25 Best 3D Printer Upgrades in 2023
Discover some of the best ways to enhance your 3D printer and improve its performance.
3D printers are becoming more and more popular as they become cheaper and easier to use. As technology evolves, even the best 3D printers can be improved with upgrades. Upgrading is a great way to get the most out of your machine and extend its useful life. Perhaps you have an older model that you want to keep up to date, or you're looking to improve the performance of your current printer. With so many different parts and upgrades available, it can be tough to know where to start.
This article will discuss 25 of the best 3D printer upgrades that you can buy in 2023.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized computer that can be used for various projects, including 3D printing. It can be used to remotely control your 3D printer, stream live video of your prints, or even turn your 3D printer into a networked device. A Raspberry Pi costs around $269.99.
A smoke detector works in conjunction with an alarm that alerts an individual of fire or traces of smoke that may be coming from an electronic device. Most printer hot ends reach temperatures upwards of 500 °C. Having a smoke detector handy will be helpful in detecting any dangerous conditions. They typically cost around $15. The location of the detector and its sensitivity are important determinants when choosing a smoke detector.
Adhesives, such as Scotch glue sticks, are used to attach 3D printed objects to the build surfaces or printing beds. The use of an adhesive will ensure firm contact during the duration of the printing operation. A good adhesive costs about $2.50 on Amazon. When choosing an adhesive, consider the surface to which the object is being attached.
Nozzles are used to dispense the filament during 3D printing. Nozzles come in a variety of sizes and can be made from different materials. The nozzle size determines the speed of extrusion. The larger nozzles print faster, while smaller nozzles print more accurate details. Nozzles cost about $15. When choosing a nozzle, consider the size needed for your specific part being printed.
A belt tensioner is a useful device that helps to maintain the dimensional accuracy of objects during printing. It keeps the belts tight and free of slack. A belt-tensioner replacement costs around $15. For a DIY belt tensioner, download all the necessary files from Thingiverse (a website where open-source hardware designs of all sorts can be accessed) and print the design.
LED lighting can be used to illuminate 3D prints to improve visibility as well as to help cure UV-sensitive materials. LED lights typically cost around $15. When choosing LED lights, consider the type of light, the color of the light, and the intensity of the light that will meet your needs.
Many filaments absorb significant amounts of moisture from the air, which reduces print quality. As such, this device has been added to the list of the best 3D printer upgrades. It helps to improve the quality of the 3D prints by removing moisture from the filament before 3D printing takes place. Filament dryers (also called dehydrators) typically cost around $90.
A corner bracket is a device that supports the corners of the 3D printer's frame. Corner brackets, when properly fixed, can help to maintain the dimensional accuracy of the printed object. To get one, simply download the files from Thingiverse and print. When choosing corner brackets, ensure they hold the frame together.
A spool holder is a device that is used to hold filament spools during 3D printing. Spool holders help keep the filament spools organized and free from tangling. You can also print your own spool holder by downloading all necessary files from Thingiverse. Design a holder that can hold the filament in place.
A webcam mount is a device that holds a webcam during 3D printing. Webcam mounts help to improve the quality of the 3D prints by providing a clear view of the build process. A webcam mount can be 3D printed at home by downloading all the necessary files from Thingiverse. When choosing a webcam mount, consider the size of the mount and ensure it is strong enough to support the camera.
An ABL (automatic bed leveling) sensor is a device used to measure the height of 3D prints. ABL sensors can help to improve the quality of the 3D prints by providing more accurate measurements. An example of a 3D printer that comes with an auto-leveling sensor is Labists 3D printer. ABL sensors typically cost around $40. When choosing an ABL sensor, you should consider the size and accuracy of the sensor, as well as the compatibility with the 3D printer.
A bed leveling knob is a device used to adjust the level of your 3D printer bed. Bed leveling knobs help improve the quality of your 3D prints by providing a more consistent surface. Download all necessary files from Thingiverse and print one out. When choosing a bed leveling knob, consider the size of the knob and ensure it fits well with the wing nut.
A wire strain relief bracket is a device used to support the wires/cables of a 3D printer. It keeps the wires in place, greatly reduces fatigue caused by printer movement, and keeps them from coming into direct contact with the hot printer bed. Download all necessary files from Thingiverse and print out a suitable version. Ensure the wire strain relief bracket holds the wires firmly in place.
The capability of a 32-bit control board is enormous. It controls all the logical processes in 3D printing. Some of them include but are not limited to regulating temperature, analyzing G-code files, and motion control. The higher processing speed also allows for faster printing. A 32-bit control board typically costs around $60.
Unique extruder systems give 3D printers the option of printing other materials other than the conventional filament material. Among them are chocolate extruders and pellet extruders. A CNC milling machine can also be mounted on the printer for cutting and engraving objects. Thus, the printer becomes an all-in-one manufacturing device. Unique extruder systems typically cost around $300 on ChocoL3D. When choosing a unique extruder system, check for compatibility with the 3D printer.
A 3D printer is a machine that creates three-dimensional (3D) objects from a digital file. The printer uses additive manufacturing processes to successively build up layers of material to create the desired object.
For more information, see our 3D printing guide.
When it comes to upgrading a 3D printer, it's important to consider which parts will best improve the performance of the machine. Depending on your specific needs, an upgrade of the extruder, nozzle, bed, or filament may be important.
For more information, see our guide on the parts of a 3D printer.
Some of the best extruders for 3D printers include the E3D V6, Bondtech BMG, and Prusa i3 MK3. These extruders are known for their high quality and performance. To learn more, see our guide on the Best 3D Printer Extruders.
One of the cheapest ways to upgrade a 3D printer is to switch to open-source software. Open-source software is often free or very low cost, and it can provide significant performance improvements. To learn more, see our guide on the Best Cheap 3D Printers.
There are many benefits of upgrading a 3D printer, including improved performance, increased speed, better print quality, and more options for filaments and materials.
A 3D printer should be upgraded for various reasons. If the printer is an older model, upgrading can help to keep it up to date. Additionally, upgrading can improve the performance of the machine and give one access to new features and capabilities.
Yes and no. The cost of upgrading a 3D printer will vary depending on the specific upgrades chosen. Some upgrades, like switching to open-source software, can be very affordable. Others, like buying a new extruder, can be more expensive. Ultimately, the best way to save money on upgrades is to focus on those upgrades that will best improve the performance of your particular machine.
This article reviewed 25 upgrades that can be done to improve the capabilities and performance of a 3D printer.
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