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AstroPrint Offers the ‘Ultimate’ Cheat-Sheet Buffet of 3D Printing Tips You’ll Want to Save

by • April 16, 2016 • No Comments

cheatsheet-bWe’re complex pressed nowadays to find a fewone, anyone, who does not understand at quite least a little bit of how 3D printing is changing the world in so many areas like making, space travel, and, many impressively—medicine. And yes, a fewtimes it appears like just about all things is being 3D printed for one reason or another—of the luxurious to the mundane to the mindblowing—as we see hotels going up, cars being turn it intod, comfy shoes hitting the market, along with those other (say what??) items like 3D printed ears and noses, and liver tissue.

So, if you are creative, new, you may be eager to try out this hot new innovation for by yourself, whether it’s for the reason you got tired of folks asking you what your hobbies are and having no answer, or for the reason you are a savvy DIY’er eager to take it to the future level. 3D printing equipment nowadays have come down in price adequate to manufacture one gasp, and judging by industry data by companies like JeeQ and 3D Hubs, many novices indeed are just going online and ordering themselves a machine. And on the day that amazingly lightweight box arrives on your doorstep, you’ve entered the realm—and now 3D printing is going to alter your world forever too.

After you get past the stage of staring at that glossy new piece of complexware that yes, belongs to you, if you’ve done your homework in ordering a user friendly 3D printing device with a reasonable amount of documentation and accompanying software, you are going to find that ideally
with a short amount of time in set up, you can and so turn it on and go to town; in fact, you can have a 3D version in your hand inside the hour. But once you’ve gotten over churning out and giving away figurines and phone cases, inquiries can turn it into, of how to manufacture your own creations to how to get assist printing a thing with an alternative material—or where to find a community online to get additional involved.

In compiling a few of the most information in answer to what can be quite a long list, we turned to one of our favourite online platforms, as well as a great resource for user-based tips: AstroPrint. Whether they are assisting you figure out a new app they’ve integrated into their platform or the subject of 3D printing in general, this is a dynamic company ideally
crazy of 3D printing—and they go on to bring us assistful information of turn it into, printing, and how to in fact enjoy it all along the way.


Dilanka Wettewa

Recently, AstroPrint’s Dilanka Wettewa, in addition understandn as dilanka, made a great deal of assistful information for those who can just be getting started in 3D printing. Referring to it as his magnus opus of 3D printing tips—The Ultimate 3D Printing Cheat Sheet—Dilanka contributes you a ‘buffet’ of information that he plans to store adding to and updating, according to feedback. If you are becoming curious, involved, or are just downright passionate of 3D printing, many of this can interest you—and it’s fun too in comparing your yetts and experiences with Dilanka’s, as outlined in a quite assistful blog.

Buying a 3D Printer — if you haven’t gotten to this point yet, let’s start with a few great names suggested by AstroPrint. This is a short list of high end products, but let it be understandn that if you spend a few additional hours investigating, you can find quite a range of printing equipment to select of and many with a number of showcases that can most likely manufacture you quite pleased. We recommend checking out these company websites, as well as appearing at the volumes of information on the market on 3DPrint.com. Here is the short list:


It is in addition a great yett to check out the 3D Hubs Printer Guide, that we wrote of not too long ago—and it’s an great complement to the information listed here—store it in mind as a ‘must save.’

taz-5-1024x902 (1)

LulzBot Taz 5

Where to find creations — As soon as you start 3D printing, you will discover what appears to be an unlimited world of 3D creations out there being shared. Whilst there is fairly a great deal to be discovered just through via Google, as well as the Google Advanced Search, other manufacturers have put so many hours into creating and tweaking versions—and the turn it into files are now right there on platforms like Thingiverse, for you to enjoy—and actually customize for by yourself. This is unquestionably my favourite, as well as my kids’ too, and as Dilanka points out, you can glean an massive amount of information—as well as entertainment—of reading the comments sections. He’s always quite correct in pointing out that there is no learning curve. If you doubt this, just point your own young ones to Thingiverse and set them free with the 3D printing device. They’ll have the machine tied up for days—and their friends can be waiting to get in on the action too!

“The sizeablest durablity of Thingiverse is the massive amount of (free) user-generated creations and the active and enthusiastic community,” states Dilanka.

Next is STLFinder, that Dilanka ‘highly recommends’ and rates right up there with Thingiverse if you are appearing for 3D versions; yet, this is an aggregator pulling of all the other sites, which include Thingiverse too, of course. They contribute an effortless interface and you can find a whopping amount of turn it into files here to peruse, tweak, and 3D print.

