Tools for the Job
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
From working on your 3D Printer to cleaning up your prints, many tools are useful to have. Let's go over some of the tools you should have available and why you need them.
Hex Key and Screwdrivers
Odds are your printer came with some Hex Keys and Screwdrivers already, or you already have them at home. If not, these will come in handy when working on your machine. Keep in mind that regular maintenance on your machine will ensure that it will stay running in tip-top shape and keep producing high-quality prints!
This selection of Hex Keys may be more than you need for just your printer, but you never know when you need a Hex Key of different sizes.
Just like Hex Keys, having a good set of various Screw Drivers around the house is always handy. You'll most likely need the smaller flathead for your printer.
You'll need a Fixed Wrench if you lost one, don't have one, or need a spare! This wrench is handy for nozzle replacement.
Keeping your nozzle clean is critical for proper extrusion and good print quality. This kit helps clear out anything stuck. The tweezers are great for grabbing globs of filament off a hot nozzle.
Copper brushes are the best way to clean the hot end, and you will need to clean it! Make sure you clean it well if you have to change your nozzle, especially if you end up with a big blog around the hot end.
If you end up with a filament oozing out of your hot end, use this video as a guide for cleaning and replacing the PTFE Tube and Nozzle.
One handy tool to have is a deburring tool. Use this tool to clean holes, curved edges, or straight edges. The tool shines if you had to use a brim for a print. This particular deburring tool has multiple blades in a handy storage case. I would suggest printing out some test prints, or maybe using failed prints, to practice on so you don't end up with jagged edges while trying to clean your print.
Here is a quick video on how this works with a print that had a brim:
Sandpaper is needed if you want to smooth your print and remove the layer lines before painting. You'll want different grits to choose from, and you'll want to be able to wet sand as well. Depending on your part, you may want a handheld electric sander, but watch that you don't melt the part by accident.
Here is a great resource on how to sand your print job to a finished surface:
Other Useful Tools
You need to have a Digital Caliper if you are 3D printing. This is used for calibration and to verify that your print sizes are correct.
Hair Spray, Glue Stick, or Painters Tape are used to help with bed adhesion.
Sometimes prints stick and need a little help getting off the bed. That's where these Spatulas come in handy!