essentials

Essential 3D Printer Tools, Accessories & Parts

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So you have a new 3D printer? But it didn't come with many tools? Here are some of my best recommendations of things you should buy. All of these are items I own (or have tried) personally in my 3D printing workshop. Hopefully you find some useful items!

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Starter Kit: Essential Accessories

ItemImageDescription
Flush Side Cutters: Cheap and super sharp, these are great for trimming filament, cutting away support structures, and for cutting and stripping wires.
6 pack of Tweezers: Essential for pulling away gloops and blobs of filament off the hot nozzle. Pack of 6 with different shaped tips. They are all good at different times.
Metal Digital Calipers: Cheap and accurate, this is the best way to ensure your prints are dimensionally accurate. Essential for calibrating your wall thickness on prints, and for checking the exact diameter of your filament - it always varies from batch to batch.
Plastic Digital Calipers: They're much cheaper than the metal ones, but they still do the job - and the price can't be beat!
Feeler Gauge Kit: This is a set of precise thickness metal feeler gauges. Perfect for ensuring the correct nozzle-to-bed spacing, or for measuring if your bed is warped.
Digital Multimeter with Temperature Measurement: A multimeter! So much more than checking if your batteries are flat… this one can be useful for testing thermistor resistance, checking wires and cables are OK with “continuity mode”, checking your power supply function, tuning your stepper drivers for proper printing, and this model even comes with a thermocouple sensor for measuring temperature of your bed and hotend! This one is in the essentials list for a reason. I own several multimeters worth over $200, and I recommend this one as the BEST value out of any of them.
Budget Digital Multimeter: The little brother to the one above, this one has most of the same features, but does not include the temperature probe. Still perfectly acceptably for all other 3D printer applications - Dave Jones doesn't think they are bad either!.
Metal 30cm Ruler: These metal rulers are not just for measuring how long your parts are, they are great as a “precision straight edge” to see how warped your build plate is, and to check that your rails and rods are not bent.
Metal 15cm Ruler: 15cm is quite a handy size, that you will grab more often than you realise!
Nice 3D Printer Starter Kit: A whole swag of useful 3D printer tools shipped from the USA - including many of those listed above.

Great Upgrades

ItemImageDescription
No image yet.TMC Stepper Drivers TMC2100:Want to make your printer dramatically quieter? Buy a set of TMC stepper drivers. More info on them here, or watch DaHai's video here. Don't use the “stepstick protector” or TL-smoothers with TMC drivers, this will cause problems.
No image yet.TMC Stepper Drivers TMC2130 V1.0:This is V1.0 TMC2130, this is the one you want if you want the “simple” installation.
No image yet.TMC Stepper Drivers TMC2130 V1.1:This is the V1.1 TMC2130, which you want if you plan to use SPI control.
No image yet.TMC Stepper Drivers TMC2208:TMC2208
No image yet.TL-Smoothers:A4988 and DRV8828 stepper drivers can product “salmon skin” surface defects. These smoothers significantly reduce these artifacts.
Replacement Bearings for X & Y Axis: The bearings that come with the A5 are of very low quality. Here is a high quality replacement set I organised from a trusted seller on Aliexpress. They are not cheap, but these are premium quality bearings, and they don't normally deal with such low quantities.
No image yet.Buildtak Clone for JGAurora A5 (300mm square):If you're having a hard time with bed adhesion, then you might want to try applying a buildtak-like surface to the glass bed instead.
No image yet.24V Blower Cooling Fan:Need more cooling? Here's 24V of gale-force wind…. well, at least compared to the stock fans. You can print a new X-mounting system to use this cooler, and on some A5 printers there are even mounting posts inside the chassis if you want to use this fan to cool down your stepper drivers.
No image yet.Hardened Steel Nozzles:Good for printing abrasive filaments, like metal-filament, or carbon fibre filament.
No image yet.Tungsten Nozzles:Even harder than hardened steel, this nozzle is the best you can get for abrasive materials.
No image yet.Nozzle Assortment Pack:Looking for a range of nozzles in different sizes? Here’s a great pack of nozzles in a whole bunch of sizes between 0.2mm and 1mm.
No image yet.24V 30mm Axial Cooling Fan (Top fan):This is a ball bearing fan, which is much higher quality than the original hotend cooling fan. This is a replacement for the top fan.
No image yet.24V 30mm Nozzle Blower Fan (Bottom fan):This is a ball bearing fan, which is much higher quality than the original hotend cooling fan. This is a replacement for the bottom fan.
Cheap Magnetic Bed Print System: More reliable bed adhesion than the A5 diamond bed, and flexible plates make it easier to remove large parts. See my review of this product here.

