Best 3D Printing Tools. 15 Things You Can Print and 15 Accessories You Need!

by Mike Brooks | Last Updated: January 9, 2022

The 3D printing industry has experienced massive growth over the years. The 3D printing industry witnessed extensive and costly 3D printers during its early years.

3D Printing Tools and Accessories

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Yet today, the 3D printer models remain compact, affordable, and relatively easy to use.

Significantly, successful 3D printing is not entirely dependent on the 3D printer model. To get the highest print quality, you will need to use a variety of 3D printing tools and accessories available in the market.

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3D printing professionals and enthusiasts believe that using the right 3D printer accessories enables you to turn even an average 3D printer into an excellent machine.

Also, accessories assure you that you will get the finished print precisely as desired. More importantly, accessories play several roles that may include removing support material, filing rough edges, and improving build plate adhesion.

So, accessories help you get the best experience from your 3D printer.

When you buy a 3D printer, you will need essential tools for printing and safety. As such, you need to know these necessary tools to avoid overspending money.

This article provides you with a list that gives you an idea of the tools you need. Equally, it helps you find the correct item that suits your printer needs.

Can You Make Tools With a 3D Printer?

Yes, you can make tools with your 3D printer. 3D printing your tools is possible, and many 3D printing hobbyists prefer making their tools to buying everything they need for their 3D printing.

Don’t get it wrong; you cannot 3D print available hammers and tools such as wire cutters using a desktop 3D printer.

Still, you can 3D print numerous functional tools and also 3D print rubber.

15 Best Things You Can 3D Print

1. Cross Tweezers

It is a set of tweezers that can be printed in place, and as such, does not need assembling. Equally, it features a cross in the structure of their tong.

The tweezers’ primary function remains to leverage the filament material’s natural rigidity to squeeze an object. However, you can use no available 3D printer settings to slide this model. Luckily, it is easy to come up with your settings.

Advisably, use a high infill density and layer height to manufacture strong tweezers.

After printing, cautiously remove the raft, brim, and support material not to damage the tweezers.

2. Hand-Screw Clamp

The hand-screw remains a popular model for good reasons. Its durability cannot match that of a standard wood-working clamp, although it demonstrates many 3D printing capabilities.

More importantly, it is fun to produce and conduct light clamping using this model.

Notably, it needs zero support structure, so no post-processing is required to assemble it after printing.

You need to use this hand-screw clamp cautiously to handle extreme stress. Moreso, when the clamp is manufactured using PLA material (view on Amazon).

So this hand-screw model should often be used for light clamping instead.

3. PCB Work Station With Articulated Arms

The PCB workstation has several articulation arms. Additionally, the components make it perfect when you are working with electronics.

If you are working on a PCB board and you need an extra arm, be sure to print the PCB workstation with articulated arms. It is truly an essential tool for this work.

4. Machine Vise

Machine vise is a fully 3D printed model. It remains a standout addition to any maker’s workshop.

To use it, turn the big knob in the base, clamp down, and hold on to what you are working on. Furthermore, machine vise remains a perfect and essential tool for your DIY project.

5. Wire-Stripper

If you want to solder a wire, you need to strip it to remove the rubber cover before exposing the copper strands. Also, you will need specific tools to strip the wire, and this DIY wire stripper remains one of the best alternatives.

To use the wire stripper, slip your wire through the opening in the assembly, and pull it away from the wire to rip off the rubber covering.

6. Center Finder

This 3D-printed essential tool helps you locate the center of the board or the beam you are working with. Everyone desires to deliver excellent work, and this 3D printable center finder will help you achieve precisely that.

7. Handle for Hex Key

The handle for the hex key is also referred to as an Allen key or wrench. To 3D print, the hex key, enter some specs into the customizer, and print.

Notably, the hex key is a simple hand tool that belongs to the spanner and socket family. You can use it to tighten and loosen hexagonal bolts and other compatible fasteners.

8. Wall Drilling Guide and Dust Collector

Wall drilling tends to generate a lot of dust and debris. As such, the wall drilling guide and dust collector remains an essential tool that can help you avoid this mess.

It is designed with a hole for the drilling bit. It also has a container similar to a bucket below the bore to collect dust and debris.

Also, there are no known printer tips for this design. Meaning, you will need to decide on your settings for this model.

9. Pump Hand Drill

The pump hand drill is an effective four-piece model used for drilling holes in materials. For obvious reasons, it cannot match the electricity-driven version commonly found in the market.

However, it remains one of the essential tools you can use when you want to drill holes in light materials.

