Tools and accessories for 3D printing at a glance

Technical devices like 3D printers are not free from errors and complications. Therefore, it is advisable to always have a certain selection of tools and accessories for your own printer in the house. We have listed the most important tools and accessories below and present them to you clearly.

The most important in a nutshell

  • Whether it’s a minor incident or a major problem: Tools and accessories are essential for 3D printing fans
  • In many cases, unconventionally, various household items can be used as support
  • The specialized trade offers 3D printing fans rows and rows of suitable tools and accessories.

Accessories and tools for 3D printing enthusiasts

Accessories and tools for your 3D printer are available in countless variants and variations. We have listed the most important accessories and tools for you below. Not all of it is mandatory. However, many parts can make your everyday life with your printer much easier. And you may even have one or two of them in your household already.

3D pen

A 3D pen is a cool gadget for 3D printing enthusiasts. The pens are filled with filament and allow you to create three-dimensional projects. As with a classic 3D printer, you can also choose from different filament colors and variants. Some pens classically rely on ABS or PLA, while more modern pens use nylon or polycarbonate.

Wire stripper

The use of wire strippers is virtually indispensable in 3D printing and in the entire electronics sector. With this, for example, you can easily strip the cables of fans to the appropriate length or use it for thicker power cables. The use is very easy: Insert the cable, adjust the length and press firmly.

Acetone

Acetone is a toxic and at the same time highly flammable liquid. However, the colorless agent is versatile in 3D printing and is used, for example, as a solvent. You can use acetone to give matt objects a shine. For this purpose, you can resort to a so-called acetone bath as well as to processing with acetone vapor.

Storage boxes

Storage boxes are useful in more ways than one. For one, you can use them to keep your print samples safe and secure. On the other hand, you can use the storage boxes to protect your filament from moisture or other external influences.

Crimping Pliers

Similar to a wire stripper, the crimping tool is also a useful tool for all 3D printer owners. With the help of these pliers you can easily cut cables, strip wires or crimp insulated and non-insulated connectors.

Precision mechanic files

To literally put the finishing touches on your models, you should resort to precision mechanic files. You can use these to make final embellishments, for example, or to apply fine contours to your models. In the best case, you resort to a file set that contains different files. Included should be, for example, a round file, circular file, clasp file, triangular file, half-round file, bowl file and a tapered flat file.

Fabric tape

Fabric tape is, in a sense, a real all-rounder and can be used in many different ways in the electronics sector. The tape is also known as Duct Tape or Armor Tape and is known for its tremendously strong hold. This is suitable, for example, for sealing, insulating or for quick repair.

Rough files

Coarse files are also used for processing the printed products. In the best case, however, you can also process fine models with the coarse files and possibly save yourself the deburring. Here, too, it is advisable to use a set consisting of several files of different types.

Hand deburrer

A hand deburrer is a very practical and at the same time easy to use tool in 3D printing. This is particularly suitable for the removal of filament residues such as brim. But also for deburring curves. Such a deburrer is therefore used after the actual printing process and for the final processing of the printed objects. If you place a lot of value on a fine finish, you almost can’t do without a hand deburrer.

Allen wrench

There are probably only a few 3D printer owners who do not have an Allen wrench in their household. If you are not one of them, you should get one as soon as possible. This wrench fits into the hexagonal head of the associated screws. Thus also at the same time in one of the most important screws in 3D printing. This is installed in numerous models. If you don’t want to make your life unnecessarily difficult, the purchase of an Allen wrench is a must.

Isopropanol

Isopropanol is pure alcohol. Although this is known not to be a solution, isopropanol is indeed a solvent. This can be used, for example, for cleaning surfaces or for removing resins and grease. If you use a resin printer, your products will be cleaned with isopropanol after printing.

Kapton tape

Kapton tape or polyimide adhesive tape is primarily intended to improve adhesion to the print bed. For this purpose, the adhesive tape is applied directly to the print bed, thus ensuring better adhesion of the printouts. In 3D printing, Kapton tape has been tried and tested for many years and is used by numerous 3D printing enthusiasts.

Cat litter

Cat litter, in a sense, is already a well-known tool in the 3D community. This is mainly used for the storage of filaments. In a box with cat litter, this ensures that the moisture does not act in the filament. In many cases, the cat litter is also first filled into a sock, which is then attached to the filament box.

Piano string to clean the nozzles

Print nozzles have to be cleaned sooner or later on 3D printers. The fine nozzles are often enormously narrow. Therefore, optimally suited for cleaning are, for example, piano strings. These can be easily pushed into the openings and are used to clear them again for new tasks. Suitable piano strings are mainly for cleaning light clogs. And thus a good alternative to the special cleaning filaments.

Soldering device

To connect several printed objects together after printing, a soldering device can be the appropriate solution. However, it should be noted that not all materials can be connected to these devices without problems. For joining PLA and PETG, for example, rotary welding with a Dremel is much more suitable.

Masks

To avoid endangering your own health, it is advisable to wear a respirator when using resin printers, for example. Such can be purchased both for single use and for multiple use with a replaceable filter. For newcomers, the disposable masks are usually quite sufficient. However, if you print intensively and a lot, you can save money with a reusable mask and a replaceable filter.

Needles – Very thin for the nozzle tip

With the help of needles, the nozzles of the 3D printers can be optimally cleared of dirt and blockages. Very thin needles are recommended for the nozzle tip, which allow gentle and at the same time effective cleaning. In many cases, the needles are available as a set and can be used for nozzles with different diameters. A pleasant side effect: In most cases, the needles are also suitable for maintaining the heat sink.

Oil

Oil is used in 3D printing primarily for the lubrication of the XY axes. In many cases, an oil is already available for the Z-axis, which is purchased with the printer. This is normally applied at regular intervals to ensure a smooth sound. It is important to pay attention to which oil is used. Many pressure fans use bed track oils, but they have a certain adhesive effect. In 3D printing, this is not absolutely necessary. As an alternative, resin-free sewing machine oil or precision mechanic’s oil from the hardware store can also be used.

Tweezers

Although the tweezers are a comparatively small tool, they bring a great benefit. In many cases, the tweezers are provided and can thus be optimally used for cleaning and maintenance of the nozzles. It is also possible to use them to clean the 3D printer bed or remove excess support material.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is often combined with OctoPrint’s offering for 3D printing. This combination makes it possible to manage the print settings of your own device much more flexibly. It is also possible to monitor printing processes in a targeted manner. The result is an overall higher print quality, which at the same time is made possible by comparatively simple installation.

Scraper

You may already be familiar with the problem yourself: Print objects can sometimes sit so firmly on the printing plate that it seems difficult to remove them without damaging them. It is precisely for these purposes that the scrapers or spatulas are used. With these thin devices, you can carefully separate your print object from the printing plate, preserving both undamaged.

Grease

You will learn the importance of grease when your 3D printer makes annoying and loud noises for the first time. These come from the ball bearings, which are literally crying out for a new lubrication. This is where the grease comes in, and you should especially use a grease with a high viscosity.

Screwdriver set

A screwdriver set with different sizes and heads should also be in your household. With these you can, for example, change the nozzle or loosen or tighten different screws. A tool that must not be missing.

Safety goggles

Safety glasses are essential, especially if you are using a resin printer. Printed products are first cleaned here with isopropanol. It is not uncommon for a spray bottle to be used, as rags and cloths are usually not suitable for cleaning in the corners. However, care should be taken when using the spray bottle. Even small amounts of isopropanol in the eye can be harmful. Safety glasses are therefore essential in terms of safety.

Hexagon socket wrench

With a hexagon socket wrench you are well prepared for all minor and major vulnerabilities of your printer. Such keys are included with many devices. However, these are not always particularly solid and durable designs. The fabric used should be hard enough so that it does not bend during use.

Side cutter

A side cutter is also a very versatile tool in 3D printing. This is used, for example, to divide the filament. In addition, the side cutters are also used, for example, for the removal of the support material. These are particularly helpful when the support material is close to the respective workpiece.

Scalpel

You can use a scalpel to remove support structures or brim from your parts. The scalpels are therefore also suitable for deburring the components, whereby you should be able to fall back on different blades and cutting edge geometries at best. In many cases, therefore, the purchase of a scalpel set is worthwhile. You should also make sure that there is a sharpening stone for resharpening the individual blades. As a rule, you can easily get into all corners of your component thanks to the differently shaped blades of the scalpels.

Carpet knife / Cutter knife

The carpet knives or cutter knives are, in a way, the alternative to a spatula. With these, too, you remove, for example, the brim from the print piece, small burrs from your component or the print piece from the print bed. However, newcomers in particular are advised to use a spatula. The sharp cutter knives can scratch the print bed in the worst case. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a cutter knife on hand with, at best, different attachments for deburring.

Webcam

Many print enthusiasts especially appreciate watching their equipment at work. However, this is not always possible. Many prints take a long time to complete. Only in exceptional cases is it then possible to follow the entire printing process live. The remedy in this case is a webcam. With this, you can track your entire printing process on the go. The nice thing is that it doesn’t always have to be a high-end device. Especially for the hobby and occasional printer, many simple devices are sufficient.

Wifi socket

A wifi outlet can be a smart help in this to better monitor the printing processes. Thus, once connected, these allow easy control via WLAN or even mobile device. Furthermore, the sockets mean that the printer can independently cut off its power supply if the print bed and nozzle overheat, for example. With the smart devices, voice control via Alexa or similar services is also possible. Some of these can also be used to receive status updates relating to printing. Nice to have – but of course not a prerequisite for generating 3D prints.

Pliers

Pliers in different sizes should normally be found in every household. Especially if you are using a 3D printer. The pliers can help you tremendously in holding or fixing hard to reach nuts in the corners of the equipment. In addition, the forceps are suitable for removing the support material, for example, or for getting a “grip” on it first. Depending on the required reach, it is advisable to use pliers with long or short tines.