Spare Parts

Item Image Description
BUY from Sam's Store (shipping from Hong Kong) -OR- BUY from Sam via Amazon in USA Spare Bowden Connector for JGAurora A5 & A3S: This is the rather fragile connector that holds the PTFE tubing to the extruder and the hot end. The thread is very rare, so I have actually decided to try to sell these myself! This is a pack of 3, whipping world wide. I will be selling these on amazon in the next two weeks. Limited stock - once they are sold out, I may not restock them. This is just an experiment.
Replacement Bearings for X & Y Axis: The bearings that come with the A5 are of very low quality. Here is a high quality replacement set I organised from a trusted seller on Aliexpress. They are not cheap, but these are premium quality bearings, and they don't normally deal with such low quantities.
No image yet. Replacement Diamond Heated Bed for JGAurora A5:If your heated bed is damaged, you can purchase a replacement here.
No image yet. Main Motherboard:Replacement Main Motherboard (MKS Gen L) - good to buy if your thermistor inputs are damaged. Aliexpress is cheapest!.
No image yet. LCD Module:Replacement LCD Module (MKS TFT28) - good to buy if your LCD screen is not working, or if you damaged the connectors on the back. Aliexpress is cheapest!
No image yet. Motor Coupler: Many A5 & A3S have arrived with stretched motor couplers… here's a suitable replacement you can order if you need to.
No image yet. Thermistors: If you damage your hot end thermistor, there are two options. SOME A5 prints have a thermistor attached via a short cable to a connector hidden in the black corrugated tubing. Other older A5 printers have the hot end thermistor soldered to the cable that goes to the motherboard. If you have the A5 with the connector, you can buy a replacement thermistor from the Aliexpress link. Otherwise, you will need to use the banggood link and solder a new thermistor in place. You can use any 100k thermistor, that will work - but other suppliers may display very slightly different temperature readings at around 240C.
No image yet. Heat Break / Hot End Throat: If you snap your heat-break/throat, this is the replacement you need. If you can't get the broken part out of the heater block, then make sure you use the Aliexpress link which includes the heater block, or also add the heater block item in the row below.
No image yet. Hot End: Heater Block: If you somehow damage your heater block, this is the replacement you need. Use the aliexpress link if you need the throat/heat-break also.
No image yet. Spare 0.4mm Nozzles:Spare Nozzles… enough said! The nozzles can be damaged by being scraped on the printer bed, or by printing abrasive filaments. Here are some suitable low cost replacements. Banggood sells original JGAurora A5 replacements, but I have linked some compatible nozzles from Gearbest as well.
No image yet. Timing Belt:If your timing belt is worn or needs replacement, replacement belts are inexpensive.
No image yet. A4988 Stepper Drivers:If you need to replace your stepper drivers, the stock A4988 stepper drivers are cheap and reliable.
No image yet. Replacement A5 24V Power Supply:Original JGAurora A5 350W Power Supply
No image yet. MeanWell 350W 24V Power Supply:Premium Quality 24V Power Supply for the A5.
No image yet. Hot-end Heat Break / Throat:Original JGAurora A5 Hot-end heat break throat, with PTFE tube.
No image yet. Hot-end Heater Block:The heater metal block assembly, along with the heat break and nozzle.
No image yet. Bowden Connector:Replacement for Bowden Tube Connector on JGAurora A5 - this is M8 thread, with 1mm fine pitch thread.
No image yet. Bowden Tubing:Replacement bowden tubing, made of PTFE (teflon). 4mm external diameter, 2mm internal diameter.
No image yet. 24V 30mm Axial Fan: Original 30mm Fan from JGAurora A5 / A3S (Top fan)
No image yet. 24V 30mm Nozzle Blower: Original 30mm Fan from JGAurora A5 / A3S (Bottom blower fan)
No image yet. JGAURORA® 200mN·m Min Holding Torque Stepper Motor for A3S/A5 3D Printer

