Advanced 3D Printing Tips

One of the best things about hanging around with other hackers is you hear about the little tricks they use for things like 3D printing. But with the Internet, you can overhear tips from people you’ll probably never meet, like [3D Printer Academy]. His recent video has a little bit of a click-bait title (“10 Secret 3D Printing Tricks…“) but when we watched it, we did see several cool ideas. Of course, you probably know at least some of the ten tips, but it is still interesting to see what he’s been up to, which you can do in the video below.

At one point he mentions 11 tips, but the title has 10 and we had to stretch to get to that number since some of them have some overlap. For example, several involve making printed threads. However, he also shows some C-clips, a trick to add walls for strength, and printing spur gears. Of course, some of these, like the gears, require specific tools, but many of them are agnostic.

Some of the tips are about selecting a particular infill pattern, which you’d think would be pretty obvious, but then again, your idea of what’s novel and what’s old hat might be different than ours. The explanation of how a print-in-place hinge works is pretty clear (even if it isn’t really a live hinge) and also applies to making chains to transfer power. We also thought the threaded containers were clever.

So if you can overlook the title and you don’t mind seeing a few tips you probably already know, you can probably take something away from the video. What’s your favorite “expert” trick? Let us know in the comments.

A lot of what we print tends to be enclosures and there are some good tips for those floating around. Of course, the value of tips vary based on your experience level. But if you are just starting out, you should check out [Bald Engineer]’s video of things he wished someone had told him when he started 3D printing.

23 thoughts on “Advanced 3D Printing Tips

        1. You mean “free” and “Free”. The difference is important.

          One means you voluntarily shackle yourself.
          The other means there are no shackles.
          Make your choice carefully.

    1. ++++++ for OpenSCAD. Shallow learning curve, especially for anyone who already has some programming experience. Plus, a well designed script allows users to easily change any desired characteristic of the part(s) simply by changing variables and seeing it instantly 3D rendered. They don’t need to know anything at all about OpenSCAD itself.

    2. I’ve been using Fusion 360 for all of my designs since I got my first 3D printer in December, and I have used nothing but their free license. The primary limitation is that your account can only hold 10 designs at a time. But you can archive designs and store them locally until you need to edit them again.

  1. Or even FreeCAD (the realthunder branch that is).
    I’ve seen a lot of people saying how crap FreeCAD is because of the Topological Naming Problem, but it’s not that bad. It’s not anywhere close to F360 in stability or feature set but that isn’t to say it’s a bad piece of software. I like it and use it on a regular basis, but it needs a lot more work to make it stable so it doesn’t crash at the worst possible moment (before you say it, yes, I do regular saves anyway).
    Talking about Fusion 360, Autodesk have been systematically alienating their hobbyist user base for years and people have been jumping ship to other products, where they can. And no, I am not advocating jumping from F360 to FreeCAD. There isn’t any way you could fairly compare the two products. I don’t want this to turn this into a “Linux vs Windows”-style thread.

        1. Yes, FreeCAD sucks, but it’s free of charge and free of restriction. And over time it will get better. A good parallel to this is KiCAD, which initially only sucked moderately, but became awesome, and continues to improve.

    1. Can’t wait for the topological naming merge. That said, I’ve already adopted techniques that virtually eliminate this problem in my projects. The only ones that are still a problem are fillets and chamfers.

      FreeCAD is still pretty good as it is, but that merge will bring it into “great” territory.

  2. If you can match the title of an article/video with a generic “click-bait” regex of less than 100 characters, then it isn’t “a little” click-baity…

    That title is all-in click-bait, and we should ALL be blocking it.

    Giving them views only makes the internet a worse place.
    Don’t contribute to the problem just because you don’t have the willpower to avoid some cheap entertainment.

    Also: That video is pretty hardcore product placement…

  3. Meh

    also not a living hinge… and you can combine them with bridging through the center to make the “chain” much more robust than with just cones at the ends of the hinge.

  4. I never click on videos starting with a number, combined with trigger words like:
    Another level
    Next level
    Blow your mind
    Out of this world
    Or headers starting with the word:

    Saves a lot of time 🙂

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