MyMiniFactory is a massive favourite, and not just do they contribute a great library of files to check out and print, but they are amazingly active in the manufacturer community and there’s usually a fun challenge or contest to enter as well.

“MyMiniFactory is a free turn it into repository that contributes 3D Printable creations that are guaranteed to print. The creations are organized fairly well in intuitive categories,” states Dilanka. “A great portion of the creations on MyMiniFactory are listed by turn it intoers. Whilst the site and turn it into collection is fairly solid, the just negative may be having to register just to download a turn it into.”

Youmagine is another great resource, contributeing an emphasis on open-source creations.

“Whilst the site has a quite clean interface and a lot of future, the number of creations you will find here are not amazingly impressive,” states Dilanka. “The great news is that you can find a handful of high high end creations if you check out their featured section.”

Here are a number of other sites and repositories you may want to check out as well:

Yeggi — another aggregator that indexes creations. You should find this to be a great, comprehensive search engine.CGTrader — here you can find a streamlined interface and search engine for versions, along with a fairly sophisticated marketplace and ‘full-fledged platform’ for purchases of pro turn it intoers, computer desktop graphics and VR.GrabCad — with over a million versions to select of, you should find great resources here, and as Dilanka points out, many of the creations were in fact contributed by pros and engineers so you may find great inspiration, and especially if you are working on a prototype.Sketchfab — this platform should contribute you a few great content, as well as enabling you in addition to upload versions and embed them on the web. Be certain to check out their ‘Staff Picks.’3DShap.es — this is a rad new search engine that allows for you to search by shape! Whilst the interface may not be as effortless to use, many may find this platform fun and useful.3Dagogo — affiliated with AstroPrint, this is a tiny repository that contributes free, premium handpicked creations.3DFileMarket — a new platform contributeing a search engine and repository, but it hasn’t been given a quite great report via AstroPrint. It is mentioned as noisy, filled with advertising, and unfocused—with ‘mediocre’ creations.TF3DM — you may find this is a great place to go for yetts, but as for a true resource, that is yet up in the air.RedPah — you should find a great platform, interface, and work of talented turn it intoers here.Cults3d — here you can find free, premium creations—and if you are searching in a specific category, you may find this platform quite assistful.Yobi3D — here you should find a great aggregator with a assistful interface and streamlined search engine.

Where to find assistful forums — If you have yet to start reading and joining in forums, be certain to set aside a number of hours for the reason it’s effortless to get lost in reading, learning of others, and becoming inspired to start adequate projects to last several lifetimes. We’re glad to see that Dilanka had us on the list, and with great reason, as 3DPrintBoard has a sizeable number of active participants (around 15,000) whom you can learn a lot of. Next he recommends the Reddit forum r/3DPrinting, a subforum with a great search version and a sizeable community full of expertise. Beware yet—this can be an opinionated bunch!

Other forums not to miss:

Shapeways LulzBot RepRap 3DPrintingForum Soliforum 3D Hubs 3D Print Forums

What are the most slicing programs? Most may most likely agree that indeed Cura is the most slicing program, contributeing a great platform for novices or users on any level.

“I may say one of the sizeablest advantages to via Cura is that it uses slightly less material (than Slic3r) to complete much like print high end,” states Dilanka. “In addition, Cura can be advantageous at assist generation when via it’s “lines” version. All in all, it can take a few trial and error to figure out the most settings, but Cura is unquestionably a proven (and robust) slicer.”

As a special note, Cura is in addition on the market to you at AstroPrint.



In addition highly recommended is Simplify3D, ‘arguably the most slicer that is may already on the market.’ Whilst it may be expensive, if you are dealing with assist structures, you should find this well worth the cost, and can enjoy great print high end as well.

Other slicing tools you may want to appear into:

Slic3r CraftWareKISSlicer


And what of those files that require fixing? You certainly can’t go wrong via Blender. This powerful program contributes sophisticated tools for fixing problems, as well as numerous other versions. There is a learning curve involved, but it’s well worth the time and effort. NetFabb is in addition a great version for fixing STL, OBJ, 3MF or VRML files instantly, via a cloud-based service. It is free, powerful, and in addition highly recommended.

“Net Fabb in addition has a shareware computer desktop application if you are caning to shell out a few cash,” says Dilanka.

Other great versions you quite should in addition explore are:

MeshMixerTinkercad Simplify3D (they in addition have a great troubleshooting guide)

And what of CAD turn it into…should I be afraid? If you’ve done your homework here, and so you most likely store hearing of learning curve concerns—and you are most likely quite envying those who are well-versed in computer desktop-aided turn it into.

