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Time to Replace Your 3D Printer Nozzle: Signs and Symptoms of Nozzle Wear

3D printing can be enjoyable when everything is going right. However, it can rack your brains when something goes wrong. 3D printing issues can usually be fixed by adjusting the settings or the parts. But if you’ve tried everything and it’s still not working, it could be that you need to replace a part in your 3D printer, particularly the nozzle.

What could wear out your nozzle? Here are the following reasons:

Nozzle Damaging Practises

Using abrasive filaments

Some 3D printer filaments are tough on regular nozzles. These are usually “composites” or filaments that have been reinforced by fibres to improve their mechanical properties. These filaments are:

Carbon fiber


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Comprehensive Guide to 3D Printing Infill

Source: Ultimaker

3D prints are usually designed to be hollow for faster printing, less filament usage, and cheaper overall costs. Otherwise, it would take forever for a 3D print to be finished and you would end up using far more filaments than necessary. The downside to this is that it makes the object weak and unstable.

3D printing infill is the secret to stronger and more stable 3D prints. Infill takes up the empty space within a 3D print to reinforce and increase the volume. It is usually concealed from view by the outer shell of the model. However, some use it for aesthetics and allow it to be seen through the walls of the print.

The infill can be printed in different densities and patterns depending on the structural needs of the print.

How to choose infill density

Source: Enabling the Future

There are different choices for infill density in slicer programs. You can choose from 0% (no infill) to 100% (solid interiors). The higher the density is, the more structurally sound your 3D print is going to be. However, this also translates to longer printing times and higher production costs.

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Is Auto Bed Leveling Necessary?

Leveling your bed is one of the most crucial things you need to do to get a successful 3D print. In fact, many printing issues can be solved just by leveling the bed. However, bed leveling is just as exciting as watching the entire 3D print from start to end (read: tedious and time-consuming).

So the invention of auto-leveling in 3D printers must have been a welcomed addition to 3D printing enthusiasts, right?

What exactly is Auto-Leveling and what makes it better than Manual Leveling? Read below to find out.


As the name suggests, auto-leveling is a feature that newer 3D printers are equipped with that automatically corrects any inconsistency with the distance between the nozzle and the bed in all areas. It does so through the proximity sensor or switch installed near the tip of the print head that checks certain areas of the platform during the bed leveling process.

A firmware helps in computing the distance between the nozzle and the printing bed at different platform points and adjusting the nozzle to its optimum distance.


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7 Ways to Save Money on Your 3D Printing Projects

3D printing technology is said to help save money as it is a cheaper way to produce orthodontics, prosthetics, home items and various medical and consumer items that are usually expensive and complicated to produce. Bigger additive manufacturing companies save a lot on production costs and time.

However, for hobbyists, prosumers, or small businesses, 3D printing doesn’t come cheap. Just the 3D printers and materials alone (at least the good quality ones) are already expensive. Here are 7 money-saving tips to help you reduce the costs in your 3D printing projects.

Optimize your 3D design

The best way to cut costs on your 3D printing project is to start by optimizing your 3D design to use the least amount of materials. First, select the optimal print settings to prevent printing issues and improve print quality.

Second, look into changing the orientation of your design to prevent the need for support structures since they require extra material. Make sure that your design doesn’t have overhangs of more than 45° so that it won’t need supports.

Lastly, reduce the size of your design if you can. Smaller designs understandably require less material.

Lower the infill percentage

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Discover your 3D printer’s capacities with these 3 Tips to Testing & Improving 3D Printer’s Tolerances

(Photo by Rob Wingate on Unsplash)

3D printers are made differently. Such is the case with the dimensional accuracy of 3D printers. No 3D printer can produce parts with the perfect dimensions. It will usually have an allowance of deviation which is called tolerance. How does this affect you? Read below to find out.

What is tolerance and how does it affect your 3D prints?

In terms of manufacturing, tolerance is the allowable difference in weight or size. It allows for a slight margin of error in the dimensional accuracy when reproducing a certain part. No matter how hard you try, there is always going to be a discrepancy between the dimensions in your design and the 3D model that you produce. It is why it’s important to determine the clearances of your 3D printer.

How does this affect you? Knowing your 3D printer’s tolerances is useful when you’re producing parts that must be joined together. When designing a 3D model, you have to consider the potential dimensional deviations. If not, it will result in poorly fitted parts or support structures.

Ready to test and improve your 3D printer’s tolerance? Let’s start with the 3D printer tolerance testing and improvement tips below.

Calibration is key to testing tolerance

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Your Handy Guide to Superior Bed Adhesion

Bed adhesion is crucial to your print’s success. Without it, you might as well come to terms that your 3D prints will come out as warped or worse, misshapen blobs. Get the adhesion right and it’s almost smooth sailing from there.

You’re probably wondering how your heat bed can lack adhesion. After all, the road to 3D printing hell is paved with good intentions. You may think everything is working out great in the beginning but when you come back to check on your print, it has become a disaster. Here are signs that your heat bed is missing adhesion.

Signs that you lack bed adhesion

The 3D print is warped

The 3D print is a jumbled mess

The first layer is messy

Bed Adhesion: Tips and Tricks

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Best Maintenance Tricks to Get Your 3D Printer to Last for Years

3D printers can be expensive. It is no different from cars, laptops, and any other machinery as it needs maintenance and care to prolong its operation. If you want to ensure that your 3D printer will be in tip-top shape for years to come, here are top maintenance tips for 3D printers.

General rule: Avoid getting your 3D printer wet

3D printers and water don’t mix. It is an electronic device that has no water-resistant capabilities whatsoever. It is dangerous to get 3D printers wet as it may cause electrocution. Parts will also be definitely damaged when that happens.

Nozzle care tips

Don’t just yank out the filament from the nozzle

There is a reason why the cold pulling method is harmful to the nozzle and should be done so sparingly. You can’t just pull out the filament in the nozzle unless it’s been preheated to 150 degree Celsius or more.

Clean out your nozzle from time to time

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4 New Ways to Integrate 3D Printing in the Class to Make Learning Fun

This school term is a great time to introduce 3D printing into the lesson plan. It’s been proven that students have a harder time focusing during the winter, according to a scientific study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Concentration takes a nosedive during the winter months, which is why it is crucial to keep the lessons interesting during this period.

The benefits of 3D printing to education are immense. As we’ve talked about in a previous blog post, 3D printing encourages students to be active participants and learners while also making difficult subjects such as STEM more enjoyable.

3D printing is not just for STEM, they can be used for a wide range of subjects. If you want to start incorporating 3D printing into the curriculum, here are 4 ways to do it.

3D printing & design in English class

Make fiction stories come to life with 3D printing. With 3D printing, teachers can create fictional objects from books so that it will be easier for the students to envision them. Students can design their own versions of the objects as well.

In addition, teachers can create puzzles and games that students can solve to make hard concepts easier to understand.

3D printing in History class

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Be Good to the Environment with these Eco-Friendly 3D Printer Filaments

So you’ve already been practicing environmentally friendly 3D printing methods that we have discussed in a previous blog post. Despite all the changes you’ve made, you may be wondering about the fumes that your filaments have been emitting. You may have noticed this in some high-strength and performance engineering materials such as ABS, Polycarbonate, and some Nylon filaments. If this is worrisome for you or you have a particularly sensitive sense of smell, there are eco-friendly alternatives to regular 3D printer filaments. Read our blog post to learn more.


Regular PLA is typically eco-friendly since it is made of renewable organic resources such as cornstarch from maize and dextrose from sugarcane. It is also biodegradable with a decomposition time of 3 – 6 months depending on the decomposition methods. However, it has to be disposed of in an industrial composting facility or home compost bin as leaving it in a landfill will do nothing.

Since it is made of organic material, it has a low emission of non-toxic fumes during 3D printing. This makes it safe for use in homes and schools.

The trade-off when using PLA is that it creates prints that are brittle and low resistance against impact and temperature. It is only good for visual prints, rapid prototyping, and anything that doesn’t require excellent mechanical strength. Luckily, there are new reinforced PLA filaments that are formulated to rival and even exceed ABS.


Volcano PLA

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Two tough 3D printer filaments battle it out as the toughest against the harsh elements of the weather

ASA is commonly known for its UV, weather, and heat resistance, which is why they make the best garden ornaments, exterior automotive components, and outdoor signages. However, ASA costs a bit more than other 3D printer filaments. So for those who are looking for a more budget-friendly option turn to ABS filaments.

As one of the classics, ABS also boasts excellent heat resistance and durability. Despite these qualities, it is hard to wield due to its host of printing issues. It also wears out against extreme conditions eventually and discoloration of white prints under the exposure of the sun.

So, with these issues is ABS still a worthy competition of ASA? Or is ASA on a whole different playing field? Read more to find out.

UV Resistance

ABS and ASA are both UV-resistant and capable of standing strong against the UV rays of the sun. That said, ASA trumps ABS in this department as the former doesn’t experience discoloration and turns yellow due to UV radiation.

h3 Winner: ASA

Weather Resistance

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You’ll Never Guess the Shocking Difference Between FDM and FFF 3D Printers

While browsing our 3D printers, you may have come across these terms. FDM and FFF are not just mere letters in the 3D printing world. These are the types of printing technology employed by 3D printers. Just what are these technologies and how do they affect the way you print? Read more to find out.

Background on 3D printing technology

There are many types of 3D printing technologies. Aside from FDM and FFF, there are other 3D printer types, such as Stereolithography(SLA), Digital Beam Melting (EBM), Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and Digital Light Processing (DLP). Obviously, each 3D printer type operates differently. That is not the case with FDM and FFF printers though.

The difference between FDM and FFF

The reason why FDM and FFF 3D printers operate similarly is because they are the same! There are no differences when it comes to the printing processes, however FDM is a trademarked term while FFF is not.

FDM stands for Fused Deposition Modeling. It was developed by Stratasys in 1989. Eventually, the RepRap community created their DIY FDM-inspired 3D printers called Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) so that the 3D printing community can use and discuss 3D printing without infringing on the trademark.

The science behind FDM/FFF 3D printing

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Everything You Need to Know about Buying Your First 3D Printer in 2019

Buying a 3D printer can be complicated. Bigger and more expensive doesn’t always mean something is better. And what might work for one person might not necessarily work for another. Just like any other gadget, you have to do your due diligence as a consumer and research and read up on the best 3D printers in Australia before you commit to the purchase.

