★ 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.
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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.
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 :
Fillamentum Extrafill PLA is probably my favorite filament to print with. The filament is spooled immaculately on clear spools, the color choices are unique, plentiful and just some of the prettiest choices around.
MatterHackers BUILD & PRO serie s PLA : MatterHackers provides excellent filaments in both the lower (BUILD) and higher (PRO) price range. Filaments come in a wide range of colors/materials, so you'll spend less time diagnosing failed prints and more time printing awesome models! Both BUILD and PRO PLA print equally great, but the PRO PLA seems to have more opaque colors and color consistency. Fast, free shipping in the US. (The Light Blue PRO PLA is my favorite blue for sure!)
Besides 3D Printers and Pens, there are many tools that I consider essential for 3D printing and design. Here are some of my selections :
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.