Getting Started With 3D Printing

So, you’ve decided you want to get into 3D printing?  I’m collecting information on this page to help get you started.  Some of it will be mine, some of it will be links to other locations.  I will be updating this over time, so this will be subject to change.

First off, I recommend finding forums or groups (such as the groups in Thingiverse) that are for your specific model of 3D printer.  They will be a valuable resource for issues, updates, and tricks with your printer, and often someone else has already had the same questions you’ve had about your printer and the issues it may have.  There are also more general groups, such as the 3D printing Discord server (3DPrinters Discord).

Secondly, check out some of the resources below here in this page as they become applicable or pique your interest.

Posts or Pages of Mine:

Tools of the Trade:  Here’s where I keep a list of the tools I keep on hand for day-to-day use with my 3D printer.

3D Printing and Postprocessing Safety: As with any hobby, there are safety hazards and precautions you should be aware of.

Youtube Channels to Watch:

3D Printing Nerd

Maker’s Muse

More specifically, you should watch this series from Maker’s Muse: 3D Printing 101

General References:

Teaching Tech 3D Printer Calibration:  This website was constructed in 2020 to take people step-by-step through maintaining and calibrating their printer systematically.  Really helpful.

3D Printing Failures: How to Diagnose and Repair All 3D Printing Issues:  This book was referenced by one of the other sources on here (I’ll have to doublecheck who) and I’ve been glad that I’ve had it on hand.  It has a handy identification guide with pictures to help you figure out what is going wrong with your prints and how to fix them.

Common Sources for STL files:

Thingiverse:  This contains a bunch of free files, using the Creative Commons licensing system.  They also have groups where you can find people with similar 3D printing interests and hardware.

Shapeways: This will require making an account in order to download the free files.  Some files are free, some aren’t.  Some require you to order through their system.  I tend not to use this one much unless I find notices that files I’d want are free on there.  Example: mz4250 made a lot of models for creatures from the Monster Manual from Dungeons and Dragons 5E.


Not all 3D models/prints can legally be transferred or sold.  Make sure you check your licensing before selling anything to anyone.  If you get custom models from places like HeroForge, make sure you carefully adhere to the license provided when you print it (or have someone else print it).

A lot of people use Creative Commons licenses, found here:  Creative Commons Licenses

I highly recommend getting familiar with that set of licenses.  Consequences of incorrect use of licenses can range from embarrassment (someone having to ask you to take it down) to legal repercussions (having to pay damages or worse).

%d bloggers like this: