Getting Started 4 – What Upgrades?

Congratulations! You’ve mastered the basics of printing and are looking at improving your machine for better prints and a better printing experience. You’ve come farther than most and deserve a drink. Cheers.

The Essential Upgrades

PEI Coated Magnetic Print Bed

PEI is an excellent surface for printing with PLA+. So good in fact we decided to make our own print beds! They offer an increase in bed adhesion compared to the glass print bed and they are removable without throwing off your bed level. Get 2 or 3 to keep your printer running 24/7.

Buy on CTRLPew

Electric Food Dehydrator

Filament is hygroscopic and if left exposed to the air, it will absorb ambient moisture from it. A food dehydrator will suck all that collected moisture out of your filament and keep it in prime shape whenever you’re ready to use it. I usually toss a spool in the night before I install it on the printer. Just makes things a little more consistent and easy. Go cheap no more than $50 should take care of you. For PLA+ I usually cook it for 5 to 6 hrs at 55c.

Buy on Amazon

Tertiary Upgrades: Quality of life for printing enthusiasts

MicroSwiss Hot End

If you decide to get into more exotic nylons like Zytel and print at much higher temperatures than PLA you’re going to need an all-metal hot end. Micro Swiss is the best you’re going to get. It’s not all that expensive. Don’t screw around with anything cheaper. They’re not worth your time.

Buy on Amazon

Gunsmithing Hammer

Useful when driving in pins or working with punches. It’s just generally useful.

Buy on Amazon

Feeler Gauges

These are significant aids in getting a super consistent spacing between the nozzle and bed. After a bit of practice, it’s much easier than using the paper method that is generally prescribed. Use whatever gauge = your initial layer height.

Buy on Amazon

And that’s it. You have a well-tuned and exceptional printer now. You can print anything your heart desires. Why not learn the other side and make custom CAD? Getting Started 5: Learn To CAD

5 thoughts on “Getting Started 4 – What Upgrades?

  1. just cause I’m curious and also don’t want to get another printer to play with flexibles have you tried direct driver for your frames at all? If so does it effect the quality of your parts or really just change how they come out? I know that I will have to retune everything once changed but am curious none the less. also any search I try on this topic really just pulls up bowden tube vs direct drive but I have noticed that the paper testing and theoretical numbers only get you so far.

  2. I take it the SKR Mini E3 Control Board is an essential not just for noise reduction but also more precise e-steps? I’ve had issues with magwells being too tight on my CZAR and FGC2 lower prints (large, complex prints), even though I’ve calibrated my e-steps with the default control board. I don’t have this issue with my DD 19.2.

Leave a Reply