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What Supplies Are Needed For a 3d Printer? 3d Printing Materials Essential

What Supplies Are Needed For a 3d Printer? A 3d printer is a machine that prints three-dimensional objects. A 3d printer requires the following supplies to print: filament, power supply, host computer with the software installed, and a spool holder.  

For more information on what supplies are needed for a 3d printer please read this blog post!


What supplies are needed for a 3d printer?

Below is a list of equipment most commonly used in building a DIY RepRap 3D printer.


Versatile aluminum extrusion that forms the frame of many printers. Makerslide comes in three varieties: 20mm, 30mm, and 55mm widths. V-wheels

Caster wheels are used to create a cartesian robot. The movement of the bed and carriage are created by the rotation of these wheels against a surface.

Linear motion bearings

Bearings that slide along an axis formed by two linear slides. These bearings are often purchased as blocks that can be cut from longer stalks.

NEMA 14 stepper motors

Small, powerful stepper motors that provide excellent torque within a small space. They come in many different sizes, which have an effect on speed, torque, cost, etc.

GT2 belts

Belts are made from fiberglass that connects the stepper motors to the linear bearings.

They are available in many different lengths, and some companies sell them cut to length.

Belt tensioners

Small devices are used on long belt runs to keep constant tension on a belt. This prevents stretching and slipping of the belt throughout its movement.

What Supplies Are Needed For a 3d Printer

What Supplies Are Needed For a 3d Printer?

MakerSlide/V-wheel carriages

Used with Makerslide or V-wheels, these create mobile platforms that move along the extruded frame.

Carriages come in two styles: Linear bearing carriages which ride directly against linear motion bearings and V-wheel carriages which ride on the V-wheels themselves.


The frame of 3D printers is often constructed out of aluminum extrusion. There are several different sizes, but 20mm/30mm Makerslide is most common for RepRap printers. Aluminum extrusions come in two different styles: T Slot and Open Beam. T Slots have slots cut into them that allow you to bolt/screw parts together, while Open Beams do not.


The main controller board (RAMPS or equivalent) with stepper drivers. The electronics can be as simple as a single printed circuit board, but Arduino-based controller boards such as RAMPS and Sanguinololu are very common

Power supply

A power source for supplying the stepper motors with the voltage they require to operate. Power supplies come in many different sizes and voltages; make sure you pick one that meets your needs and connects to your main controller board

3d print best hotend

Used to melt plastic filament and extrude it onto a build surface. Hot ends have been made out of several materials including glass, ceramic, metal, etc… There are two major types of hotends: All Metal Hot Ends, and J Head Hot Ends.

Build surface

A flat, smooth surface that the 3D printer extracts plastic onto. Glass and freshly ground aluminum are common surfaces.

In some cases, a Control Panel will be used as well. This is an interface that allows you to control all aspects of the 3D printer from a single panel. Control panels can range from a simple LCD screen and rotary knob board to full-fledged computer interfaces with monitors and keyboards attached. Control panels often include a power switch, reset switch for main controller boards, fan controls for heated build surfaces or hot ends, etc…

what materials do you need for a 3d printer

What Supplies Are Needed For a 3d Printer?

Filament Storage Container (resin)

This is a small container I designed and printed for holding a spool of filament. It was built specifically for the 3mm filament that comes on our MakerBot PLA Starter Spool but should work with other traditionally-sized spools as well (for other sizes, you may need to increase the height by modifying the wall thickness).

The container works like this: You simply snap it around your existing spool, then slide it into place in any Prusa-style frame (meaning one without a raised “ring” around the top):

I found that the easiest way to remove and replace it from my frame is to grab both ends and wiggle them apart:

So far I’ve tried this with MakerBot and Hatchbox PLA, both of which fit perfectly with no modification:

The top of the container has a slightly larger opening to accommodate both big and small holes on traditional spools. A hole is intentionally left open at the bottom so you can add/remove filament more easily when it’s in your printer.

On my MakerBot Spool, this leaves about 10mm of filament sticking out from the spool (about half a standard sheet of paper). This should be plenty for most prints, while still keeping the overall diameter small enough that inserting/removing it from a frame takes almost no effort.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below! And if you end up printing one yourself, I’d love to see it!

What Causes Layer Shift In 3d Printing

What Supplies Are Needed For a 3d Printer?

Digital Caliper for 3D printer made with Arduino

I recently made an electronic version of my digital caliper using an Arduino.

The design is inspired by the famous Chinese copycat companies, particularly Bonowi Dymax Corporation Ltd who produce the Dymax3D Caliper.

I wanted to experiment with designing and building something than writing about it on my website too.

This way not only do my readers get some interesting articles but I also get to play around with easy-to-make electronics kits which are very expensive through normal channels. As well as write some articles showing how they work.

Hopefully, this will inspire others to make their own creations, either for practical reasons or just for fun!

Material used – 3d Printing Materials Essentials

Arduino Uno x 1 Temperature Sensor x 1 Push Button x 1 Mini Servo x 1 Wire Strippers (Optional) Soldering Iron (Optional) Hot Glue Gun (Optional)

The temperature sensor I used is the TMP36 which is easy to find on eBay. However, it can be substituted for any other temperature-sensing IC that you may have at home or it can also be omitted if you do not want to use this feature. The push-button was taken from an old children’s toy, I disassembled it and removed the PCB which contains all of the buttons.

This PCB could be reused for another project if desired. Likewise, with the servo, mine was also salvaged but they are very cheap on ebay so there’s no need to use one you already have.

On the Arduino UNO R3, there are 14 digital pins and 6 Analog pins.

