8 Common 3D Printing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

8 Common 3D Printing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
May 9, 2021 Beth Solange
In Technology
3D printing mistakes

There’s no greater disappointment than spending hours programming your 3D printer for a big project only to have it turn out to be a flop. It’s a feeling that can leave you discouraged but can also leave you with less time and resources than you originally had at your disposal.

While there’s nothing fun about receiving the news that your 3D project was a failure, there is a silver lining. Most of the time the issues that caused your project to fail could have been easily avoided. 

And, as long as you have the necessary preparation, you can make sure that your 3D project is a success! So, if you’re getting ready to fire up your 3D printer, it’s time to save yourself some disappointment. 

Let’s dive into a few common 3D printing mistakes and how to avoid them. Together, we’ll help you ensure a successful project outcome every time you sit down to work!

1. Not Seeking Help With 3D Printing

We’d all like to think we’re experts at everything we do. However, while it certainly makes our egos feel good, not being willing to ask for help can lead to costly mistakes. 

In 3D printing, this is especially true. Because creating a successful 3D print can sometimes require some tinkering, you can save yourself a lot of time by asking for help from someone with more experience. 

The good news is that there are several 3D printing communities on Facebook, message boards, and YouTube that can make sure you don’t waste time on something that has a secretly simple solution. 

2. Letting the Filament Get Tangled

One of the major causes for issues with 3D printing comes from the tangled filament. And, while manufacturers will vow and declare that their filament is guaranteed not to tangle, accidents do happen. 

Typically, user error is what leads to the tangled filament. To avoid this issue, you can loosen the 3D printer’s filament and make sure there are no kinks in it before starting your project. 

3. Rushing Your Assembly Job

It’s definitely exciting when your new 3D printer arrives, but that doesn’t mean you should speed through the assembly process. Doing so can cause you to misplace components and lead to ultimately faulty machinery. 

Make sure to take the time to set up your 3D printer correctly. Read through the entire manufacturer’s manual before getting started with your project. Following a video guide can help make sure you’re setting it up correctly, too. 

4. Not Setting Up the Correct Slicer Settings

The slicer settings on your 3D printer are what tell the machine how to cut your material so that you can create your prototype correctly. When these settings are incorrect, it can lead to serious errors. 

Double-check your slicer settings before you get started. Make sure you are using material that works with the settings you have enabled. And, be sure to practice using your settings so that you can get comfortable with the correct solutions for different materials

5. Not Monitoring Your Projects

We’re all busy and multitasking is a great way of accomplishing more than one task at a time. However, when it comes to 3D printing, it’s also a great way of making mistakes and wasting material. 

3D printers can encounter problems at any step in the process. Leaving your machine unattended can mean missing the opportunity to fix a mistake or ensure the project is progressing correctly. 

When you start a 3D printing project, make sure that you’re monitoring your work and checking in on its progress. It’s better to catch a costly mistake early on than after you’ve already printed a faulty prototype. 

6. Skipping the Support Material

Support material, while it may add to your costs and lose you some time, is not something you can skip. That’s because some 3D prints simply won’t work without the introduction of support material. 

Using good part orientation and adding support material to your design when needed can help you avoid costly mistakes. It’s one way of making sure that your final product is a success, even if it does take a little bit more finagling. 

7. Not Replacing Broken or Worn-out Machinery

One big mistake people make when using a 3D printer is not replacing old and worn-out parts. When things start to wear out, they can not only cause the entire machine to break but can also cause small but significant errors in your print.

A few common machinery components that need to be replaced include

  • The PTFE tube or heat break
  • Fans
  • Mainboard
  • Bearings
  • Connectors and wires
  • Thermistors
  • Belts
  • Heater block
  • The glass bed
  • PSU

Keep an eye on your machinery and make sure to regularly check it for broken or ageing parts. This can help ensure you don’t run into any issues with your final products. 

8. Ignoring 3D Printing Safety Strategies

3D printing safety might seem unnecessary, but the truth is there are plenty of injuries that you can get from not taking the right safety precautions. And, when you don’t protect yourself during 3D printing, you throw a wrench in your process!

Making sure to have proper ventilation, stare aware of your surroundings, and keep your hands at a safe distance from the nozzle can ensure your safety. Make your project a success by keeping yourself and your product protected through the process.

Avoid 3D Printing Mistakes and Make Your Project a Success

While 3d printing can be a complicated task, it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation and by following a few simple tips, you can avoid costly 3D printing mistakes. 

Ensure your 3D prints are a success every time by taking extra care to avoid these 8 common issues users experience. It may seem tedious in the short term, but in the long term, you’ll thank us!

If you’re looking for assistance with 3D printers, printing services, or materials, don’t forget to check out what 3D Printing Shop has to offer. We’ll make sure all your 3D prints are a success. 

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