As a 3D printing newbie, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of information you have to absorb. And believe us, there is a lot to take in, especially if you’re not that technically adept. If all this information is just confusing you more, we here at X3D will help you narrow down what 3D printer you should buy. Read our comprehensive guide to buying your first 3D printer below.

Guideline 1: Do you need a 3D printer?

A 3D printer is a costly investment. Are you sure that you’re not just buying on impulse? Before buying a 3D printer, make sure that you’ll be getting the most out of it. You need to consider how often you’ll be using it and for what purposes.

If you’re just venturing into the world of 3D printing as a hobbyist, you can try getting your feet wet first by visiting a 3D printing lab like SOLDER at FLUX to get a first-hand experience at 3D printing.

Address: 191 St Georges Terrace

Perth, 6000

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Ways that 3D Printing is Transforming the Dental Community — UNVEILED!

There is nothing that can stop 3D printing technology from taking over our lives.

It has been disrupting the status quo for multiple industries to create tools and parts with greater efficiency and lower production costs, among many other benefits. One such industry is dentistry where 3D printing has helped and even innovated the production of tools, prostheses, and dental implants. Here are the orthodontic products that can be made using 3D printing technology.

3D printed dental applications

Orthodontic models

Gone are the days when patients have to bite into a chunk of clay so that dentists could create a mold for their dentures. Thanks to 3D printing, it is now possible to scan the teeth electronically, design the orthodontic model, and print it in the same place. This process is also faster.

Surgical tools

3D printing can also create the dental surgical tools required during drilling. These drill guides help the dentists in executing the surgery accurately during certain dental procedures.

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Compare Ultimaker 3D Printers to Know Which One’s for You

Buying an Ultimaker 3D printer is no easy feat.

Ultimaker 3D printers do not come cheap, so you have to be sure that what you buy will be a perfect match for your goals and the prints that you would be creating. Whether you’re upgrading your 3D printer or buying your first one, it is the perfect time to buy Ultimaker 3D printers since they are currently on sale. We are offering 5% off on all models as well as 4 free X3D filament rolls. Not sure what to buy? Read our comparison guide below to find out which 3D printer is the best for you.

What are Ultimaker 3D printers?

Ultimaker is a 3D printer brand that was founded in May 2011 in the Netherlands. They manufacture FFF 3D printers, 3D printing software, and branded 3D printing materials. Its free proprietary 3D printing software is the Ultimaker Cura. Its line of 3D printer models include Ultimaker 2+ and 2+ Extended, Ultimaker 3+ and 3+ Extended, and Ultimaker S5 and S5 Extended. Below is a more in-depth look on Ultimaker’s range of 3D printers.

Entry-level 3D printer: Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker 2+ Extended

As the lowest priced Ultimaker 3D printer, the Ultimaker 2+ and 2 Extended+ is perfect for any 3D printing novice due to its ease of use and simple interface. It is a plug-and-play device that comes out of the box pre-assembled and ready to print. It can be used for a wide range of applications, from prototyping to tool production.

Ultimaker 2+ and 2+ Extended Features:

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5 Retail Companies That Have Been Using 3D Printing for Their Consumer Goods

3D printing technology is transforming the consumer goods industry in more ways than one. Benefits such as faster production times, more customisation, and cheaper manufacturing costs are making more and more turn to 3D printing or additive manufacturing for their manufacturing needs. Here are 5 Creative 3D Printing Innovations from the Retail Industry.

3D printed parts from Whirlpool

Whirlpool has been adopting 3D printing in their spare parts production. Partnering up with a Singaporean service bureau Spare Parts 3D, it aims to combat obsolesce and shortage in their spare parts catalogue.

3D printed mascara brush from Chanel

French high-luxury beauty brand Chanel is one of the first in its industry to utilize 3D printing in its products starting with the Révolution Volume mascara brush. They used Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) in order to produce 50,000 brushes a day. The technology also allowed Chanel to create 100 iterations of the brush, a jaw-dropping prototyping feat that is not possible outside of 3D printing. The brush features microcavities that allow it to absorb more mascara than other brushes, and a granular texture on the bristles for improved surface area and product distribution.

3D printed coffee jar from Nescafe

As one of the leading coffee brands in the world, Nescafe has released a high-tech coffee jar that is equipped with a cap that also serves as an alarm clock. The cap lights up when it is in alarm. In order to turn off the alarm, people have to open the jar and in doing so, catch a whiff of the coffee inside to wake them up.

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Get Authentic-Looking Stone Parts and Objects with Stone 3D Printing Filaments

It used to be that 3D printing technology is only known for its plastic creations. These days, it is now possible to create 3D prints made of various materials, such as concrete, marble, granite, and clay. Stone 3D printer filaments make it possible to create real-looking beautiful stone creations. Just what are these stone 3D printer filaments and how do you print with it? Read below to find out.

What are stone 3D printing filaments?

There are two kinds of stone 3D printing filaments: stone-filled filaments and stone-mimic filaments. Here are the differences between the two. One is the stone-filled filament made from a composite PLA material that is mixed with powdered stone to give its prints an almost-real stone appearance and feel. On the other hand, stone-mimic filaments are made completely from PLA with no stone components whatsoever but have stone-like patterns.

Stone-filled 3D printing filaments


Produces 3D prints with a near-authentic matte and rough stone look and feel

Higher density

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3D Printing Tips with ABS: How to Use ABS for Successful 3D Prints

The ABS 3D printing filament is the godfather of the 3D printing world. As one of the first plastic types to be used in industrial 3D printing, it has become a staple material due to its affordability and exceptional mechanical properties. Despite many 3D printing filaments coming out that are easier to print with and are more remarkable in its capabilities, ABS is still considered the classic legend when it comes to 3D printing. Read below to learn more about ABS.

What is ABS: Features, Strengths, and Weaknesses




Excellent impact and wear resistance

High heat resistance

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How to Prevent Filament Warping during 3D Printing

Warping is an issue that is dreaded by both 3D printing enthusiasts and professionals. It is nothing short of a tragedy to see your 3D print ruined because of this issue. What is warping and what causes it exactly? Read below to find out.

What is warping and what causes it?

You know that warping has ruined your 3D print if you see the bottom edges curled up. This is caused by a great number of things, but generally, the filament used shrinks during the curing and cooling part of the 3D printing process. Whatever the reason may be, tension builds up within the model until the lower layers start to lift or drag. Here are the causes:

Huge temperature differences between extruded layers

Bigger footprint layers above the bed face layer

High infill percentage which increases the material for shrinking

Tips to Prevent Warping

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Delve deeper into Metallic 3D Printing Filaments with our In-Depth Guide

3D printing is soon to be a blacksmith’s new technology.

While 3D printing still has not perfected the production of metal products, it can create 3D prints that have the look and feel of metal, thanks to metallic 3D printing filaments. They benefit the production of items, such as jewelry, busts, sculptures, and museum replicas. Metalheads, learn more about metallic 3D printing filaments below.

What are metallic 3D printing filaments?

Metallic 3D printing filaments produce 3D prints that look and feel like they’re really crafted from metal. These filaments are mostly made from a base of standard 3D printing materials, such as ABS or PLA combined with ultra-fine metal powder made of stainless steel, bronze, brass, and copper. The amount of metal powder that a filament contains vary according to the manufacturer.

The metallic components make the filament a lot heavier than the standard filaments. Since they contain metal, metallic 3D printing filaments are more abrasive against nozzles, so it is recommended to use a wear-resistant nozzle when printing with them.


Realistic metallic finish

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Meet the strongest and most powerful warrior filaments of the 3D printing realm

While some people don’t require high-strength in their filaments, it comes in handy when building 3D prints for commercial and industrial applications. These applications test a filament’s resistance to heat, extreme temperatures, harsh weather conditions, physical impact, stress, overuse and more. Find out which of the high-strength 3D printing filaments are part of the Superhero League below:

Types of high-strength filaments


ABS is among the most popular high-strength filaments and the second most commonly used out of all filaments due to its consistent strength, durability, and temperature resistance. However, its main flaw lies on the level of printing difficulty. It has a lot of issues during printing, including noxious fumes, warping, and high printing temperature.

ABS Applications: Automotive trim components, electrical enclosures, tool handles, phone cases, and high-wear toys.

Titan X


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Here’s Everything You Need to Know about Food-Safe 3D Printing

3D printing technology makes it possible for you to create everything in your home from top to bottom. You can even create your own home using it. However, you’ll need industrial-sized printers for that. So for now, we would have to make do with homeware items, such as plates, food containers, and water bottles. If you have always fancied creating your own food-safe homeware items, here is the only guide you’ll ever need for Food-Safe 3D Printing.

Food-Safe Filaments


PET is already a common material used for creating plastic bottles and food containers, so 3D printing with PET and its derivatives is considered food-safe.


FormFutura HDglass

Zortrax Z-PETG

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Everything You Need to Know about 3D Printing with Conductive Filaments

3D printing technology has come a long way that its prints can conduct electricity and power up products that have never been made possible before. Items such as shirts, laptop trackpads and more can now be faster and more affordable to create with 3D printing. How is it possible for 3D printing technology to create these gadgets? Read below to find out about conductive filaments.

What is a Conductive Filament?

A conductive filament is a 3D printing material that creates anti-static, dissipation, and electric-current prints. It is usually made with a 3D printing plastic base of PLA or ABS combined with carbon. Carbon is a material that makes it possible to conduct electricity due to its graphitised atomic structure. It means that its atoms have a “honeycomb lattice” arrangement that allows it to transmit currents through its electrons.

This structure also guarantees the material’s rigidity and strength.

Applications for Conductive Filaments

Conductive filaments are perfect for creating gadgets and components that will have electricity flow through them. While copper and iron are more popular conductors, conductive filaments are metal-free, which means that the latter conduct electricity much slower than the former. Therefore, conductive filaments are typically used for smaller gadgets, such as wearable technology, electromagnetic and radio shields, and touch sensors.

3D Printing Best Practices for Conductive Filaments

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A Quick Guide to Eco-Friendly 3D Printing with Biodegradable 3D Printer Filaments

With people’s growing environmental consciousness, there has been a move to make 3D printing a much more sustainable and eco-friendly technology. While 3D printing technology already reduces carbon and waste footprint, it can still be further reduced by doing these measures:

Use water-soluble supports or none at all

We have previously talked about the benefits of support structures and the hassles of removing them. Support removal can make or break a 3D print. Fortunately, there are dissolvable support materials such as PVA and HIPS that makes removal easier while being environmentally friendly.