The digital pins are where we will connect our sensors, push-button, and servo so keep this in mind when you start to build your project. As it takes up only 7 digital pins rather than 11!   We also require four of the analog pins for our servo control, two for controlling the rate of rotation (servoPos), and two more which will be used as a reference point from which our angle is calculated.

Finally, we need to attach power from the 5V connector on the Arduino to both our servo and temperature sensor as they both require a voltage supply.

In addition to this, I would recommend using a stripboard as the design is very simple with only 5 components to keep track of. Plus, if you are planning on making more electronics projects after this one then it will come in handy!

Temperature Sensor

The TMP36 sensor has three pins which are the ground (GND), power (VCC), and signal input (OUT).   Most analogue sensors have two modes which they operate; passive mode and active mode.

Passive Mode is where the sensor reads any changes to voltage or current passing through it without changing that value by activating an internal switch as active mode does.

This means that there is no need for VCC as it is powered through GND already, but also means that the sensor cannot be used by itself and needs to be connected to a microcontroller such as our Arduino to process the output signal.   For more information on TMP36 sensors

Arduino Servo

As I mentioned earlier we need to control two types of servos: clockwise and anti-clockwise rotation. Two pins will be required for each type; one pin for setting the servo position (servos) and one which tells it whether it should rotate in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction (servoDir).

The speed at which they turn can also be set by sending pulses from the pulseIn() function which takes the delay time in milliseconds between pulses where 1000 ms equals 1 second.   To determine the minimum and maximum angle of rotation for your servo, use the following formula:

ANGLE = 180 * PULSE_TIME / 1000

So if we send a pulse that takes 1 second then the angle will be 90 degrees. You can set this up as a variable in your sketch to make it easier to change later on.

Arduino Push Button

We need two digital pins for our push-button; one will read HIGH (5V) when pressed and LOW (0V) when not pressed and the other pin will be used as an input where we tell the Arduino that whenever it reads ON (HIGH), turn on HIGH power LED inside.

Here’s how you wire up a button with Arduino:

The LED is optional but will be useful to notify you when the device has been activated.

How To Test 3d Printer Thermistor

What Supplies Are Needed For a 3d Printer? (Cre: sharrettsplating)

3D Scanner

3D Scanner usage has become more common not only in architecture or art projects but also in various other fields.

Industries like medical, dental, archeology, and many others seek for the usage of 3D scanning to record their inventories.

3D scanners are expensive devices that can scan an object by moving laser beams along its surface so it can capture the object geometry details inside a computer. The first commercial 3D scanner named “Handyscan” was presented by US company “Cyberware” in 1992.

Since then technology has evolved significantly to the extent that lower-cost desktop 3Ds scanners are available on market. A recent example is Structure Sensor – a $400 ultrasonic time-of-flight range imaging device developed by Occipital. It captures about 400,000 data points every second and has a precision of  +/- one millimeter.

Structure Sensor was designed as an input device for iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone to create 3D models of objects. This capability can be also useful in various applications so we decided to utilize it for our project “Digital Pompeii” , which is about creating a digital model of this ancient Roman city by employing multiple Structure Sensors and iOS devices.

Advanced 3D Printing Kit Will Allow You To Print Your Own iPhone

An Imgur user has posted the contents of an Advanced 3D Printing Kit that they claim will allow you to print your own smartphone. The kit is priced at $845 but makes it easier for users to produce their own components for cheap printers.

A new RepRap device has Kinect-like scanning abilities and can self-replicate parts on a scale not seen before in home printers.

It’s unclear whether or not this kit allows you to print an entire phone, or if it simply facilitates greater customization by being able to create your own individual components, which could be used to build a DIY phone from scratch, similar to existing kits that allow you to build a PC from individual parts.

Adhesion sheets

Adhesion sheets for 3D printers can be quite expensive, so I have looked for some cheap alternatives.

After some research on the internet, I found that you can use Tamiya tape to stick stuff together quickly.

This tape has a sticky glue which is not too strong but good enough for this purpose. I have also seen people using masking tape for this job, but it becomes more difficult to separate the sheet after it is attached to a 3D model.

3d print yourself

What Supplies Are Needed For a 3d Printer? (cre: pick3dprinter)

Sandpaper for 3d printer

Sanding is also important when you want to use oil paints on your 3d prints because the paint will not stick properly if there are any bumps or irregularities on the surface. In this instructable, I show you a tool I built to make my sanding process even faster and easy.

The frame of the tool is made from an aluminum angle, which can be bent by hand into any shape.

In this case, it makes a perfect rectangle.

The whole thing holds together with two knurled screws that can be tightened as much as necessary, but I had to play around with the positioning until I was happy with it.

Next, the 3d printed parts are glued onto the frame with super glue.

The part on the bottom slides under one of the screws and makes sure it doesn’t fall off when in use.

The other part is attached to the top screw; its purpose is to help the user slide the sandpaper without too much friction.

The wooden parts are glued onto an old piece of wood board, I used some very strong contact adhesive for this.

This is because my tool has to hold up 30 pieces of single-sided sandpaper at once (see update 2), and it does that perfectly!

The board can be easily removed, so I can change the sandpaper over time.

Conclusion (reply comment)

3D printers are a versatile tool that can be used for prototyping, engineering, and art. You might have to do some research before buying your first printer as there are many different types of machines on the market with varying capabilities.

But once you know what type of printing is needed, it should be easy enough to find one that fits your needs at an affordable price point. We hope this blog post has been helpful in getting started researching which kind of 3d printer would best fit into your company’s goals!

As always feel free to contact us if you need any help navigating how to use a 3d printer or setting up a new machine from scratch!

Further Reading: 

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