The Toolbox for 3D Printing on your new 3D printer.

These are the tools for pretty much any FDM 3D printer.  From the Prusas, to Makerbots, to Anets, and printers in between.  If your printer uses a roll of filament, these are the tools I have found to make 3D printing easier.

There are a number of tools I use day in and day out on my 3D printing, and I consider them an integral part of my 3D printing toolbox.  Let’s start off with the two most used tools in this toolbox.

Number one, would be my cheap pair of long needlenose pliers ( Amazon | Aliexpress).  These let me reach out and pull the build up off the nozzle, grab that those tiny pieces out of the parts drawer, hold on to nuts while I tighten the head, and even hit the emergency stop on the Tevo Tarantula faceplate. Basically, I use these like tweezers, they are just heavier duty.  

The next tool I use a ton is a common Leatherman.  Mine is so old, they don’t make it anymore… but a similar version is the Rebar. ( Amazon ).  Aliexpress sells a multitool with the main tools I use.  I use the blade to scrape off extra “flash” if I print with brims, or I have strings.  I use the file to file down edges and remove burrs or add a little more clearance.  The wirecutter was used extensively when building my printer, and subsequent upgrades.  

Next up, is my hex key set.  ( Amazon | AliExpress ) I really do prefer the ball arm style hex wrenches.  It is not always easy to get straight in on a bolt, and these give you some “wiggle room” when it comes to your angle.  These really do make the builds go easier.  

Sometimes you have support that is difficult to reach.  In those instances, I reach for some precision Picks ( Amazon | AliExpress ).  It allows me to pull out the supports and reach them better with my needle nose pliers.  These are a more specialized use product.  

When cleaning up parts, I use the file on my Leatherman a lot.  But, when I have small pieces to get into, I use a small Needle File set ( Amazon | AliExpress ).  These are used to get into those nooks and crannies in a 3D print.  

Precision measuring lets you dial your 3D prints in.  A good Digital Caliper will let you get precise measurements in both Imperial and Metric ( Amazon | AliExpress ).  Use these to check the width of your filament, and the size of our calibration cubes.  

I use a plastic putty knife to get prints off the glass ( Amazon | AliExpress ).  This is a really nice way to avoid damage.  When that doesn’t work, I generally get out the leatherman knife.  I know that others use a pallet knife set ( Amazon | AliExpress ).

When calibrating your printer, it helps to know the temperatures you are dealing with.  To that end, an infrared thermometer is your go-to tool ( Amazon | AliExpress ).  I find it far easier than using a rectal thermometer while the hot end is moving.  

Locking Forceps or Hemostats are good for holding pieces in place ( Amazon | AliExpress ).  This is especially true when putting the printer together.  Awesome for holding the belt taut as you get the zip ties or other holder in place.

.4mm drill bits for cleaning the nozzle.  ( Amazon )  I use this to clean the nozzle out if I am having jams. This is easier than disassembling the hot end if I am running into problems.  I’ve seen that acupuncture needles work as well ( Ebay ) and even guitar Strings ( Amazon ).

In the realm of totally optional, but convenient is the Dremel ( Amazon | AliExpress ).  These allow you to sand down your creations quicker than using a file, and cut pieces off as well.  

There are more tools I use, but these are the most used tools, and a few others that I have seen used a lot.  The first two items are my #1 and #2 most used items when printing, but there are far more tools than those, in my 3D printing toolbox.

Go back to the 3D Printing Beginner’s Guide.