Just Curious...Advice?

As a newbie 3D printer myself, I’ve been lucky to have access to the brains of some veteran 3D printers here at 3DPC, as well as at home - so I haven’t run into too many issues so far.

I hear about many issues that our community comes across everyday and I was just curious what tips, tricks and advice would you give to a newbie 3D printer - something that made you stop and said, “Well darn, I wish someone had told me that before I went down that wormhole…”

Obviously this is going to vary for everyone’s experience, but the more advice we can provide for our new community members - the better their experiences will be!

I’ll go first - this piece of advice was given to me at the start of my 3D printing journey - Learn your machine and how to 3D print before introducing upgrades and changes to your printer.

Feel free to share your advice below!

Defidently a good point to mention. Ive done both the know your machine first, and the whole lets upgrade before the first print. I can agree its an easier time when you know what to expect first before you change things.

My advice is find 1 slicer and get comfortable with it. You dont need to newest version just figure out and understand what the settings are and do.

Spare parts to get would be spare nozzles, and fans. Just be sure they are compatable. You dont need fancy nozzles, they have a purpouse but untill you can respect that need, keep it simple.

Lastley the orientation of you part can play an important factor in the strength and time to print. So play around with how your parts are positioned in the slicer. Sometimes its better yo print parts 1 by 1 instead of all at once too.

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All great points! I definitely learnt that last lesson the hard way! :laughing:

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The biggest piece of advice I’d give somebody new to 3D printing is don’t buy your first printer over the internet.

Buy it from somebody that you can go back to physically that provides one on one support and can talk through the issues that you are seeing.

Otherwise, you’re going to be doing a lot of stumbing around on your own - you’ll get there but it will be a frustrating process.


Some points about printing.

  1. Set your printer up properly
  2. calibrate everything
  3. preform maintenance as necessary and it will be necessary
  4. don’t try and print to fast
  5. whiskey will fix most printer problems.

My first printer was the ender 3 v2 (bought from amazon) was having tons of issues with it printing correctly i even made sure everything was properly trammed (commonly known as leveled) but i couldnt get anything to print correctly, i had more failed prints with it being new vs it being a tuned in machine (obvously) some things ive done to it was to remove the stock firmware and to put in the jyersui firmware which allowed me to have manual mesh leveling which was very good as the reason nothing would print correctly was the stock glass its self had a microbuldge or warp in the center which was throwing everything off, over time ive performed other upgrades to the machine such as printed drag chains, all metal leveling wheels, stiffer yellow springs, capercorn tubing and a CR Touch. ive also done a few other things here and there but nothing that improves the performence of the machine.

one tip i would definately offer to newcomers is to upgrade the stock firmware to something that atleast offers a mesh bed leveling system to help overcome these warped bed issues.

where to begin,

proper leveling (actually its tramming or paralleling), correct temps, proper bed cleaning then finally the upgrades.

my adventure started out with a ender 3 v2 from amazon, i had constant issues with prints failing which was from a factory defect (warped glass bed).

first the leveling that creality offers for printers is garbage as when you disassable the steppers your also disabling the zaxis which will cause the z to move which will make your leveling not work, i believe that teaching tech (youtube channel) has a gcode generator that is for leveling that you can grab which works pretty good as it lifts then moves the x&y then lowers for you to level in your corners.

for learning about correct temps this can actually not vary per machine but per filaments, all of my pla is advertised to be used at 195-230c but it prints best at 215c for the first layer then 205c for the rest of the print, where petg is best at 245c for first layer 235c for the rest but its saying 220-255c on the spool, if you have a heated bed you also have to find what temps work best for that (trial and error). to best find what temps work best i use a temp tower in cura which changes the temps per section this allows me to find what temp works best with what filament category.

to this day i still have print issues every now and then, for proper bed cleaning a nice wipe with a paper towel and some 99%IPA works to remove almost all forgain debris from your print surface. if your print still fails then washing the print surface with your standard dawn dish soap (or even dollar store equivelent) will help i always prep my surface with a wipe from IPA and i have a 95% successful print rate.

finally the upgrades portion

the best upgrade you can probably do is firmware upgrades followed by hardware upgrades.

for firmware on my ender 3 v2’s (got 2 of them) im using the JyersUI firmwares now these firmwares are way better then the stock firmwares as it allows for more gcode commands like a m600 which is change filament command this would allow you to print half of your print then change the color to continue it. I use this for decoritave or toys (bath toy ship). For hardware upgrades i upgraded the soft thin springs with the hardened yellow metal ones, i replaced the plastic wheels with metal ones, changed out the stock ptfe tubing with the capercorn one, and changed out the plastic extruder with the metal one, ive also added on the CR Touch Kit (like a BL touch but with the creality logo on it). when it comes to hardware upgrades its tempting to do everything all at oncebut dont, make one change then wait a week then make another change then wait a week this allows you to tune in your changed part to make sure it runs smoothly, this probably doesnt apply to the metal wheels and spring upgrade as you could do both at the same time.