10. Finger Wrench or Digital Caliper

As a maker, you constantly work around tight corners and hard-to-reach places. The 3D printed Finger wrench model, also known as a digital spanner, helps tighten a nut in such areas.

Additionally, the model will help you tighten nooks and crannies in challenging spots where an ordinary wrench will not work.

11. Hobby Knife

It is a 3D printable hand-held housing for a knife blade. You can use the tool for multiple tasks, such as cutting filaments and opening boxes.

It contains three printable components:

Its non-printable parts include the blade, nuts, and screws. 3D Printing the model is simple as the models are devoid of many details.

12. Customizable Sanding Stick

A customizable sanding stick proves essential when working on specific projects. There are four sample sticks that you can print.

However, if the sticks do not meet your requirement, you can make yours, then secure sandpaper to it using printable screws.

It is easy to print the model as it does not need any support material. Also, you can print the model using different materials at 50% infill or more.

13. Fully Assembled 3D Printable Wrench

As the name suggests, the wrench prints in one fully assembled piece, and there is minimal tinkering you can do.

Also, this 3D printable wrench contains functionality limits. However, it remains essential that you can 3D print.

14. Metric Screw Measuring Jig

If you build things, you will agree that knowing the type and size of screws remains essential for your trade.

So, the 3D printable metric screw measuring jig offers a great measuring mechanism through an integrated set of threads and labels. More significantly, the jigs can measure screws from M5 in size and 4 to 50mm in length.

15. 3D Printer Tool Stand

As a maker, you will appreciate that organizing your tools is key to succeeding in projects. Therefore, this 3D printable tool stand will help you organize and tidy up your workstation.

Is Owning a 3D Printer Illegal?

There is no recorded place in the world where 3D printers are illegal. Even in countries considered to be dictatorships, the availability of 3D printing is seen.

However, specific uses of 3D printers are outlawed. Significantly, those laws extend to other tools and technologies as well.

For example, it remains illegal to produce firearms with no metal component. Besides, this law safeguards against weapons production that conventional security devices cannot detect.

Another example is 3D bioprinting and pharma-printing. These are controlled by regulations that apply to conventional techniques and research.

Producing counterfeit items and currency remains an illegal undertaking and is duly prohibited.

More importantly, no country has attempted to outlaw the 3D printers and tools themselves.

Also, no government has attempted to control the registration and use of 3D printers.

Can You Use a Dremel on PLA?

Yes, you can use a Dremel on PLA!

One exciting aspect of modern 3D printing is that you can use FDM printers such as the Dremel to manufacture parts from a large selection of materials. These material ranges from PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, and many other plastics.

Along with ABS, PLA remains one of the most commonly used filament choices for many Dremel FDM printer users. You may want to use PLA as a plant-based polymer made from corn and sugar fibers.

Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer, Idea Builder for Hobbyists and Tinkerers - 3D20-01

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Additionally, the plant-base provides PLA with a pleasant smell when you heat it during the 3D printing process.

At the same time, it is not prone to warping in a print bed. Its resistance to warping makes PLA useful for 3D printing parts that need to be precise, such as small, low-impact moving parts.

Essential Tools in 3D Printing [Professional]

As a 3D printing hobbyist or professional, you will need several essential tools in your toolkit. Basic tools help you get the best from your 3D printer.

At the same time, these tools ensure that your prints run smoothly and you get the best possible experience and results out of your 3D printer.

You may not need to go shopping for these tools all at once but accumulate them over time according to your printing needs.

15 Top Essential Tools & Accessories in 3D Printing

1. Deburring Tool and Knife

It is excellent for cleaning modeled holes and removing pieces of plastic from your printed part of the brim.

AFA Tooling - Deburring Tool with 10 Extra High Speed Steel Blades - Works on Metal, Resin, PVC, and 3D Printed Plastic Edges - Great for Copper and PVC Pipes, 3D Printing, Resin Art, and Metal Work

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You’ll still need knives to tidy up your parts as they rarely come out completely perfect.

2. Glue Stick

You cannot ignore the importance of build-plate adhesion in creating 3D prints. Always use a glue stick (view on Amazon) whenever you want to get your print to stick.

As such, cover your print bed with soluble glue, and you’ll witness a significant adhesion improvement. Others may favor hair spray as an alternative, but a glue stick remains the best option.

3. Palette Knife

Occasionally, your 3D print might stick on your printer bed. Use a spatula or a palette knife to remove it if it happens.

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You only need to ease your palette knife gently under the print and cautiously lift it.