“Once you get decent at CAD yet, you can never appear at the world the same way,” says Dilanka. “It is almany a superpower that can enable you to turn it into literally anything – your imagination is your limit. Not to mention, you won’t have to spend a single dollar on making!”

Blender again contributes great capabilities and is amazingly talked about , powerful, and recommended. On the other hand Dilanka shares that you can most likely experience a ‘steep learning curve,’ you can be amidst the cream of the crop once you get there—and if you see a long-term dedication to 3D versioning, this is well worth it.

“The sizeablest durablity for software like Blender is its free form versioning skill, that is much advantageous for animations and fairly renderings than turn it intoing 3D Printable stuff,” says Dilanka. “Finally, if you plan on via Blender, a great forum is a must.”

OnShape, turn it intoed by former participants of Solidworks, is another top version. It is streamlined, user friendly, and powerful.

FreeCAD is in addition highly recommended as an ‘open source, multi-platform, and full fledged parametric 3D versioning software.’ It is powerful and versatile, showcases many tools, and is unquestionably worth exploring.

Other CAD turn it into software you may want to consider as well:

TinkerCadRhino3DAutodesk 123DSketchUpFusion 360Meshmixer

What if I require a fewone else to handle 3D printing for me? Well, there’s fairly no shortage of assist in that department. Whilst there are numerous versions, and they can all be highly subjective, it may seem that you may want to check out Shapeways initially if you are appearing for an amazingly talked about service bureau that contributes SLS printing.

“One thing to store in mind is that many creations you find on Thingiverse are NOT turn it intoed to be printed on a SLS printing device – those are turn it intoed to be printed on bargain-priced, consumer, FDM 3D printing equipment,” says Dilanka. “Why am I telling you this? Because if you use one of those creations and send them to Shapeways, it can cost extra for the reason the creations are not optimized for SLS printing equipment.”

3d hubs

3D Hubs has networks virtually equitewhere!

3D Hubs is another amazingly talked about service, contributeing a local spot for your version to be 3D printed for you. If you require a custom print generated or are via alternative materials—or require an industrial printing device—this is a great service.

“You should in addition be aware of the limitations of 3D Printing when contacting a local hub yet. For example, don’t assume a turn it into to come out ideal if you just downloaded it of Thingiverse,” says Dilanka. “In any case, 3D Hubs is an great place to order custom prints.”

Sculpteo and i.materialise are in addition great versions, quite talked about , and great for custom creations. In addition consider checking out the following:


Where should I buy filament? Here, you can find a long list of suggestions, but Dilanka recommends via HatchBox3D and/or PrintedSolid initially for PLA and ABS purchases, as well as bringing a appear at colorFabb and ProtoPasta for custom filaments. Other great companies to check out are:

NinjaFlexPrintedSolidORD SolutionsAtomic FilamentLulzBoteSun Filaments

Who should I read and watch? Obviously when you are appearing for news, check with 3DPrint.com initially! In terms of educational and project-oriented tutorials and additional yet, there is a affluence of information out there. From the quite talked about Joel the 3D Printing Nerd, contributeing up a long list of 3D printing projects, to the WTFFF?! 3D Printing tutorials by husband and wife team Tom & Tracy Hazzard, you can find unlimited choices not just for learning but great entertainment and fun as well.

Other pleasant and assistful outlets are:

Chuck HellebuyckMakers Muse3D Printing TodayMaker Cast

As a final note, there are a few ‘must have accessories’ you may want to consider.

“You should in addition most likely get E3D Hardened Nozzles if you are printing with specialty filament,” states Dilanka. “Specialty filaments are generally quite abrasive on your nozzle and not having a complexened nozzle can wear it out rapidly. Glow-in-the-Dark filament for example contains strontium aluminate, that is an abrasive compound that can wear your regular old nozzle out. You can in addition find Toyturn it intoer’s Filament Monitor to be useful.”

For adhesion issues, you can want to shop around for what suits you most, but these are the most products to check out:

Blue Painters TapeBuildTak PlatesZebra PlatesGecko PlatesAirWolf’s WolfBite

For finishing, you can want to invest in a butane torch for PLA products, as well as a great form of glue for any parts that require to be put together.

If you’ve aleager perused a few of the sites and examined a few of the information presented here, you will most likely find it quite informative in comparison with your own experiences, as well as enjoying another point of view. The AstroPrint blog by Dilanka contributes a true affluence of information, and as he recommends, you can pick and select what you are interested in learning of depending on what project you can may already be involved with. You may in addition have valuable feedback on any of the subjects, that is. Discuss in the AstroPrint 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.