Bonus tip to add in is to calibrate your Extruder Steps when you first get the printer. my 2 printers are both ender 3 v2 units and the esteps are different on the 2 machines close but different. to calibrate it you tell your printer to extrude 100 mm of filament then it spits out what it thinks is 100mm cut off what it spit out and measure it, google for a e step calculator then input your current estep and how much filament you were given from the machine, the online calculator will give you a new estep number to change your old one to, make the change then retest i have yet to get bang on perfect to 100mm for the esteps but having it at 100.05mm is as close as ill get.

2 more tips as this is getting long lol

learn what infills work best for different functions, im using cura and i find that cubic (3d triangles) works best for decoritive prints where lines works best for functional prints.

last tip is to have fun with it, and if your getting fusturated with your prints failing then just take a break and come back to it in an hour or so. ive had times when ive wanted to toss my printers but just taking a break from them and letting me come back with a clear head made all the difference.

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Buy quality. I was given that advise early and I am glad I did take it (eventually). The cheap junk is flooding the 3d printer market. A thousand headaches if you start with good components.

The second is there are no magic bullets. If someone says this thing will fix all your issues, it won’t. It just doesn’t work that way.


How do you know what is quality when looking in the Interwebs?

It’s not that I don’t agree, but there are a lot of printers out there with loyal followings, great reviews (including on sites like all3d) and the units they’re sending to customers are crap.

I wouldn’t suggest to a newbie that they go to a store, but the time @jason, @lauran & @chris put in on the list here along with my experience leads me to think that if you can buy local from somebody who can suggest and knows they’re stuff, that’s the right way to go for somebody’s first 3D printer.


Buy local in person is a nice dream. For most that isn’t an option. To me if you can send an email, call, or chat with the manufacturer’s support and if they will send a part or advise quickly that also counts as well. There is NOTHING worse than requesting support and having to wait far far too long for a reply. My last printer I bought had a massively warped bed each reply took weeks. When you wait 3 weeks for a reply and the first reply is generic did you level… when you sent photos showing a milled edge and a dime sitting under the hollows, it makes it quite ridiculous.

3 or my 4 printers I could speak to tech support inside an hour or less (well before one company went bankrupt) the fourth is full of cloned parts and tech support is next to non existent. It is also the only one that once set up needed parts replaced before it could be made to print. It took ages to get it tuned to make a print and it prints ok but all the others make better prints. It is with parts the most expensive and worst print quality.

My V2 also had a slight bulge in the centre but it has had little to no affect on the print quality

Quality (I’m sure you mean Prusa) costs big bucks and many cannot afford it, that is the reason why the cheaper printers are flooding the market (no buyers, no flood). Cheaper just takes a little effort and learning how to use it, to get working. It doesn’t mean it won’t print equal to the more expensive machines.

Yes Creality support sucks, that’s why we come here.

Stores that sell 3D printers are few and far between and most have a limited selection and not necessarily what the buyer wants or needs. We have one store that sells 3D printers locally (50 miles away), they sell one printer model from one brand. This is the big downfall of online shopping. There used to be everything you could want locally but a lot of store chains have gone out of business and those that remain only sell the top selling items, the more infrequently used items are just not available locally anymore. For a lot of us the only place to get things we meed is off of Amazon, Banggood or similar.

I would love to visit the “3D Printing Canada” store but it is a 3 hour trip for me and not really on my must do list. Maybe some day. I guess if I picked up enough filament the savings in shipping costs it would offset the ridicules gas prices.

My advice is to manage your expectations.
Unless money is not an option, people will spend a lot of time on the learning curve, which down the road, will prove invaluable, but sucks at the time.
Also, take the price of your budget printer, and double it for inevitable upgrades.
Finally: learn to model. I honestly don’t understand the point of this excersize if you don’t come out the other side with the ability to design and manifest your own creations.


Lucky, I was able to get a replacement for that glass from creality via Amazon. The warp/bulge was enough to actually effect the print quality making most prints grab with the force of a thousand Suns. The only way to remove most prints was to plop it in the freezer.

I have yet to change out the glass as I got the mesh tuned in perfectly to compensate for the bulge now to have the same level of adhesion across the whole build surface.

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Not necessarily, my monoprice prints flawlessly out of the box and still does years down the road. No mods, no nothing. The support I got when I first got it was fast and efficient. Yes Prusa have some of the best consumer machines on the market but they are not alone. There are other companies whom do not need to resort to making the consumer be a beta tester and using marketing tricks to sell printers. I would suggest no Reality or affiliate be a beginner printer. They need tinkering to work. We have seen many give up printing completely because of it.

The reputation of 3D printing being un reliable and relegated to the realm of ‘technicians’ is based in that. It is not the case. I had a good print in 45 mins of getting my monoprice. I was able to print 100s of prints on the monoprice without knowing anything really.

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Items I wish I knew from the start

  1. Leveling - Heat bed/nozzle then level - if room cold then let bed heat up 10-15min before printing
  2. Filament loading - Squeeze handle just enough to let filament through so that gear can grab it then use the extruder knob or Move menu to have extruder load the filament rest of way (Estimate 18" or 450mm)
  3. After printing let bed + print fully cool and PLA print will pop off bed by itself
  4. For small items use a raft or skirt
  5. If it is working for you don’t change it - Everyone said replace springs. I bought the parts but by the time they arrived I learned #1 so never bothered to replace them. I have releveled 3x in over 170 prints with stock springs
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