Useful 3D printing tools

  1. Good flush cutters
    If your printer even came with any, the included flush cutters are probably the cheapest off brand the company could find to throw in the box. A decent set costs less than a roll of filament, and will make your cleanup quicker and easier.
  2. Isopropyl alcohol
    Dust, fingerprints, oils, and even spatter from filament imperfections can make it nigh impossible to get adhesion. Isopropyl alcohol evaporates cleanly, giving you the best possible chance to avoid making pasta.
  3. Feeler gauge
    Paper is inconsistent. Precision metal shims are not. A feeler gauge makes it easier, faster, and more accurate to get your nozzle the right distance from the plate, without subjective measurements like "when the paper bends".
  4. Calipers
    The next step after printing models from other people is to make your own, and that requires accurate measurements. Rather than trying to eyeball fractions with a ruler and hope you were holding it square enough, a set of calipers will do all that and more.
  5. Patience
    The only tool that costs itself. It's too easy to trust the thermistor, max out your feed rate, and try to get the part into your hands as fast as possible. Having some patience to let thermodynamics do its job makes less waste and less stress.