Another thing, not all designs require supports. There have been many advancements in 3D printers nowadays that it is now possible to avoid the use of support materials. You can change the printing orientation of the model or part or ensure that features can be self-supported.

Create something out of leftover 3D printer filament

Leftover 3D printer filament usually ends up as waste. To avoid adding to your waste footprint, consider creating a multi-coloured model or part with all your leftover materials. All you have to do is feed them into the printer. Not only are you helping the environment, but you also get a cool 3D print as well.

Use an enclosure to contain the noxious fumes during printing

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Everything You Need to Know about Engineering 3D Printing Filaments

The engineering field is making great advancements thanks to 3D printing technology. It has made it possible to produce cheaper, stronger, and more resistant parts at a faster time frame, from months to mere days. Prototyping is also that much easier and more affordable, therefore giving engineers the confidence to keep experimenting and improving on their designs at minimal expense and time spent.

Benefits of 3D printing in engineering applications

3D printing greatly reduces development time to days

Designs can easily be rapidly tested and revised

Parts can be improved upon and adjusted according to preference at a shorter timeframe

3D printed parts can be produced faster and easier, regardless of the complexity of the design

Design can be finalised first before casting it into an expensive mold

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Learn how to get glossy smooth prints right after printing with Smooth Filaments

A smooth surface isn’t easy to get with 3D printing usually. We have talked about how to smoothen a 3D print through post-processing techniques, but there is a way to get smooth-as-glass 3D prints with zero to minimal post-processing.

Introducing… smooth filaments! There are two types of smooth filaments. One is made of a polymer composite PLA material, which makes it stronger and tougher than regular PLA, but just as environmentally friendly. The second still needs minimal post-processing, but not as much of a hassle as preparing a noxious Acetone Vapour concoction.

Smooth filaments create great toys, cosplay components, decors, and other craft items. Since it is similar to PLA, it cannot withstand heavy stress and industrial applications.

Want to find out more about Smooth Filaments? Read their features and tradeoffs below:

Qualities of Smooth Filaments


Produces a smooth surface

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Get realistic wood 3D prints with this Complete Wood 3D Printer Filament Guide

There are plenty of wood filaments on the market that give off a realistic wooden look and feel on 3D prints that you would be surprised that they are not totally made of wood. Wood filaments are typically composite materials that are made up of a PLA base and some type of wood derivatives, such as cork or wood dust. However, there are some filaments that have no wood particles at all, but these usually produce a different texture in 3D prints.

Unlike other composite filaments such as metal-infused and carbon fiber filaments, wood filaments are gentler on nozzles as wood is a lot softer. Nonetheless, they still cause partial clogging to small nozzles over time.

Wood filaments are best used when creating decorations, toys, and cosplay props.


Produces a wooden surface: Due to the wood particles in the filament, it can produce 3D prints that have realistic wooden surface.

Pleasant smell during printing: It has a sugary smell during printing since the filament has a PLA base.

Not as abrasive on nozzles: Wood is softer than metals or carbon fiber, therefore it is not as damaging to nozzles as other composite materials.

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Dissolvable 3D Printing Filaments: 3D Printing Guide for HIPS and PVA

Supports bring stability to the overlying bits of your 3D prints during printing. They are good for your 3D print at least until it’s time for removal where they leave marks and scratches, possibly ruining the print surface.

Good thing there are dissolvable filaments to the rescue. These dissolvable filaments (consisting of HIPS and PVA) can be used in dual extrusion printers. There are distinct differences in uses and characteristics between the two. Read below to find out what they are.

HIPS Filament

HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) is a dissolvable filament that is commonly used as a support material for ABS prints. It is a lot similar to ABS, except that HIPS is slightly lighter and more dimensionally stable than the former. This makes it a great substitute for ABS when you need lightweight prints for heavy applications, such as cosplay and wearable items and protective casing.

It needs to be dissolved in a substance called D-Limonene in order to be removed from prints. It leaves no marks on the prints upon removal.



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Everything You Need to Know about 3D Printing with Carbon Fiber Filament

Did you know that there is a way to amp up the power of your favorite 3D printer filaments such as ABS, PLA, PETG, and nylon?

It’s simple! Just by infusing short carbon fiber strands into these filaments, it turns these common filaments into superhero versions of themselves. Carbon fiber makes the filament stronger, stiffer, lighter, and more dimensionally stable. However, the downside to all this exceptional bump in mechanical properties is that nozzles are put under more stress than usual due to carbon fiber’s abrasiveness.

Read on to get in-depth information about Carbon Fiber filament.

What is Carbon Fiber filament?


It has increased strength and stiffness: Carbon fiber filaments are strengthened by short carbon fiber strands infused into the base material, such as ABS, PLA, Nylon, and PETG.

Lightweight: Carbon fiber is a lightweight material that translates to lighter 3D prints.

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2019’s Newest 3D Printing Innovations to Watch Out for from CES 2019

3D printing technology is about to get a lot more exciting this 2019 if the many product launches at the latest Computer Electronics Show (CES) are any indications. Held in Las Vegas last January, it featured new products from Shining 3D, Nexa3D, XYZPrinting, Polaroid, Formlabs, and Wiiv and Dr. Scholl. From new filaments to new 3D printers that have ground-breaking capabilities, here are the best 3D printing launches at this year’s CES.

Three new high-performance PLA blend filaments and hardened steel nozzle

(left-right): Antibacterial PLA, Metallic PLA, and Carbon Fiber PLA

2019 is the year of new innovations on PLA filaments. XYZprinting has come out with THREE new PLA blend filaments that are unlike any other in the market.

The Antibacterial PLA is a filament that claims to inhibit bacterial growth by up to 99%, thanks to the silver ions integrated into the blend.

They have also created their own iterations of Metallic and Carbon Fiber PLA filaments .

To accommodate these hardened filaments, XYZPrinting also released a new hardened steel nozzle that is more resistant to wear and tear.

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It’s Getting Hot in Here: Everything You Need to Know about Polycarbonate 3D Printing Filament

Polycarbonate is known for its combination of extreme features: impressive strength, toughness, durability, impact resistance, and heat resistance. This naturally transparent thermoplastic can create high-wear and high-stress 3D prints that stand the test of time and durability, such as automotive components, exterior outdoor fixtures, protective gear, eyewear parts, and medical devices.

While its the filament’s extreme heat resistance is considered a boon, it is also its bane as it brings forth several printing issues. Despite these problems, the filament’s redeeming qualities more than make up for its shortcomings since it is the strongest out of all the 3D printer filaments, including the popular ABS and Nylon.

What is polycarbonate?

As we mentioned above, polycarbonate is a naturally transparent thermoplastic that is highly resistant to heat and impact, which makes it perfect for use in tough environments and engineering applications. Its partial flexibility also allows it to be used on parts that need to be bent to some degree.

However, its powerful qualities also cause it to have several drawbacks. It requires extremely high printing temperatures which causes it to be more prone to warping and oozing. It is also terribly hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs more moisture from the air than most filaments so you have to be careful with storing it in a moisture-free and airtight container when not in use. Failing to do so can make its prints weaker and defective.

Features of the Polycarbonate Filament

Naturally transparent

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5 Beautiful Holiday 3D Print Ideas that Can Infect Even the Grinch with Holiday Spirit

Christmas is almost here. For 3D printing enthusiasts and hobbyists, it is the perfect time to exercise your 3D printing creativity and skill as well as customise your Christmas decorations. Don’t let the yuletide season go by without trying these fun and festive 3D print ideas compiled from Thingiverse.

EZ Print Christmas Tree by SynJa

This 3D Christmas tree print by SynJa may not for beginners but it is simple enough if you follow the instructions perfectly. You have to keep in mind that it uses the droop loop method, which has its own specific instructions. Printing this is also like opening a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re going to get. Depending on the filament you use, some might end up looking slender, fluffy, and even natural.

Download the files here

Reindeer by Sushigogokatana

Create a cool looking Reindeer lawn ornament using Sushigogokatana’s idea. Just add 180 Christmas lights to this outdoor light installation and you’ve got yourself a cool-looking reindeer decoration that might have Santa confuse it for the real thing.

Download the files here

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3 Reasons Why Outsourcing 3D Printing Projects Make More Business & Fiscal Sense

More and more industries are seeing the benefits of 3D printing. Companies are seeing the benefits of the technology to improve production efficiency and turnaround times and create cheaper prototypes and products.

However, 3D printers don’t come cheap. It is a costly investment, which makes some businesses hesitant to transition or adopt the technology despite its many touted benefits. There’s also the additional expense of training your existing manpower to operate the machine. In some cases, it’s just not worth it to do your 3D printing projects in-house.

3 Reasons to Outsource 3D Printing Projects

It is not only small businesses and start-ups that outsource their 3D printing projects. Even Fortune 500 companies outsource to 3D printing service providers. Here are the 3 benefits to 3D print outsourcing.

Outsourcing Grants Scalability

With outsourcing, you can easily scale up or down your 3D printing production depending on your needs. In some industries, their need for 3D printing fluctuates throughout the year, so it is wiser to only outsource when the need crops up rather than build a 3D printing lab that only gets used for several times a year.

Outsourcing Saves Money

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5 Easy Support Structure Removal Tips for 3D Prints

3D printing can create a great number of things, but it takes work before you can get your 3D prints to end up looking like your design.

If you’ve been FDM 3D printing for a while, you know that 3D prints do not come out already looking like the finished product. Aside from post-processing, you also need to remove the support structure that acts as beams to keep the overhanging parts of your print from falling or sagging.

Since it is part of a print, removing the support structure is no joke. You can’t just yank it off and expect that it will come out easily. Yes, there are times that you can remove it by hand or needle nose pliers for some support materials. But for other cases, you may need to practice extra care in removing structure support. Here are the 5 3D Support Removal tips that still keep your 3D print intact.

Use a 3D printer equipped with dual extruders

The good thing about dual extruder-equipped 3D printers is that you can use a different and easily dissolvable material for your support structure. This comes in handy when you’re using a primary filament that is especially tough and high-maintenance. With these 3D printers, you can easily remove the support material by dissolving the print in a chemical water bath.

A bit of heat helps with manual removal

If you’re planning to use a knife or scraper to remove the support structure, slightly heat up the blade first with a tiny butane torch so that it’ll be easier to cut into the support. You can also choose to heat the model instead, but you have to be careful not to turn the heat too high as it might melt and deform your model. You also have to keep in mind that one false move with a blade can chop off a part of the model or even your fingers so keep safe.

