4 Things You Should Know Before Your First 3D Print

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Have you just gotten your first 3D printer? Congratulations! Before you start your first 3D print, we’ve compiled some simple things you should know about filaments, print beds, and more!

Slower Is Usually Better

Using a 3D printer for the first time is extremely exciting, and it’s common to want to rush things. However, in most cases, slower is better. Printer owners will have to input the slicer settings before their first 3D print and should know that setting the print speed too fast can lead to numerous problems.

The faster the print speed, the less detailed and durable the print will be. Too slow, though, and the filament may get clogged, so the typical starter speed is between 50–60 millimeters per second. A faster print speed is fine for simple designs, but if you want something more intricate and sturdy, err on the slow side.

PLA Is a Great Filament for Beginners

One of the first choices that new 3D print hobbyists have to make is which filament to use. Unfortunately, choosing the incorrect filament is also one of the most common 3D printing mistakes. Many filament options exist, but PLA is usually the best choice for beginners.

PLA is easy to work with for beginners because it melts at a low temperature, so it doesn’t need a heating bed and has minimal warping. Plus, PLA is available in numerous colors, doesn’t emit odors, and is bio-degradable, so it’s environmentally friendly!

The Print Bed Must Be Level

There are certain things that many 3D printing beginners take for granted, such as the balance and level of the print bed. If the print bed isn’t level, it can cause problems like clogging, uneven layers, and poor adhesion. Getting an auto-leveling bed for new 3D printers is generally best to save the trouble and challenge of frequent manual adjustments.

Manually adjusting the bed level is difficult for even experienced 3D printer owners, but it does help them learn more about their machines. But if you’re starting your 3D printing journey and want to master the basics first, get an auto-leveling 3D printer. 

You Won’t Immediately Be Perfect

Some people assume that 3D printing is as simple as switching it on and letting it create intricate and detailed designs. However, every 3D printer owner must go through some trial and error when they start, especially with the more complex designs.

If your first 3D print models don’t come out perfect, don’t worry—you’re not alone! Part of the fun of 3D printing is the challenge of creating detailed and unique designs and the problem-solving that comes with fixing the mistakes of past prints. If you’re having trouble, other owners are the best resource for new 3D printer owners. There are also a variety of printing services available for projects where you need expertise, advanced equipment, or large batches produced.

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Brenda Coles
I'm an elementary school teacher who became a stay-at-home mother when my first child was born. I love to write about lifestyle, education, and news-related topics.