Best 3D printing accessories: Get the most out of your 3D printer

Best 3D printing accessories: Get the most out of your 3D printer

Best 3D printing accessories: Get the most out of your 3D printer

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Like any mechanical hobby, 3D printing requires tools to make it work. Most of the tools are intended to ensure the maintenance and proper functioning of your printer. More than that, however, good accessories can make even the best 3d printers run beyond their normal range. Often these accessories are simple — a set of shears for cutting filament or a dab of glue to help with bed adhesion – but there are also new hardware items that can dramatically improve the quality of your print or give your 3D printer powers it never had before.


I’ve amassed a huge number of useful accessories after nearly a decade of 3D printing and researched many more. Amazon is a great resource for finding basic 3D printing accessories, and California-based MatterHackers has everything you need for upgrades and more advanced equipment.

The best accessories for beginners


Although every 3D printer comes with a paint scraper that you can use to remove models from the build plate, not all are created equal. Most 3D printer scrapers don’t allow you to lower the blade enough to lift a model without damaging the build surface. I use the Buildtak 3D printer scraper because it can slide under the model without digging in, which brings them up right away.

James Bricknell/CBS

These small storage baskets are incredibly useful for more than just storing shower products. The separate compartments make it easy to store all your hex keys, scrapers, and filament cutters in a way that makes it easy to move them around your workspace with the convenient handle. I have three of these in my workshop and use them for 3D printing tools, assorted glues and sandpaper. It makes life much easier.

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Home deposit

Having a central place to store your materials is important to keep them safe and dry. These Home Depot cabinets are expandable and easy to build. They’re great for safely stacking your filament or resins, and if you add a little dehumidifier or desiccant packs, you can keep everything dry too.


Magigoo is like a glue stick on steroids. It is specifically designed to hold 3D prints to the build plate while printing, but comes off easily when the bed is finally cooled. It’s incredibly satisfying to print models that barely touch the build surface and act like they’re held together with cement. A small bottle goes that far, so it’s worth the price.


Models often have sharp edges when they first emerge from the build plate, especially if you used an edge to anchor them. A deburring tool like this smooths out those edges with a simple swipe around the corner. It takes a bit of getting used to, but if you’re doing something that people can handle, a deburring tool is a must.

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If you live here in the United States, you might have a set of hex keys that you use for most things. However, 3D printers are made using metric measurements, not inches, so they will either come loose and damage the nut, or won’t fit at all. A good set of metric hex keys is affordable and makes 3D printing easier.

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Dry Tote

The desiccant is an indispensable tool in the fight against humidity. Even the best 3D printing filament can be degraded by absorbing too much moisture, and if you live in a humid climate, storing your filament in a cool, dry place with a desiccant pouch is a great way to keep it usable for longer. . These pouches are a little more expensive than some, but they can be recharged by heating them up so you can use them again and again.

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Did you know that the 3D printing community uses so much Aqua Net hairspray that Amazon’s “Frequently Bought Together” section shows replacement printer filaments and beds? Aqua Net is used as a transition adhesive that both helps your filament stick to the build plate and when cold makes it easier to remove. You have to be careful not to spray it on moving parts, but if you remove your removable build plate and spray it gently and evenly, you’ll get better results immediately.

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Like hairspray, glue sticks help hold an impression, while adding a barrier between the impression and the plate. Some materials stick a little too well to a build plate and can tear a carpet or even crack a glass plate. Glue sticks are also water soluble, so it’s easy to wash them off with soap and water.

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Accessories for intermediate and advanced users


Even if your filament gets wet, it’s not completely useless. Luckily, most filaments can be re-dried if you have the right tools. The desiccant will help keep it from getting wet, but the MatterHackers PrintDry Pro will dry it out if it’s already wet and keep it dry while it prints in the machine. It is an ingenious product that can store two 1kg spools which can be used by the machine while safely inside. In any place that isn’t a desert, the PrintDry is invaluable.

Wham Bam

If you’re hoping to print a filament like ABS, you’ll need your 3D printer to be very hot and breeze free. If you live in a particularly cold climate, an enclosure is a useful way to warm up the area around your 3D printer without having to pay a fortune in heating bills. The Wham Bam HotBox has two sizes, so even if you have a larger machine, you can enjoy the benefits of a hotter build area.


One of the best upgrades released in recent years is E3D’s Revo quick change system. Available for a large number of 3D printers, this hotend replacement adds the ability to quickly replace your nozzles without using wrenches or pliers. You can remove the filament, let the nozzle cool down and unscrew it with your fingers.

The ability to easily swap nozzles opens up new printing techniques with larger nozzles for strength and smaller nozzles for detail. It’s a must-have upgrade for any compatible machine.


Nozzles are expendable in 3D printing and you can expect to use them quite frequently. If you print materials with abrasive materials such as carbon fiber, wood, or even glow in the dark, your nozzle could be destroyed in a single eight-hour session. The ObXidian nozzle is specially hardened to reduce wear and keep your nozzle printing much longer.

This is also part of the Revo system I just mentioned, so it can be easily replaced with different sizes or other nozzles easily.


The Palette 3 is a multi-material unit that allows your standard 3D printer to print multiple colors or filament types. This opens up a lot of variety in your 3D printing and can help you create a truly unique model. You can even take an existing digital model and “paint” colors onto it so that when printed, it’s a multitude of – up to eight – colors.


The RepBox is a community favorite for a number of reasons. The creator is a tremendous advocate for 3D printing and the box itself is a fantastic design that can be mounted or stood on a workbench. The RepBox contains six rolls of 1kg filament and comes with several desiccant cases to keep them cool. Filament is fed out of the box directly into a Palette system or multiple printers without ever touching moist air.

3D Printer Accessories FAQ

What is the best 3D printing tool for beginners?

When you start 3D printing, the most important thing to do is your first layer. It takes time to get the build plate level enough to print consistently, so any tools that can help with that are important. Any of the bed adhesives on this list will help your first layer spread better and make it easier to remove the print once it’s finished.

Glue sticks and hairspray may seem like low-end solutions for a high-tech machine, but they work and they don’t cost much.

How does nozzle size affect 3D printing?

Nozzle size determines how much material you can get through at any given time. The standard nozzle has a 0.4mm hole, but there are nozzles available from 0.2mm to 0.8mm and beyond. A good rule of thumb is if you want a bigger impression, go big, and if you want detail, go small.

I would say there is a tendency to replace 0.4mm nozzles with 0.6mm nozzles as standard, as you lose very little detail in the change, but the models print faster and also tend to be stronger.


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