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This Easy Trick Will You Let Insert and Switch Filaments Even While Asleep

Inserting and switching 3D printing filaments is easier said than done. 3D printing newbies may be afraid to ask how to insert and switch filaments as it may seem basic, but it isn’t as simple either. Here in X3D, we want to make 3D printing easy for beginners. Be a whiz at inserting and switching 3D printer filaments with this guide.

How to Insert 3D Printer Filaments

Although inserting filaments is relatively easy since you can set it up with most 3D printers, there are still things you need to do before you can insert it into the printer. It is after all one of the first steps when 3D printing so it is important that you get it right.

Step-by-step Guide:

Get the filament tip and snip it off to create a sharp tip.

Preheat the 3D printer according to the temperature requirement of the filament.

Load it into the print head and check if it’s extruding properly.

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The Hottest 3D Printing Trends for Businesses this 2018

3D printing is fast growing as an invaluable technology to simplify and streamline procedures and workload for manufacturing industries. Adoption of 3D printing is also becoming more widespread due to its automated processes, integrated software, and collaborations with various industries.

Businesses only stand to benefit from the adoption of 3D printing into their day-to-day operations. If you still need further convincing about integrating this powerhouse technology into your businesses, here are the latest 3D printing technology trends for businesses.

Additive manufacturing will be a $28-billion industry by 2023

Additive manufacturing is the practice of building 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material made of metal, concrete, metal, and even human tissue. Its adoption is predicted to continuously expand and reach $28 billion of sales by 2023, according to the 2018 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing State of the Industry Report by Wohlers Associates.

Supporting this statistic is the result of the latest Sculpteo study, The State of 3D Printing, which was published this year. Seventy-two percent of the companies surveyed are said to increase their spending on additive manufacturing in 2018.

Accelerating product development is the number one reason why companies are turning to 3D printing

The number one priority of companies that rely on 3D printing is accelerating product development. Based on the 2018 Sculpteo study, those who have declared this a priority have increased to 39% in 2018 from 29% in 2017. It is also the area that they most want to improve on over the next 5 years.

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3 Easy 3D Printer Bed Leveling Tips That Will Ensure Successful 3D Prints

If you want your 3D prints to come out successfully, you have to make your bed and lie in it. Just like smoothing a canvas for painting, 3D printer bed leveling is one of the most crucial steps that you must do to achieve the highest success ratio when printing. After all, you can’t expect your prints to come out even if the platform it is on is unleveled. Here are signs that your bed needs leveling:

Your print is not sticking completely on the build surface

Your print has varying height and width across the build surface

Your print has gaps between lines

There are three ways to level 3D printer beds: manual leveling, software leveling, and hardware leveling. Find out how to do them below.

Manual Leveling

Most 3D printers can handle 3D printer bed leveling through manual means. While most printers have auto- or semi-auto 3D printer bed leveling, manual leveling can still give the best chance at achieving the perfect first layer. You can do this by adjusting the screws that hold the bed. The number of screws varies per 3D printer. Some have three screws, while the others have four. The latter is a lot more difficult to adjust since the fourth screw usually bends the print surface diagonally. It can be complex but it is doable; you just have to be more careful.

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Coolest 3D Printing Ideas for Flexible 3D Printing Filaments

Printing with flexible 3D printing filaments is fun and cool. There are plenty that you could create using them, functional items that you could use in your day-to-day life. We have recently given a thorough overview and printing instructions for flexible 3D Printing Filaments. If you want to practice what you’ve learned, here are easy and useful flexible filament print ideas to play with.

Cable Ties

You can print out cable ties to organize all the cords snaking around your house.

Trainer Soles

There have been plenty of trainers recently released lately that are made through 3D printing technology. It is easy to create your own with the use of flexible 3D printing filaments. You also don’t have to chuck away your old favourite kicks when the sole wears out when you can easily replace it by 3D printing a new one.

Cell phone cases

Some of the most common items produced by flexible filaments, cell phone cases are suitable for anyone, especially in this technological world. These cases are meant to protect as well as prettify your beloved gadgets.

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Spooky Halloween 3D Print Ideas that Will Make You Scream in Glee

Legend has it that on the night of Halloween each year, malevolent spirits come out from the darkness to trick the 3D printers of hobbyists and professionals. They wreak havoc on prints, filaments, and 3D printing projects.

People find that at this time of year, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. There may even be some casualties. The spirits are rumored to have taken the lives of a couple of nozzles, print beds, and whole extruders. Good news is that there is a way to avoid all of this. It is said that 3D Halloween decorations warm the hearts of these bothersome buggers. The more creative the design, the more appeased they are.

If you don’t want to experience any mishaps with your 3D printing projects come Halloween season, 3D print Halloween decorations to keep the spirits away. Without further ado, here are cool Halloween 3D print ideas (via Thingiverse) that will chill you to the bone.

Halloween Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern by Dizingof

Why waste a completely good pumpkin to create a Jack-O-Lantern when you can just 3D print one? Pumpkins are better reserved for creating pumpkin pies, soup, and the abominable pumpkin spice latte drink. This Halloween Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern by Dizingof is a full-sized decoration that you can place by your door to light the way for good spirits.

Download the files here

Silent Hill – Nurse by Mag-net

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Easy 3D Printing with PLA

If you want intricately detailed and stiff non-functional prototypes, PLA filaments are for you. PLA is one of the most popular filaments out there due to its ease of use and malleability into different shapes when heated. What makes PLA one of the most used filaments? Here’s an overview to help you find out.

What is PLA?

PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a biodegradable thermoplastic that is available at affordable prices. It is typically made from renewable resources, such as tapioca roots, sugar cane, and cornstarch. It is similar to ABS in the FDM desktop technology, but it has several noticeable differences, too.

Smooth and shiny prints: PLA is one of the easiest filaments to print with that can produce smooth and shiny prints.

Environmentally friendly: Since PLA is biodegradable, its byproducts will degrade in a span of six months to two years when it ends up in the ocean.

Pleasant to the nose: Due to its sugar-based composition, PLA gives off a sweet scent. This makes it non-toxic and less bothersome to print with than ABS.

Stiffness: PLA prints is a lot harder and stiffer than ABS. However, its stiff demeanor makes it more brittle, so it is not recommended for high-wear and heavy-duty parts.

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Here’s how to break down the costs of a 3D Print Project

Imagination may run wild and free, but 3D print materials don’t grow on trees. You may be surprised at how much an average 3D print project costs, especially if you’re undertaking a large-scale endeavor that requires different types of filaments, bolts and nuts, post-processing materials, and hardware sundries. There is nothing more heartbreaking than having to stop in the middle of a project because of a lack of planning and erroneous 3D printing cost calculations.

Getting precise 3D printing cost calculations at the onset of the project also comes especially handy when you’re offering 3D printing services in your home as a side hustle or if you sell 3D printed goods. Here are factors to consider when developing your own 3D printing cost calculator.

3D Printer Filaments

One of the easiest most obvious step when starting a project is to determine which filament you would be using for your print. Canvass around and check for the cheapest yet best quality 3D printer filaments online. Once you have found the perfect filaments, find out how much filament you would be needing. Most FDM 3D printing software programs give a preview of the print dimensions, so you’ll know how much you need.

Computation: In order to get the filament cost, multiply the cost per gram and the number of grams used

Electricity costs

Of course, you’re going to use power for your printer. Determine how long electricity will be needed for the project.

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How to Print with ASA 3D printing filaments

ASA 3D printer filaments are tremendously under-used by the 3D printing community. 3D printing enthusiasts and masters alike sing praises about ABS, but ASA is basically cut from the same cloth with the added resistance against UV damage and impact. Interested? Here is a brief overview of the engineering ASA filament.

What is ASA 3D printer filament?

As mentioned, ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate) is similar to the more popular ABS. The only difference between them is that ASA creates more durable prints for outdoor use, such as planters, garden gnomes, birdhouse and more. Since it has an industrial-grade composition, ASA is also suitable for automotive applications. Below are the features of the engineering ASA filament:

High UV resistance: Prints made with ASA don’t easily deteriorate or experience discolouration from the sun and other harsh environmental elements.

High impact and wear resistance: ASA prints can retain their shape and form as time wears on despite putting them under constant stress. It’s strong enough to withstand tough weather conditions.

High glass transition temperature: It would have to take scorching heat for the ASA filament to turn soft, which means parts printed with ASA can deal with the heat of automotive motors. That said, it requires higher printing temperatures in order to make it work.

Prone to warping: Just like ABS, ASA is also prone to warping, shrinking, and bed adhesion difficulty.

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3D Printer Nozzle Care & Maintenance Guide Part 2: Cleaning and Replacing a 3D Printer Extruder Nozzle

A clean 3D printer nozzle is worth a pound of unclogging.

Now that you’ve successfully unclogged your 3D printer nozzle with our 3 unclogging hacks from our previous blog post, you will do everything to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Prevention is key, so here are ways you could prevent that dreaded 3D printer nozzle jam forever!

Cleaning Filament

A good cleaning filament can be used to clean your extruder nozzle for 3D printing. It removes plastic traces and contaminants that are left over after each print jobs. Various cleaning filaments require different range of temperatures. Once molten, it secretes a purging compound that contaminants stick to, therefore coming out together with the filament once it is extruded through the hot end. Alas, a cleaning filament can only be used for unclogged nozzles since it needs to be able to flow through the extruder.

You can find good quality cleaning filaments from manufacturers of 3D printers, such as Ultimaker as well as 3D printer filament brands.

Manual brushing

Before starting with any 3D printing project, make sure that there is no blockage anywhere around the heating block or the tip of the nozzle. You can do this by brushing in a linear motion the affected areas with a wire brush. Wire brushes can remove burnt residue from nozzles and heating block surfaces easier than a toothbrush. However, you have to check if your nozzle can withstand metal brushing as some are easily damaged.

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3D Printer Nozzle Care & Maintenance Guide Part 1: 3 Secrets to Unclogging a 3D Printer Extruder Nozzle

As a part that constantly comes into contact with molten filament, a 3D printer nozzle is always in high risk of getting clogged. Add to that the many factors to increase the likelihood, such as the viscosity of the filament and the size of the nozzle. There is no escaping it; there will come a time where you’ll eventually encounter clogging. Good thing, we are here to help! Here are the top tips to flushing out the clog from your 3D printer nozzle.

