Top Tips When Getting Started with 3D Printing

Ask questions

We were all beginners at one point, and being bad at something is the first step to being sort of good at something. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand what’s going wrong. In general, the 3D printing community is very open to helping newcomers, so here are some helpful tips when looking for guidance:

  1. Be descriptive. Even if you don’t think it’s part of the problem, explain it anyways. It’s much better to over-inform than under, because maybe that one setting that seems unimportant to you is actually the whole reason your 3D print isn’t coming out right. Include what 3D printer you have, any mods to it, the print settings, material and brand, bed adhesive, pictures or video, anything you can provide will just better inform someone reading.
  2. Use this support forum and our social media platforms, Reddit, forums for your 3D printer, or anywhere applicable to ask for help.
  3. Once you’ve figured out how to fix what was going wrong, be sure to report back to your original thread and update with what fixed it. You may end up helping someone else who comes along with the exact same problem years down the line and finds your thread when searching.

Be a knowledge sponge

Reading help forums, community posts, or industry-specific articles can only help further the knowledge you have of 3D printers, how they work, and how they don’t. Maybe what you’re reading doesn’t apply to what you are working on right now, but comes into play months in the future and helps you solve a problem before you need to ask for help. Taking in all you can about 3D printing can even guide you through a development process for prototyping a product or manufacturing aid by providing you with a deeper understanding of how you can design 3D models to work in ways not possible with traditional manufacturing.

Don’t be afraid to reprint and start over

Filament in general is not cost-prohibitive to a project’s completion. Sometimes it’s more efficient to do Step 1 (3D printing) ten times over than poorly once and pay for it down the road with a part that needs elbow grease or a precarious installation to be useful. 3D printing errors should be few and far between by following the steps detailed here, but even the Pros have off-days and scrapping a 3D print is better for the finished product than trying to make it work. Consider it all part of the 3D printing iterative process.

Happy printing!

From: Top Ten Tips When Getting Started With 3D Printing | MatterHackers