Two days ago, MAKE magazine published an article Helpful Tips for the New 3D Printer Owner. While the eight tips mentioned may be helpful, I have a few addendums:

  • The paper test for bed leveling is not to be done with the Z axis at first-layer height, but instead with Z at 0; after that, use your slicing software to get the first layer height just right
  • For cleaning borosilicate glass, soap and water typically is sufficient
  • Heated platforms aren’t only for ABS: if you’re printing with PLA, it is helpful too
  • Properties of filament vary more than just between PLA and ABS; color, manufacturer, moisture content, and age all also determine the temperature you should extrude at

Bonus round:

Bed Leveling Calibration test object

Bed Leveling Calibration test object

  • To help bed leveling, use this special calibration object: thing:13053
  • The temperatures you read aren’t going to be the same as others — thermistors vary, their position varies, and different designs vary the proximity of the thermistor to what’s actually being heated
  • Don’t worry so much about being “backwards” on an axis; you can put the axes in whatever orientation you want

As always with everything RepRap, your milage may vary. Printers vary greatly, and materials even more. These definitely are not absolutes, but instead guidelines that you may find helpful.

Well, with all of that out of the way, what additional beginner’s tips do you think are missing from their list? Put it in the comments below.