Causes of Clogged 3D Printer Extruder Nozzles

Clogging of 3D printer nozzles is natural and bound to happen whether you like it or not. Here are the reasons why:

Dust and dirt buildup: The accumulation of dust and dirt inside your nozzle is inevitable. When the molten filament travels down the nozzle, it takes the dust and dirt along with them, melting them and turning them into carbon. Sooner or later, the latter will get stuck at the bottom, which will block the flow of the filament and cause your nozzle to be clogged.

Cheap filament. While there are budget-friendly filaments that are well made, it is the low-quality ones that you should be wary of. Cheaply made filaments do not undergo a strict quality control, so they may have inconsistent widths throughout the strand and a high composition of filler material and contaminants.

Wrong Print Temperature: The print temperature affects the consistency of the filament. Too hot and it causes heat creep, an occurrence that happens when the heat extends upwards beyond the hot end. It softens and melts the filament before it reaches the end of the extruder, therefore requiring more pressure to secrete it. PLA and related filaments also tend to crystallize in the nozzle in high temperatures. If the temperature is too low, the filament will not melt thoroughly, and parts of it will just turn into a sticky goo that will adhere to the interiors of the nozzle. It will put more pressure on the printer head to secrete the filament. Due to the pressure, the extrusion motor will have difficulty in feeding the filament into the head, which will then cause the dreaded clogging.

Too Low Nozzle Height: The nozzle height influences the success of your 3D prints. Some filaments work well with low heights while the others need to come from a higher height in order to have a good bed adhesion. However, if the height is too low, it will cause the molten filament to back up into the nozzle as it wouldn’t have enough room to come out.

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Everything you need to know about 3D Printing with Polypropylene

The polypropylene filaments are lightweight and semi-firm materials that are commonly used for a wide variety of consumer and industrial applications. They boast of remarkable fatigue resistance and toughness, making it resilient as it returns to its original form despite bending. They have a lot of similarities with PLA filaments, only that the polypropylene is better in every way. Find out below what makes the polypropylene the next-generation quality 3D printing filaments:

Qualities of the Polypropylene Filament

High impact and fatigue resistance: The polypropylene is extremely tough, which makes it ideal for use for straps, leashes, and living hinges. In fact, Tic-Tac lids are made from PP, and they can withstand force and repeated bending without breaking.

Increased heat tolerance: This quality makes polypropylene a good material for food containers as they hang tough despite high heat.

Smooth surface finish: Most filaments require post-processing in order to smooth the surface of the 3D prints if done via FDM printing. With polypropylene, you can do without the manual smoothing as the prints come out smooth already.

Heavy warping: The polypropylene 3D printing filament easily warps during cooling due to its semi-crystalline structure. This is one of the most common 3D printing challenges using polypropylene.

Flexible: Due to its flexibility, the polypropylene 3D printing filament can produce great snap-fits, living hinges, and watch straps

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Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Own 3D Printing Design

There is nothing like creating your own 3D printing design that makes you feel like you’ve gone from a simple amateur to an expert. There can be only so much leeway that you could do with the available STL 3D printing templates until you start wanting to create your own design. What does it take to design one? Read below to find out.

It all starts in the mind…

So you have an idea for a 3D printing project but can’t find an already made template for it? Here are ways to get started on your own 3D printing design.

Start by sketching your design

The first thing that you do when inspiration strikes you is to put it down on paper first. Plot out the dimensions. Determine the details, such as the color, paint, and prints to make it look as you are envisioning it.

Design your model

Commit the sketch to whatever 3D modeling software you are using. There are prefabricated geometric shapes typically in the program, which may help you in building the foundation of the model. You can also choose to modify these shapes according to your preference. Keep adding and modifying the objects as you please.

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6 Post-Processing Techniques for your FDM 3D prints

FDM 3D prints almost always don’t come out looking like the finished product. While it is a cost-effective way to produce prototypes in a short amount of time, FDM 3D printing creates a rough surface with visible layer lines. Thus, post-processing is required to make FDM 3D prints polished and strong. We have already discussed how to give your 3D models a glossy appearance, but if you just want to smooth out the exteriors, here are 5 post-processing tactics for you.

5 Post-Processing Ways for Smoother and Stronger FDM 3D prints

Support removal

It does not need to be said how important support removal is in the process of the FDM 3D printing. Since supports are part of your 3D model, their removal has to be done with careful planning in order to not damage or leave marks on the model itself. There are two types of supports, soluble and insoluble. Here are ways to remove each type.

Soluble: This kind of support can be dissolved using water or chemicals. It makes them a lot easier or less risky to remove since you don’t have to use force by tinkering and pulling the excess materials. D-limonene can be used to dissolve HIPS, which is often used with ABS filaments. On the other hand, water will do for PVA, the support material for PLA filaments.

Insoluble: You have no choice but to pick at insoluble supports with your fingers or flush cutters. While there are times they are easy to remove, they can be hard to remove and can damage the print when they’re in difficult locations. The best that you can hope for is minimal marking, which you can then conceal or remove through other post-processing means.


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Easy Tips for Bonding 3D Printed Parts

Bonding 3D printed parts is a necessity especially if your model doesn’t fit the build plate and you have to break it up into several sections. 3D prints don’t always come out the way you want it to. Sometimes, there may be uneven surfaces and irregularities that will make it difficult to stick 3D printed parts together. When this happens, here are five simple ways to glue 3D printed parts together.

Secret #1: Bonding 3D printed parts with adhesives

Yes, you read it right. Sometimes, all you need to attach 3D printed parts together is glue. However, you would need to roughen up the surface that will be glued in order to make the adhesive to adhere more and give a stronger bond. You can use any grit sandpaper on the surface until you notice that it has become dramatically rougher than the clean sides.

You can use superglue for most types 3D printing filaments (such as PETG, PLA, and ABS). On the other hand, flexible 3D printing filaments such as TPU, TPE, and nylon don’t take well to superglue.

You have to be extra careful in aligning the 3D printed pieces correctly since superglue can make the parts stuck together permanently. Accidental drips on the clean sides will also stay there, with no way of removing them. You can try sanding out the drips, but you have to keep in mind that the surrounding areas will be sanded as well, making the drip even more obvious.’

Another thing you can try is 5-minute epoxy. However, it can only be used on back seams and internal parts that will not be visible or will be concealed by another part.

Secret #2: Bonding 3D printed parts with 3D Pen

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Which filament is better: TPU or TPE?

TPU and TPE filaments are cut from the same cloth. In fact, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a type of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). These two filaments have been used interchangeably when referring to flexible filaments, which makes the distinction between the two confusing. Despite the similarities, there are differences between the two which affect their applications and the kind of 3D prints that they produce. What are the differences between the two filaments and in what aspects is one better than the other? Read below to find out.

Shore Hardness

Shore hardness is the measurement of the rigidity of 3D printing filaments. TPE is very soft and its shore hardness is usually around A85. This type of softness increases the difficulty for 3D printers, particularly for some extruders. Meanwhile, the shore hardness for TPU is A94 to A95. It is only a slight increase in the rigidity of the prints, but it makes a world of difference while printing.

Winner: TPU filaments


Both are made to be flexible and produce objects that are bendable. Due to its softness, TPE can be stretched for up to double their length and return to their original form, without being disfigured.

Winner: TPE filaments

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TPU Filament Ranked According to Its Shore Hardness

No two TPU filaments are the same.

TPU filaments are known for their flexibility or their ability to bend without breaking. However, each type of TPU filament has its distinct shore hardness and flexibility. You’ve probably seen the shore hardness level for each TPU filament brand. What exactly is this and how does it affect the way you approach TPU 3D printing?

Definition of Shore Hardness

Shore hardness is the measurement of the hardness of plastics. It tests the resistance of plastics against indentation. It has two scales, Shore A and Shore D. Shore A is assigned to soft rubber types, while Shore D is used for hard types. Shore A ranges from Extra Soft to Extra hard. On the other hand, Shore D consists of Medium Hard to Extra Hard plastics. The scales are then broken down into numbers. The higher the number is, the greater its resistance to indentation. While the lower the number, the softer the filament is and the harder it is to print with.

It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. It just means that each filament is perfect for different applications. What is the difference between the shore hardness of TPU filaments? Read on below to find out.

TPU Filament Ranking: From Hardest to the Softest

Crystal Flex (Shore Hardness: D65)

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Prevent Common Nylon 3D Printer Filament Problems with These Effective Tips

Nylon 3D printer filaments deliver some of the strongest and most resilient 3D prints… as long as they are used successfully.

As we have mentioned before, they are known for their printing issues. It doesn’t matter if you have the best nylon 3D printer filaments or 3D printers, you will encounter troubles if you don’t take the filament’s special traits into consideration while printing. Despite this, people still love using them as they can be pretty amazing if the prints turn out well. Before we get into its printing issues, let’s delve into what makes the nylon filament worth the trouble?

Redeeming Qualities of Nylon 3D Printer Filaments

Nylon 3D printer filaments are the lovechild of PLA and ABS filaments, amplifying everything that is right with the two and fixing all their shortcomings. Whereas PLA is strong yet brittle and ABS is durable yet flimsy, nylon 3D printer filaments are strong AND durable , making them versatile for various applications.

They also display a minimal friction coefficient , which means they can move against each other smoothly without the need for lubrication. This quality makes nylon the perfect filament for high-stress parts such as hinges and gears. Its high melting point allows them to be used for industrial and performance-engineering applications.

Nothing is made perfect, and nylon 3D printer filaments are bound to have a few flaws. What are these and how do we work around them?

Top 2 Problems with Nylon 3D Printer Filaments

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Don’t Waste Money! Fix Your Ruined 3D Printer Filament with These 5 Tips

Ruining 3D printer filaments is avoidable. Maybe you left them out in the open, and they are now swelling with moisture. Or you neglected to store them in a safe place away from harsh elements. Whatever the case may be, you don’t have to toss them away immediately and end wasting money. You can try these easy tips for preserving your 3D printer filaments.

Keep 3D printer filaments away from harsh outside elements

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure when it comes to handling 3D printer filaments. High-quality 3D printer filaments do not come cheap. Avoid wasting them and your money by keeping them away from your pets or children.

Store 3D printer filaments in a dry and airtight container.

There is nothing as damaging than moisture for certain 3D printer filament types, such as nylon, PLA, PETG, and ABS. If you notice additional stringiness, bubbling, popping sounds, and clogged nozzles, chances are your filament has absorbed moisture. In order to ensure that your filaments are moisture-free, store them in an airtight container, perhaps throw in a desiccant bag along in it. You can also a use zip-lock bag to store your filaments.