For starters, get a palette knife that is stiff and flexible. Still, stainless steel scrapers may work perfectly for this purpose.

4. Pliers

You can use pliers for different purposes. Majorly, for print core maintenances and fixing your 3D printer. Furthermore, pliers (view on Amazon) come in different types, shapes, and sizes, and you’re advised to have a variety of them.

However, you may not want to miss out on needle-nose and wire-cutting pliers, as they help snap away support material or trim filament.

5. Blue Tape

One of the most widely used and essential tools you may not want to miss from your collection is the blue tape (view on Amazon). Significantly, adding masking tape to the print bed helps avoid adhesion issues.

Equally, it makes removing finished print easier and protects the print bed from scratches.

6. Digital Caliper

Digital caliper has many applications in the 3D printing industry. More importantly, it is used for checking print precision.

Digital Caliper, Adoric 0-6

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Additionally, you can use it to dimension parts you want to replicate in CAD software. It also comes in handy for checking print measurements.

7. Tweezers

Tweezers (view on Amazon) come in handy whenever you are 3D printing. Still, tweezers help you in plucking oozing filament from the extruder nozzle before it starts printing.

It is vital to pluck off oozing filament from the nozzle using tweezers to avoid burning your fingers.

Therefore, you need to buy or even 3D print a set of tweezers in various shapes and sizes in readiness for any eventualities.

8. Sandpaper

Advisably, have a selection of sandpapers (view on Amazon) in a variety of grits. They will help during post-processing your 3D print.

Always invest in well-known brands such as the 3M than the cheap and inferior versions that don’t last long.

9. Screwdrivers and Hex Key Screwdrivers

Hex nuts and bolts are widely used in 3D printer assembly.

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Besides, you will periodically need to tighten the gantry screws and stepper motors in your 3D printer.

As such, it is worthwhile getting a good selection of screwdrivers and hex keys.

10. Adhesion Sheets

Adhesion sheets are compatible with most materials. Their primary function is to boost adhesion to the build plate.

You may consider them a suitable replacement for glue sticks as they are easy to use and can be used multiple times.

Gizmo Dorks PEI Sheet 12" x 12

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Besides, they are developed to cope with high temperatures, unlike masking tapes.

11. Permanent Marker

Use permanent markers (view on Amazon) to mark 3D prints when running multiple prints of the same model with different slicer settings.

Note the sequence and settings of each print and finished print. That way, you will be able to differential them later.

12. Filament Storage Container

It is essential to store your filaments in a moisture-free environment. Thus, a filament storage container remains one of the most critical 3D printing accessories you need to possess.

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If you ignore appropriate filament problems, you will experience challenges, such as clogging, lousy layer adhesion, and breakages, among others.

13. Nozzle Set

Nozzle sets come in different shapes and sizes, though they serve the same functionality. Therefore, you will need to have a variety of sizes and shapes for other uses.

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For example, to quickly print a more extensive model, you will go for a larger nozzle. Still, for detailed prints, use a small nozzle.

If the nozzle you are using gets clogged, you can easily replace it using another nozzle from the set.

14. Nozzle Cleaning Kit

The extruder nozzle can easily get clogged with melted plastic after prolonged use. To maintain high-quality prints, you need to clean your printer nozzle frequently.

Cleaning your printer nozzle is not an easy undertaking. You’ll need special cleaning kits (view on Amazon) designed for cleaning different sizes of the nozzle.

15. Carving Tools

If you are 3D printing parts with finer details and supporting material, you need to put extra effort to get an excellent-looking final product.

Carving tools remain perfect for smoothing out your final objects by removing excess filament, thus delivering little details.

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The tools come in a set that contains 12 different devices of varying shapes and sizes capable of meeting all your unique needs.

Safety Tools You Must Have

The 3D printing process has its fair share of hazards that 3D printing enthusiasts need to take precautions against.

Optional 3D Printing Tools

As a 3D printer hobbyist, you will need the essential tools discussed in the previous section.

However, you also need some extra tools that may not be as essential but remain helpful for you during your 3D printing.

Conclusion

The 3D printing industry is a fast-growing sector, and many people learn 3D printing by the day.

As such, you need to know the best 3D printing tools and essential accessories that accompany them. Besides, this will enable you to be effective in your 3D printing endeavor.

More importantly, you will be in a position to maintain your printer effectively as you 3D print objects of supreme quality in a safe environment.

Michael Brooks is the founder of M3DZone.com. He sees a very bright future for 3D printing that's why his mission is to try and make this easy for everyone. Discover your hidden talent and creativity. You can follow here: Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.