After a few short years of using 3D printers, and reading up on them, here’s my wishlist of features that I’d love to have incorporated (or incorporate myself) into one FDM printer.
These are ones I’ve gotten used to on my Monoprice Select Mini Pro:
Removable build plate: Allows me to remove the print bed and work on removing the item from the bed at a more convenient height on my workbench.
Heated bed: Allows for more material options, and prevents some warping issues.
Build-tac plate: Build plate surface material that doesn’t require frequent blue tape replacement or gluing.
Self leveling: Leveling the printer manually is tedious and annoying, particularly if it shakes itself loose periodically.
Webcam: I use a Wyze 2 camera to monitor my printer from other rooms and/or on the go, so I can tell if there is an issue. I plan to integrate this with wifi control down the line, but I haven’t implemented that yet.
Commonly available, but not currently on my setup.
Direct drive: My printer uses a Bowden tube setup, which doesn’t handle flexible filaments, but direct drive printers (printers where the extruder motor is directly above the nozzle) can.
Wifi printing: Mine doesn’t work, at least not from the printer. This is optional for me now that I am experimenting with Octoprint on a Raspberry Pi to control my printer, so it probably doesn’t need to be onboard.
Large print volume: This has mostly been a matter of cost so far. A tradeoff between quality and build size for me for my last purchase.
Printer enclosure: Keeps the temperature more constant for printing. Also would enable an air filtration system to avoid issues with toxicity and particles for a wider variety of print materials.
Less common features:
I’ve thought up or heard of these, but I don’t often see them as standard features if at all.
Filament Sensor: Detects when filament is running out, pauses the print, and alerts the user to change out the filament without ruining the print in the process
Runaway heating cutout: I’d just like a bit more assurance that I won’t have a printer fire issue with the nozzle and/or the heated printed bed. I’d want the temperature sensors to be able to trigger the print to cancel and turn off the power to the heating systems if they started to get to dangerous ranges.
Multimaterial printing: I’d like to experiment with some of the options of multimaterial printing, particularly with unusual filaments worked into common ones.
Fire suppression: Call me paranoid, but I’d really like to make absolutely sure there is no chance of an out of control fire. I’d want a system to detect fires, cut the power to the printer, and flood the enclosure with carbon dioxide, before venting to the exterior of the building through a filtration system.
Big red button: I want a kill switch for the printer so that if something is going wrong I can immediately kill the print. Preferences are for it to turn off power to the heating elements, stop all motion, and then raise the Z axis slightly away from the printer. Needs to be a bit away from everything else, and be big, red, and slappable.