If it’s already too late and you have already exposed your filaments to moisture, you can heat it up in an oven no higher than 50°C for an hour — at your own risk. This may affect the filaments, but it’s better than nothing, right?

Untangling the snarl out of 3D printer filaments

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Here’s why you should be changing up your 3D printer nozzles

The success of your 3D prints can depend on the 3D printer nozzle size. Although the standard 3D printer nozzle size is 0.4 mm, changing up the nozzle can make a whole world of difference, depending on the scale of your print. The 0.4 mm nozzle is not one size, fits all when it comes to prints. It will be a waste of your 3D printer’s capabilities if you keep using just one nozzle with your projects.

How a 3D printer nozzle affects the printing process

Generally, the smaller the 3D printer nozzle is, the slower that it is going to produce a print since it would require more time to cover the perimeter of your entire design. The good thing about it is that it can print intricate details parallel on the print surface.

The layer height can also affect its output. A lower layer height can deliver a more detailed print on the vertical and slanted sides of the print. A higher layer height will render a printing process faster, sacrificing detail. While it is advised that the layer height should not exceed 80% of the 3D printer nozzle diameter, you can still set the layer height lower than that depending on the outcome you wish to achieve.

Difference between 3D printer nozzle diameters

With the standard 0.4 mm nozzle as our guide, let’s compare the different diameters of 3D printer nozzles.

0.25 mm 3D printer nozzle

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Transform Your PLA 3D Print through PLA Baking

As one of the most popular 3D printing filaments, the PLA filament is loved by many for a great number of things as we have discussed here. It is a dream to print with for beginners due to its smooth flow, which reduces the risk of nozzle clogging and warping, as well as its sweet smell. It is also environmentally friendly, versatile, functional, and accurate. However, this filament also has its drawbacks. It is brittle and less rigid than its other counterparts due to its uneven heating and cooling caused by the microstructure of the plastic. There is a way around to that, and the secret is… PLA baking. Read below what it is and how to do it.

What is PLA baking?

PLA baking or annealing is a process of heating the 3D part under low heat, well below its melting temperature, for several hours. It works by creating larger crystals of plastic in the microstructure, which then improves its strength and stiffness. This change brings about reduced stress in its high-wear areas as it spreads the stress evenly throughout the part to lessen the likelihood of the fractures.

PLA Baking How-To Tips

In order for PLA baking to work, the 3D print has to be heated to a low temperature, higher than the glass transition point of the plastic but lower than the melting point. The sweet spot is between 110°Celsius. The temperature still depends on the filament and oven used, so you may have to go lower or higher to achieve the desired heat. With that, you may have to experiment to get the exact temperature.

It is ideal to use a convective oven since they allow even heating to produce superior results. However, if you don’t have it, an electric oven will do as well. Avoid gas-fired ovens as direct fire can melt your 3D print.


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3 Easy Tips That Will Give You Glossy 3D Models

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the building up layer on layer of materials to create a printed product. One of the problems of this is the layering effect or lines in the finished item. Some filaments can be smoothed to reduce the layering. If you want to have a glassy smooth 3D print, here are the three ways to achieve it.

Acetone Vapor

High-quality ABS filaments work best with this method. Lower quality ones tend to be mixed in with plastics, resulting in dissolving unevenly. Below are the steps to smoothing ABS filaments through acetone vapor.

What you will need:

Safety goggles



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A Thorough Overview of Flexible Filaments and How to Print with Them

Flexible filaments are pliable 3D printing filaments that are bendable without breaking. It owes its characteristics to its blend of rubber and hard plastic materials that are either Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) or Thermoplastic PolyUrethane (TPU). Each filaments has its own distinct level of flexibility, which depends on the blend and chemical composition. Some filaments can be wholly flexible, while others have limited capabilities. Find out below the different types of flexible filament that we carry and the differences between each of them.

Types of Flexible Filaments

Crystal Flex

Crystal Flex is a flexible filament that is that is heavy-duty and distinctly transparent. Reminiscent of plexiglass, it allows 91% of light to pass through its fiber. This characteristic makes it ideal for light-transmitting models.

Aside from its crystalline aesthetics, the Crystal Flex displays a special toughness of its own. It has a shore hardness of D165, allowing it to be bent for up to 175% without causing white stress marks.

It is also easy to print with due to its high interlayer adhesion and 30% water absorption. These features make the filament less prone to warping.

ColorFabb nGen_FLEX

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3D printing is transforming education

3D printing technology works wonders for the education system. More and more educational institutions, such as the Marist College Ashgrove and Sunbury Downs College, are including 3D printing into their curriculum in their move to strengthen their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. X3D is promoting this initiative by giving away free filament samples pack to schools. Why is 3D printing becoming an essential part of the curriculum and why should your school be adopting it? Here are reasons to convince your school why you should adopt 3D printing.

3D printing technology fosters creativity

Students are often subjected to the traditional style of education, which is teacher-centered in nature and involves delivery of mostly one-way dialogues to students and directing the students to focus on rote learning and memorisation. This type of teaching abandons creative thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential in coming up with new ideas and discoveries. 3D printing cultivates creativity in students by allowing them to make up their own designs from their imaginations. Tweaking printer settings and troubleshooting the printer in order for their print to come out as intended stimulates their problem-solving skills as well.

Students are encouraged to be active participants and learners with 3D printing

Students’ attentions tend to be lost in the fray during school lessons, particularly in challenging STEM subjects. How do you ensure that their interests are piqued all throughout the lesson? By introducing creativity and play modes through 3D printing technology. You can print out difficult concepts and structures through 3D printers to make learning a more interactive and hands-on experience.

3D printing makes learning more fun, particularly in complicated STEM subjects

Incorporating creativity and play into learning and making things more fun can make any difficult subjects easier to understand. Most students require stimulation of more than just their intellectual sides when learning. With 3D printing, you are able to capture the attentions of the students as complicated concepts and lessons can be simplified with 3D printed structures as they get to examine the concepts more clearly rather than just looking at it and reading about it in textbooks. Some students are just more visual learners, so creating visual 3D printed representations of STEM concepts makes them more understandable.

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Must-Know 3D Printing Info about Apollo X

Apollo X is emerging to be the new darling filament of the 3D printing industry. This modified ASA-based 3D printing filament is used for high-strength and performance engineering applications, such as outdoor and automotive projects. What makes Apollo X stand out from the rest? Here are beginner facts about the Apollo X filaments:

Apollo X sticks to various print surfaces.

You don’t have to worry about warping or curling when using the Apollo X as it adheres to various types of print surfaces. This 3D printing filament impressively sticks to PET tape, EasyPad, Kapton tape, and heated glass tape. Its excellent adhesion means that Apollo X guarantees zero-warping and flawless print accuracy.

Apollo X is relatively easy to print with

As long as you follow the manufacturer’s temperature recommendations, the Apollo X 3D printing filament is easy to use. You don’t have to be surprised with printing mishaps in the midst of printing as the Apollo X displays consistent thermal stability and smooth filament flow.

Apollo X is impervious to the harsh elements of the environment

The Apollo X is UV and weather-resistant, so it can be used for high-wear outdoor models and parts that require durability. This 3D printing filament can also be used for automotive applications due to its high strength and heat-resistance properties.

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6 Hottest 3D Printer Bed Adhesives in the Market

Some filaments (ABS etc) can have problems sticking to the bed or curl, warp, leading to misshapen and wasted prints. So, what’s the secret to preventing this from happening? 3D printer bed adhesives ! They make sure that the 3D prints don’t budge during printing. Here are the six best 3D printer bed adhesives to keep your 3D models coming out great.


Buildtak is a 3D printing surface material that is resistant to heat. It adheres to print beds easily and has a wide range of sizes to fit your FDM 3D printer, such as BuildTak 8 × 8, BuildTak 8 × 10, and BuildTak 10 × 10. It is compatible with most 3D printing filaments. It is reusable regardless of the filaments used consecutively.

Dimafix – Print Bed Adhesive Pen

Dimafix – Print Bed Adhesive Pen is a strong adhesive that bonds the first layer of large-scale models to the build plate when it reaches the temperature of 60ºC. Once the build plate cools down, the glue becomes inactive, making the prints easily removable. The Dimafix Pen is also soluble by water, making it easy to clean from the plate.

PVA Glue Sticks

Sometimes, common glues can serve as 3D printer bed adhesives as well. PVA glue sticks are usually used on papers, wood, fabrics and more. But you can also use this in order to keep your 3D object in place. However, you have to take caution not to put on too much or else the print bed will become too sticky that the prints would get stuck.

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3 Easy Tips for Printing with Various 3D Printing Filament Colours

If you’re new to 3D printing, you’re probably looking forward to using all the 3D printing filament colours there are to create a kick-ass model in the colour of the rainbow. What you don’t know is that it is not that easy. There are plenty of processes to be done before you can produce a multi-coloured 3D print. If you want to use all the 3d printer filaments by colours you prefer, here are our 3 tips for printing with different 3D printing filament colours.

Filament Swapping

Yes, changing colours can be as tedious as stopping the print and switching out the filament for another colour. You can do this by: pausing the print once it gets at the part where you want a different colour. Raise the nozzle and retract the current filament. Replace it with another filament and extrude the new filament until you can see the new colour. You can then remove the extruded filament, lower the nozzle to its original position, and start printing again.

Do note that this method can be labourious, so it is recommended to only use this if your design just has two to three colours. Otherwise, it will be a time-suck to practice this method for super colourful prints.

h2. Dual-extruder 3D printers

Sometimes, all it takes to produce multi-coloured 3D prints is through the 3D printers you use. Some 3D printers (such as the BCN3D Sigma R17 and the upcoming Ultimaker S5) are equipped with two or more extruders that allow multiple filaments to be fed into one or two hotends that will work together to create the print.

While this setup can print with two 3D printing filament colours at the same time, it can only work on one section at a time. So if the area that you want to have a different colour is at the other end of the print, you would have to wait for the print head to reach that section. This may not be ground-breaking, but it does reduce the print time and work when you compare it to the previous method. It also allows you to print your model and support separately.

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Get started with these 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies

You may be surprised at the number of 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies . Yes, the 3D printing technology is no longer just for medical, commercial, and industrial applications. Many people have been taking up 3D printing as a craft and hobby due to the creative freedom to design toys, models, and prototypes and print them out and see them in real life. Personalised gifts can also be made through 3D printing. If you want to start your 3D printing journey as a hobbyist, here are high-quality 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies.

