SETTING UP SHOP IN YOUR GARAGE? Here are some special considerations and suggestions to keep in mind:
• Dust is not your friend. Keeping the garage area, floor, and workspace free of dust will help
prevent dust from being an unwanted part of your print!
• As mentioned before, try to get the temperature to stay as consistent as possible. We have a lot of
windows in our garage, so using 3M foil tape helped keep the temperature inside more consistent.
• Keep open windows about 6 feet away from your printer to allow for proper ventilation. Or
use a HEPA filter that is rated for VOCs. Weather permitting, open the garage door to get good
• If possible, the environment in your garage should be relatively dry because too much moisture
could render the filament unusable. Filament should remain dry and stored properly in a plastic
bin with silica packs, on the floor of the garage.
• If you keep a refrigerator or freezer in your garage, set up your workspace on the opposite side
of the garage. We don’t recommend that your printer share power outlets with other major appli-
ances like refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and dryers, etc.
• If you are printing with resin, have your disposable gloves and washing station easily reachable
to prevent drips of rein on your floor. Also a paper towel stand is useful for wiping up any spilled
resin (you can even cure that paper towel to harden the resin for easier disposal). Resin printing
requires an extra water source/post-processing area.
• Have at least a 3’ x 3’ x 3’ space for the printer and your work area.
• Get a standard tabletop or workbench. You may need one or two of these depending on the size of
your 3D printer. Each should be at least 24” x 24” with a 28” sitting height.
• Locate and use a nearby electrical outlet with an attached surge protector to protect the printer.
• Allocate a space for your computer (if your printer requires a physical connection to one).
• Have handy a standard USB cable to connect the printer to your desktop computer or laptop (if
necessary). Your printer may have come with one.
PRINTING AND PROCESSING ITEMS TO CONSIDER BUYING:
1. Have one of the following to help FDM prints stick to the build plate: extra-strength glue stick, blue
painter’s tape (try to find 2” wide or wider if possible), or for those of you printing with a heated
build plate, Kapton tape. If using painter’s tape, avoid brands with excessively waxy residue that
might prevent adhesion.
2. Get a 3D printer toolkit (for edging and scraping excess glue off the print bed after printing). Octave 3D
Printer Tool Kit A is a good choice for around $20.
3. Buy a thin spatula (to help remove prints from the build plate). We like using a thin cookie spatula,
sometimes marketed as a scrapbooking tool in arts & crafts stores.
4. Consider a small blowtorch for resurfacing and finishing print jobs.
5. Buy flush-cut wire cutters.
6. Buy wide angle and needle nose pliers (for support structure removal, as well as for removing
parts from the build plate).
THINGS TO BUY FOR CLEANING UP AFTERWARDS:
A small wastebasket for discarded pieces of the print or small pieces of filament you cut off
when changing filament. Or, for a failed print.
Paper towels (and water) to clean the build plate if using the glue stick.
Clean cloth to remove excess glue from the print bed after completing a print.
A wire brush to clean the extruder’s toothed gear if the teeth get jammed with filament, or if the
nozzle gets small pieces of debris on it.
.3mm (.012”) guitar string to feed back up through your nozzle if you get a clog.
FOR RESIN PRINTERS YOU WILL NEED A DIFFERENT SET OF CLEANING TOOLS:
A hard metal scraper (and if you are using extra hard resin, a hammer to knock the printer free
using the scraper’s end)
A soft plastic or silicone scraper to clean the vat on resin switchouts
Disposable paint filters, or a reusable cooking filter to filter out small cured bits in the vat if/
when a print failure happens
A container filled with 90% (or higher) isopropyl alcohol, or denatured alcohol for cleaning the
prints. Some people use Mean Green, or Simple Green cleaners instead of harsh chemicals.
An extra curing station (if you don’t use sunlight) with a UV light inside. We have a 5 gallon bucket lined
with aluminum foil, and a UV light pointing down through a hole cut in the lid. Inside the bucket we
have a cylindrical container filled with water, to cure the prints underwater. This stops the resin from
reacting with the air, and makes our prints come out nice and smooth, with no residual tackiness.
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