boasts a massive 300 x 300 x 400mm build volume not seen in many other printers in the sub $500 range. Additionally, assembly is super simple, since much of the printer is already assembled. It's just a matter of screwing the frame in place and plugging in various cables, then you're ready to print! I own 2 of these machines, and from my experience they just work. If you do encounter any problems, however, there is a massive Facebook group of over 18,000 CR-10 users happy to help.
The main downsides I've encountered with the CR-10 are that the build plate can take a while to reach temperature 60˚C (~5 minutes versus ~2.5 minutes for the Tevo Tornado), and since it's a Bowden extruder set-up, some flexible filaments will not print well. That said, if you're trying to make beautiful solid models big and small at a great price, the CR-10 is a most excellent choice!
Best 3D Pens 2018
I've expressed some frustration with 3D pens, not with how they function, but because many of them have lasted only a few hours, some only minutes! Still, they are a super unique tool that can create some great art, as well as a supplement for 3D printing. Here is my ranking :
Besides 3D Printers and Pens, there are many tools that I consider essential for 3D printing and design. Here are some of my selections :
- MatterHackers PRO series filament : MatterHackers filament is made with excellent quality standards and a wide range of colors/materials, so you'll spend less time diagnosing failed prints and more time printing awesome models! Fast, free shipping in the US.
- E-6000 industrial adhesive : While many people prefer cyanoacrylate (super glue) for connecting 3D printed parts, I find E-6000 to be an excellent alternative. It dries clear and slightly flexible, so connections are less brittle. A 1 hour working time also makes it less stressful than an instantly curing adhesive.
- UBANTE digital caliper : This is a tool I use any time I'm designing a model on my computer. I use it to measure parts when building functional parts, and even when making something from scratch, it's a useful reference to get an idea of the real world scale of my models. For a long time I used a cheap, plastic caliper, but upgrading to the UBANTE steel caliper greatly improved the accuracy of my measurements.
- Feeler gauge : While you can calibrate your printer's nozzle height with a regular old piece of copy paper, a feeler gauge is a relatively cheap way to improve the accuracy of your manual build plate tuning. I tend to use the .076mm gauge to get great bed adhesion.
- Tweezers : Most printers tend to leak a bit of filament while heating up the nozzle. While you can have the printer draw out a purge line or put a skirt around your model, little bits of filament can still get stuck here and there. A pair of pointed tweezers are great for picking things out from under your nozzle.
- Wire Clippers : Many printers come with a pair of these wire clippers because they are excellent for cutting filament. You want a clean end on your filament to prevent jams, so these are super handy.