More spare parts for the A5 are listed here.

OctoPrint: Raspberry Pi

ItemImageDescription
No image yet.Raspberry Pi 3B+:Perfect for running OctoPi to allow you to monitor and control your printer over Wifi remotely.
No image yet.Raspberry Pi 3B+ Case:While it is easy to buy a case, but you can also print your own if you have time!
No image yet.Raspberry Pi Zero W:Cheaper, smaller, less powerful, but still perfectly fine for running OctoPi - and this one even comes with a case!
No image yet.Camera for Pi Zero:Add a camera to the Raspberry Pi Zero!
No image yet.Camera for Pi 2/3:Add a camera to the Raspberry Pi 2 or 3!
No image yet.Raspberry Pi Power Supply USA:Don't forget to order a power supply for the Raspberry Pi, they are sold separately. These are high power 2.5A power supplies.
No image yet.Raspberry Pi Power Supply Euro:Don't forget to order a power supply for the Raspberry Pi, they are sold separately. These are high power 2.5A power supplies.
No image yet.8GB MicroSD card:Don't forget to get a memory card to run the Raspberry Pi. This is a microSD card.
No image yet.8GB MicroSD card:This is an adapter for microSD to full size SD card. This is a “short” card, so it sticks out less from the raspberry pi.

Filament Suppliers

These filament suppliers have been tested to provide quality filament.

Item Image Description
No image yet.LeoPlas Filament:I have used this company for several years, and is one of a few that I still trust. They supply PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, and more!

General Accessories

ItemImageDescription
No image yet.Kapton Tape (polyimide tape):High temperature sticky-tape, this yellow film material is able to resist temperatures up to 400C. It works well as a bed surface material for printing ABS onto, as well as for sticking thermistors onto the bed and heater block.
No image yet.PTFE Lubricant:Premium quality dry non-conductive lubricant suitable for use on all moving parts on JGAurora 3D printers. More info here
No image yet.Cable Zip Ties:
No image yet.Drag Chain:When cables are flexed in the same point repeatedly, the cable will be damaged and fail over time. You can buy a drag chain to help the cables move more smoothly, and prevent kinking. This requires DIY modifications to install and mount.

Soldering, Wires & Connectors

ItemImageDescription
No image yet.TS100 Soldering Iron:Incredibly powerful soldering iron, under $100. Highly recommended to invest in a quality soldering iron - buy one, and buy a good one and it will last you many years. Requires a 12-24V power supply. Low-cost irons have high failure rates, and often poor safety.
No image yet.TS80 Soldering Iron:Incredibly powerful soldering iron, under $150. Highly recommended to invest in a quality soldering iron - buy one, and buy a good one and it will last you many years. Requires a USB-C power supply.
No image yet.Leaded Solder:Leaded solder is easier to solder, and produces more reliable joints than lead-free solder. The rosin fumes are more dangerous than the lead content. Wash your hands after soldering, and ensure you have good ventilation in your soldering area.
No image yet.Solder Wick with Flux:For removing solder, solder braid (solder wick) with flux is essential.
No image yet.Soldering Iron Mini Stand:A cheap small safe stand to rest your soldering iron on.
No image yet.Heat Shrink Assortment:
No image yet.Cleaning Metal Wool:For cleaning the soldering iron tip, steel (or copper wool) is ideal.
essentials.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/20 12:59 by samuelpinches