1. Don’t bother with cheap filament unless you can VERIFY it works with your printer.
    1. We’ve been down this path many times to save $10-15/kg – our conclusion is it is NOT worth it
    2. One jam, one failed print, one clogged printer will all ruin the savings!
  2. ABS prints tend to “lift” from the build plate – there are ways to stop this:
    1. You can adjust your nozzle down slightly to get better adhesion to the plate
    2. You can use a normal UHU gluestick on the plate before you print
    3. You can use an “ABS” slurry on the plate before you print:
      1. Buy some acetone from your local pharmacist or hardware store.
      2. Drop a few scraps of ABS plastic into it, wait for it to dissolve
      3. Paint this on the plate before you print
  3. Use filament within a few months of opening/buying it
    1. Filament tends to absorb moisture and changes how well it prints
  4. There are a few ways to get a file to your printer – WiFi, USB, and SD Card are the most common:
    1. “Wifi” in a printer sounds good but from our experience in schools it tends to be more painful then it is worth (firewalls, security, network not working etc etc).
    2. USB is OK but means you need to have a computer next to your printer (many allow you to disconnect after it starts printing – but it still means moving your laptop there)
    3. SD card printing is our preferred way. It is good because you can take the SD card to your computer and it also keeps all your prints on the SD card together (we tend to print the same thing more than once)

 

Printers we have personally tested and own include models by: 3D Systems, Afinia/Up,  BEE THE FIRST, Cubicon, Flashforge, Loongo, Makerbot, Polar, Printrbot, Me3D, XYZ printers.

Makers Empire: Better learning by design

Makers Empire helps K-8 teachers teach Design Thinking, STEM and 21st-century learning skills using 3D printing. Our pioneering 3D solutions for schools include 3D modelling software, over 150 lesson plans aligned with international standards and professional development. With Makers Empire, engaged students learn how to solve real-world problems and make their world better.