Introduction: Things to Know Before You Get a 3d Printer

In this instructable I will cover everything you need to know and have before using your new 3d printer.

Step 1: Getting Your Slicer

To use a 3d printer, you must have a slicer. A slicer is a program that takes a 3d file and breaks it down into code that tells the printer how to move, what temperature to heat to, etc. I recommend ultimaker cura a completely free software that is perfect for beginners and pros alike. Another great slicer is Slic3r, a free and open-source software.

Step 2: Leveling the Bed

Before you try to print anything, you need to make sure your printer is ready. unless you have an auto-leveling system, you will probably need to level your print bed. To level the bed, most printers have some sort of nut and screw at each corner of the bed. To level the bed all you have to do is lower the nozzle to the bed, then move it to the first corner. at that corner, slide a piece of printer paper under the nozzle. Now slowly raise or lower the bed using the nuts until you fill a slight resistance. Repeat once or twice on all corners of the bed.

Step 3: Getting the Right Filament

Depending on your printer, some filaments are much better than others. almost all printers do very well with PLA, and most can do ABS and a few other basic plastics. before you order filament make sure it will work for your printer. for example, some printers cannot print with TPU and other flexible filaments. You also need to make sure that the filament is the right diameter for your printer (usually 1.75 or 3.0 mm).

Step 4: Time to Test It!

Now that our printer is ready, it's time to test it. Your printer might come with built-in test prints, and you can either use those or you can download files from a site like Thingiverse. If you downloaded files, you then have to open your slicer and open the file you want to print (if you got them from a site that includes other images and such, you will have to extract the items you want to print from the zipped folder). In your slicer, you can specify settings like the infill(density), speed, thickness, and quality. Once you do this, you send the new .gcode file to your printer through whatever method your printer uses(wifi, sd, usb). I hope this guide helped answer your questions, thank you.