The 3D Printing Filaments for Crafts and Hobbies to Create Artistic Prints

3D Skulpt

If you’re looking for one of the 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies that are sculptable, look no further than 3D Skulpt. Made from Thibra3D, it allows the filament to be sculpted like clay and remodelled during post-processing.

Printing imperfections like zits, blobs, zippers, and obvious layers can be easily smoothed down and remodelled, while intricate accents can be carved into the surface. It can also be printed with acrylic paints.

Bonus: 3D Skulpt can be sculpted constantly by carving, cutting, remodelling, and piling on additional 3D Skulpt material and leftover support structures, among others.

Clear 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies

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Everything You Need to Know about High Quality PLA Filaments

If you’re just starting out with 3D printing, using high quality PLA filaments for your printing projects is the way to go. They are one of, if not the most, popular 3D printing filaments to use Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) desktop technology. Find out why high quality PLA filaments are the best for beginners.

Get up Close and Personal with X3D’s High Quality PLA Filaments

What are high quality PLA filaments exactly?

PLA filaments are made of PolyLactic Acid, a biodegradable thermoplastic polymer sourced from renewable resources, such as corn starch and sugar cane, which lends it a sweet scent while printing. It is environmentally friendly because it decomposes after three to six months versus the thousands of years that other thermoplastic materials require.

Pros of High Quality PLA Filaments

Easy to print: When you print with high quality PLA filaments, you will rarely come across issues as they typically don’t warp or clog the nozzles. It also requires a low temperature.

Accurate surface detail: Since high quality PLA filaments are not prone to warping, blobbing, clogging and other problems, they can produce prints that are faithful to your design. Its low temperature melting point also results in sharper details and features.

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Tips for Printing with the Best Nylon 3D Printer FIlaments

It doesn’t matter if you’re printing with the best nylon 3d printer filaments . If you don’t have the right technique, then your prints are still going to fail. So, what does it take to churn out an immaculate 3D print that is faithful to your intended design? Read on below to find out.

What are the qualities of the best nylon 3D printer filaments?

The best nylon 3D printer filaments are durable. They are known for their shock and impact resistance if they are printed with wall thickness and dense infill. If they are used for thin prints, they turn flexible, which makes them ideal for high-use functional pieces such as living hinges, gears and more.

The best nylon filaments display superior tensile strength. While they are flexible, the best nylon 3d printer filaments can be pulled and stretched whichever way and force without breaking. Best examples of this are nylon-made cable ties and ropes.

Expect minimal friction coefficient with the best nylon 3D print filaments. Nylon 3D printer filaments make for great hinges and gears as they move seamlessly without the need for lubrication.

X3D’s best nylon 3d printer filaments

Our best nylon filaments boast of the typical qualities of its materials such as its unrivaled strength, heat and chemical resistance, and durability. But what makes our 3D printer filaments the best in class? Find out below.

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A How-To Guide about PETG Filament Printing

If you want to buy PETG filament but have no idea what it is, think of PET plastic bottles. The PETG 3D filament is the sibling of PET with just one component differentiating the two: glycol. This chemical completely changes the composition of PETG, making softer and more flexible. PETG allows the bottle to have an easy-grip waist. Aside from aesthetics, PETG also prevents the undesirable characteristics of PET like its crystallization, brittleness, and haziness during the heat.

However, PETG filament has its own share of drawbacks due to its softer build such as being resistance to autoclaving and increased susceptibility to UV light damage and scratches. Overall, the advantages of PETG 3D filament outweigh the bad when you think of its durability, shock resistance, high heat tolerance, RF sealable, and comfortable grip.

Best Applications for PETG

Aside from water bottles, PETG filament is good for making food containers, mechanical parts, 3D printer parts, protective components, planter pots, and waterproof pieces, among other plastic materials.

Important Things to Know before Printing PETG Filament

PETG 3D filament is not for the weak of heart. It can be difficult for beginners to print with this as it requires specific print settings in order to come out great. Here are things to remember before diving into printing PETG filaments.

Heated build platform is recommended. For successful prints using PETG 3D filament, you need to have quality heated build platform. While glass bed or blue painter’s tape built in some 3D printers are good enough, a good heated build platform can take the results up a notch. It improves the first layer adhesion, making it easier for the succeeding prints. Heated bed platforms also typically have its own glass surface, making it easier to print directly without the need for additional globs of glue or tape.

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What Is the Perfect ABS Temperature for 3d Printing?

If you search for the ideal ABS Temperature for 3D Printing online, you will come across different answers. It can be especially confusing if you are still a beginner! While the ideal heater temperature range between 200-250 °C, it still varies depending on the type of plastic and printer that you have. So, this begs the question: what is the accurate ABS temperature for 3D printing? Read on below to find out.

Starting out

While you can never be too sure about the right ABS temperature for 3D printing, the range that it should be heated should give you a clue as to how you should go on about it. What you should do is begin heating the ABS plastic in the mid-range of the recommended temperature: 230 °C. From there, you can incrementally increase or lower the temperature by 5 degrees until you hit the sweet spot of balancing the print quality and strength of the part.

If you’re a novice, it can be pretty hard to tell. Here’s what your ABS print would look like if you either went overboard or too little with the heat.

Underheated ABS print

If you notice that your filament refuses to adhere to the previous layer, then it means it is undercooked. The heating temperature is insufficient if the filament also has a rough surface or the part can be easily pulled apart.

Overheated ABS print

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2018’s Best 3D Printing Software Tools Are Here

The success of your 3D prints does not rely on the quality of 3D printers alone. You may have the best 3D printer out in the market. But if you don’t have a good 3D printing software tool to come up with your design and prepare it for printing, then it would all be for naught. 3D printing software programs allow you to take the reins in reviewing, creating, tweaking, preparing, and overseeing your prints. Some tools may be more technical and more complicated than others, but there is a program for everyone regardless of 3D printing expertise. To help you, here are the five best 3D printing software tools for 2018.


Purpose: Slicing, print management, 3D printer hosting

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Supports: Windows, Mac, Linux

From the makers of the Ultimaker 3D printers, Cura is an award-winning open-source slicer software. It complements their own printers, but it is also compatible with other brands.

Through Cura, you can create 3D models and slice them into layers that the printer can read. After exporting them as the acceptable file formats, you can tweak the settings, such as the material, speed cooling, infill, and quality then just hit print. This 3-step process is so easy that even beginners can operate the tool. For those who are more skilled at 3D printing, you could also have more precise control over the settings by switching to Expert mode.

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Reasons Why There Should Be a 3D Printed House in Australia

Living in a 3D printed house in Australia is about to become a possibility. The residential property outlook is the worst that it has ever been. With the Australian housing market continuing on a downward trend, finding decent and affordable housing is becoming a serious problem for Australians. Here are five reasons why building 3D printed houses in Australia should start soon.

3D printed houses are affordable.

3D printed houses dramatically cut down construction costs due to lower material prices and labor. A 600-800 square foot single-storey 3D printed home with two bedrooms can cost as little as $4,000, just like the houses built in El Salvador by New Story, a non-profit organization based in Silicon Valley.

3D printed houses can be built faster.

Typical houses take months to be completed. This is not the case with 3D printed houses. A Chinese company, Winsun Decorating Design Engineering, has achieved the feat of finishing 10 full-fledged houses with the use of 3D printing technology. Houses with simple layout and designs are built the fastest, so it should be no surprise to see overnight mass production of neighborhoods a few years down the line.

3D printed houses are stronger and more accurately built.

Faster results do not necessarily mean that the quality is sacrificed. The design is done through a software program, which will then be directly implemented by the printer throughout the building of the 3D printed house. It means fewer chances for mistakes during the construction phase.

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Everything You Need to Know Is in Our Comprehensive 3D Printing Filament Guide

If you’re a new to 3D printing, it can be confusing to know which 3D printing filament to use with the number of options to choose from. Each 3D printing filament has its own characteristics, purposes, and printing methods; Thus, you have to know the strengths and weaknesses of each filament in order to get an accurate 3D print.

To help you out, we have published an extensive 3D printing filament guide to help you out. Due to the extensive 3D printing filaments out in the market, we have classified them into three kinds: the standards or those that are commonly used; the fun stuff or those that are used by designers and hobbyists; and the professionals or those used in commercial and industrial settings.

The Standards


Printing Temperature: 210°C – 250°C

Bed Temperature: 80°C – 110°C

Pros: The second most popular 3D printing filament, ABS is characterized by its high durability and longevity against high temperatures.

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5 Easy PLA Filament Ideas for any Skill Level

As a hobbyist, you can only print cute 3D figurines until you get bored. You can do so much more with 3D printing. There have been many advancements in 3D printing that it could print a house if you choose to! If you want to start printing items that you can actually use in your day-to-day life, you can try these five easy PLA filament ideas which you can design yourself or find templates for online.

Fidget Spinner

Although no longer as trendy as they were last year, fidget spinners are still fun to use to pass the time or beat boredom. You could also give them as gifts or sell them. If you want to know how to print your own, you can follow our simple 3D fidget spinner how-to guide here.

Cable Tie

One of the most useful PLA filament ideas, cable ties are great for organizing cables and cords snaking around in workstations and desks. You can also use them to prevent getting them tangled in storage. Why shell out money to buy them when you can create your own as many as you like, anytime you want?

Knuckle Duster

If you want something to use to defend yourself without alerting metal detectors, try printing plastic knuckle dusters. They may not be as potent as their brass counterparts, but they pack in enough punch in order for you to stun your assailant and run away. You can also try printing your own with various designs.

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Create Your DIY 3D Printed Fidget Spinners

The popularity of fidget spinners may be dwindling, but they are still going around people’s minds. Just this year alone, there have been many innovations introduced, from luxury ones made of titanium and Damascus steel, to ones that can fly. If you have an idea for a customized 3D printed fidget spinner that you want to use for your personal enjoyment or to give as a gift, here’s how you can make your own 3D printed fidget spinners.

What you will need:

4 skateboard bearings

3D printer

3D printing filament of your choice


SD card (optional)

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Best 3D Printers For 2018

3D printing is an emerging technology that can be used for a wide array of applications in different industries, such as manufacturing, architecture, design, and medicine, to name a few. 3D printers are now becoming accessible for everyone since they have become available at different price points. Whether you’re a 3D printing novice or you’re in the 3D printing business, here are the best 3D printers for your budget.

Affordable: Up Mini 2 3D Printer

Price: $989

The Up Mini 2 3D printer is the gateway 3D printer for budding hobbyists and designers.

Pros :

Plug-and-play : There is no assembly required, and you can start printing as soon as the device is out of the box.

Easy to use : It comes with a software that features Smart Support Technology that simplifies printing of designs.

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The Future of 3D Printing: How It Will Transform Our Future

3D printing is truly the future, and the future is not too far ahead.

We all know the out-of-this-world things that 3d printing technology can provide us, from footwear to fully functional cars. With the fast developments in the world of 3d printing, it won’t be long until we reach a time where almost anything can be replicated by this technology. Find out what lies ahead in the future of 3D printing.

3D Printing Body Parts

3D printing body parts such as bones, cartilage, and muscles for regenerative medicine purposes have been made possible, according to a study published by the Nature Biotechnology in 2016. Scientists have also produced fully functioning miniature versions of vital organs such as human kidneys and livers. With this progress, it won’t be long until they can create actual-sized organs to solve organ transplant shortage.


There have been so many attempts at 3D printed houses lately with the most noteworthy being the 400-square-foot house built by 3D-printing company Apis Cor in Russia. It was printed onsite within a day at the cost of a little more than $10,000, making it far cheaper and faster to build than typical structures. So what else could be done to top that milestone?

Plans to build the first 3D-printed skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates have been announced by a Dubai-based construction firm, Cazza. It will be constructed thanks to a new technique called crane printing with the use of concrete and steel materials. Estimated to be built by 2020, the 1,375-foot building would have 80 storeys that are capable of rotating individually around a concrete axis.

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PLA vs. ABS: Who will win?

PLA vs ABS: They may look similar to the untrained eye, but there is a huge difference between the two.

A battle is brewing between two of the most popular 3D printing filaments that use Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) desktop technology: PLA filament and ABS filament. Both are thermoplastics that both enter a moldable state and solidify as they cool.

On the one side, you have the organic Polylactic Acid or PLA filament, a biodegradable material made from sugarcane and cornstarch. On the other side is the plastic Acylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or ABS filament, an oil-based plastic. Let’s see which will be declared the winning 3D printing filament in terms of their Ease of Printing and Cooling, Accuracy, Strength, Flexibility, and Purpose. Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!

Ease of Printing and Cooling

PLA filaments melt easily, and they are not sensitive to temperature changes. They also have a lower tendency to warp, and they smell like candy while printing. Due to its heat-resistant nature, PLA does not require a heating bed or an enclosure, making the cooling an easier process.

Meanwhile, it takes up to 150-160°C for ABS filaments to melt properly. It is also sensitive to temperature changes in the environment, so an enclosure or heated belt plate is required during printing. It should also be allowed to cool slowly or else the printed product will come out with cracks in the layer lines.

Winner: PLA filament

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Smooth Operator

3D Printers are improving the level of print quality by using smaller diameter nozzles to improve print detail and accuracy, this however still leaves undesirable layer lines. In the majority of cases these layer lines are ugly and can be a turn off when trying to make a finished product or a model to paint.

Polymaker have a unique solution to this problem with their new PolySmooth filament; a PVB based material developed specifically for polishing. Then add the Polysher; a sealed machine that generates an aerosol of IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) or ethanol that evenly smooths and polishes your 3D Printed parts and you end up with truly stunning looking prints.


The Polysher achieves its goal to consistently remove layer lines from 3D Prints, offering easier, faster and more consistent results. While ABS and PLA cannot be smoothed in the Polysher, PolySmooth is a high quality easy to print material with useful mechanical properties for general printing, even if you don’t own a Polysher.

In the past, the dangers, difficulty or time consuming nature of other post processing techniques has made it difficult for schools, families and workplaces to improve the appearance and textile feel of their 3D Prints. The Polysher is a truly unique solution that makes 3D smoothing accessible to everyone.

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Printing With X3D Premium Twinkling Filament

To celebrate the arrival of our new X3D premium twinkling filament, we’ve created a How To article!

X3D Twinkling Filament is a great way to add that extra sparkle to your 3D print! It’s made of a Polymer composite PLA material, with a higher strength and toughness in comparison to regular PLA. It is also biodegradable, has a low shrinkage rate along with good rigidity. Printed objects will have a twinkling sparkle, giving that extra something to your print. Like PLA, twinkling filament is tough, odourless, with low shrinkage, good rigidity and no heated print bed necessary.

Recommended nozzle temperature is 190-220℃ along with a printing speed of 50-60 mm/s. Recommended heat bed temperature is 50℃ (a heated bed is not necessary however) along with keeping your printer fans on.

The X3D formula is RoHs compliant and tested for quality on all our X3D range of 3D printers. X3D Premium is the professional filament of choice. It also comes with a no fuss return or refund guarantee.

Recommended print settings:

Extrusion Temperature


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What infill should you use for your 3D prints?

There are four main types of infill: rectangular, triangular, wiggle and honeycomb (hexagonal).


The most common and general purpose infill. It’s often a default in printing software yet it offers no real structural benefit compared to some of the other infills.


Triangular infills provide great strength, especially for high lateral loads. This infill is great to use when you print longer slender structures (such as bridges replicas, etc) or need good wall strength.


Wiggle infill should be used when you want your print to have a bit of flexibility and twist. It is the least rigid infill while still providing support.

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Luke’s 3D Printing Story: The e-NABLE Movement

Meet eight year old Luke Dennison. Luke was born without the use of his left hand, so his father Gregg searched for a way to help his son. He found the volunteer group e-NABLE, made up of a worldwide network of over 5,000 volunteers and dedicated to use 3D printing to make a real difference to peoples lives.

e-NABLE designs, prints and donates “helper hands” free of charge to children and adults using Ultimaker 3D printers. They help people to find a 3D printer near them to print and assemble the pieces, or the hand files can be downloaded and printed at home.

Luke is able to play outside using his e-NABLE hand

Gregg contacted e-NABLE and now uses an Ultimaker 2 3D printer to create a number of different functional hands for Luke so he can hold and pick up objects.

“I feel a strong sense of pride as a father that my wife and I are able to provide my son with a new hand. Through e-NABLE and our Ultimaker 2 3D printer we are able to come up with a new hand whenever he needs one. Luke loves being able to pick the colours of his hand and show new designs off to his friends at school. e-NABLE and Ultimaker have made it easy for me to give my son the life he deserves.” – Gregg

The amazing assistive hands e-NABLE designs provide people with the ability of moving fingers if they able to bend their wrist.

“Being able to provide someone with a new assertive hand not only changes their life but also mine and everyone working with e-NABLE. Our volunteers come together to create, innovate re-design and give a ‘helping hand’ to those who need it – whether it’s helping to print parts, creating a completed device or simply helping to guide others s they build one themselves.” – Aaron Brown an e-NABLE volunteer

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Pushing the Limits of 3D Printing: 3D Printed Bike

This Race track bike was printed on a regular desktop 3D printer at colorFabb‘s print lab using colorFabb’s XT-CF20 filament (a carbon fiber based Amphora 3D polymer) a plastic especially engineered for 3D printing. The 20% carbon fiber content makes the 3D Printed parts strong and stiff.

This concept bike (designed by Stephan Schürmann) has been developed to demonstrate that a 3D Printed racing bike can be produced on a regular, commercially available 3D Printer. The design goal was to use the bike in real life, under normal circumstances.

The lugs were printed and connect tubes to them. The result is an amazingly strong bike frame at an acceptable weight. Details like the seat clamp are also fully working.

The big benefit of making your own bike is that the sizes of the bike can be customized manually before 3D printing to preserve best ergonomics. Various types of tubing can be used including carbon, titanium, aluminum or bamboo.

This design can be customized and 3D printed on any desktop 3D printer like the Ultimaker, LeapFrog, Mass Portal, Makerbot and many others. The strength of the bike frame has been tested with a FEM analysis and, of course in real life use.

It can be downloaded via:


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Tips for Quality 3D Printing

3D printing can be fun but sometimes challenging. With so many variables it is not surprising that often a print does not always turn out as expected. Here a some simple tips for improving your success ratio.

Buy a quality filament. Sure you can find on eBay cheap filaments but as with everything in life – you pay for what you get. If it is cheap there is usually a good reason.

Make sure your print bed is level. It pays to ensure you a have a level bed and your printhead is the right distance from the bed. Follow your printers instructions. Time spent here will be well rewarded.

Set the Z-gap between your printhead and printbed to your printers instructions.

Check the first few layers. It pays to watch these first few layers as if these do not print properly it is highly likely the rest of the print will have problems. This could result in many hours and much filament wasted.

Print small parts and not large parts. There is always the temptation to print as big as you can. But if there is a problem the whole part can be wasted. Better to print small parts that can be fused together later as if one part has a problem there is less waste and you will only have to print a small part again.

Maintenance and Cleaning Up. Like any printer – abuse it and it will let you down. It pays to follow the instruction manual and any maintenance procedures as well as to regularly clean your bed with rubbing alcohol. Use Kapton Tape or Buildtak to improve filament adhesion to your bed.

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X3D Premium Filaments

Launches Premium Filament Range!

X3D have introduced a new and exciting premium range of 3D Printing Filaments to the Australian marketplace. Both in ABS and PLA and in an extensive range of colours – X3D filaments have been designed and tested to produce a perfect print every time.

By the Roll or the Metre

X3D Filaments can be bought by the 1 kilo roll or by the metre and they all come with no quibble refund or replace quality guarantee. With free overnight delivery including in the price we think X3D premium filaments will be a popular choice with the 3D Printing community across Australia.

Look out for "George"the chameleon on the X3D website.

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Filament by the Metre

X3D are committed to sourcing and investing in worlds newest and best filaments for the 3D Desktop printing market. We realise that with so many filaments and so many choices not everybody wants to buy a whole spool.

X3D now provide you with the opportunity to try every filament from our extensive range without having to dig deep into your pockets. From speciality filaments to premium everyday ABS and PLA filaments. Now you only need to buy what you need.

Free Freight

Freight is included on every X3D filament order. With samples starting from $6.00 including GST and delivery we think this service is going to be a winner.

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3D Printing for Chocolate Lovers

Do you love chocolate? Would you like to print your own custom design for that special occasion?

Soon you may be able to use 3D printing to print your own.

In the Netherlands, Marijn Roover is a food designer and he has printed his own Chocolate Globe which is embossed in gold. It was 3D printed layer by layer in chocolate!

From later on this year you will even be able to buy your own 3D food printing machine, aptly called the “Foodini” from Natural Machines in Spain. Maybe the Star Trek food replicator is closer then we think!

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