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What Should I 3d Print First

  • 9 min read
Ben Hunter

Ben Hunter

I started as a portal to educate and guide people who are either looking to buy a label printer or want to start a business selling them. Here I cover the differences in label printer technologies, the advantages and disadvantages in each and also share my (unbiased) recommendations on which type is best for your business.

When starting 3D printing, selecting the right project is vital. You should prioritize choosing a model that aligns with your interests and skill level, sparking excitement and curiosity. Browse online repositories like Thingiverse or MyMiniFactory for beginner-friendly designs, such as calibration cubes, keychains, or phone holders. Utilize slicing software like Cura or Prusa to guarantee a smooth printing process. For a successful initial print, start with simple objects like cubes or cylinders, and experiment with different infill densities and layer heights. As you gain confidence, you'll be ready to tackle more complex projects, and a world of creative possibilities will unfold before you.

Choosing the Right Project

When choosing your initial 3D printing project, prioritize selecting a model that aligns with your interests and skill level to ensure a motivating and rewarding experience. You'll want to choose a project that sparks your excitement and curiosity, whether it's a functional item, decorative piece, educational tool, or fashion accessory.

Consider exploring online repositories like Thingiverse or MyMiniFactory, which offer a vast range of beginner-friendly models to print. For your opening print, you may want to start with a simple project like a calibration cube or Benchy boat to test your 3D printer's capabilities.

To prepare your chosen model for printing, utilize beginner-friendly slicing software like Cura or Prusa. These tools will help you convert your digital model into a printable format. By selecting a project that resonates with you, you'll be more invested in the printing process and more likely to produce a high-quality print.

This, in turn, will fuel your enthusiasm for 3D printing and inspire you to take on more complex projects in the future.

Beginner-Friendly 3D Models

You can kick-start your 3D printing adventure with beginner-friendly models that are both fun and easy to print. These models will help you familiarize yourself with the printing process and build your confidence.

Model Type Description Difficulty Level
Calibration Cube A simple cube to test your printer's calibration Easy
Benchy Boat A small boat to test your printer's precision Easy
Geometric Shapes Simple shapes like spheres, cubes, and pyramids Easy
Keychains Small figurines or custom designs Medium
Cable Organizers Practical items for managing cables Medium

Explore basic designs like geometric shapes, keychains, or small figurines for your initial prints. Consider practical items like cable organizers, phone holders, or wall hooks for functional 3D prints. Look for beginner-friendly projects on platforms like Thingiverse or MyMiniFactory to find inspiration for your early print. Experiment with educational models like 3D puzzles or science replicas to combine learning with 3D printing fun.

Great Projects for Kids

engaging activities for children

With a 3D printer, kids can spark their creativity and bring imagination to life through a variety of fun and engaging projects. As a parent or educator, you can inspire kids to discover their creativity and develop vital skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and innovation.

Here are some exciting projects that kids will love:

  1. Nerf gun parts modifications: Let kids customize and improve their Nerf guns with 3D printed parts, adding a new level of excitement to playtime.
  2. Lightsaber projects: For the young Star Wars fans, create a lightsaber hilt or blade emitter, bringing the galaxy to life.
  3. Infinity Gauntlet projects: Marvel enthusiasts will love creating a replica of the powerful Infinity Gauntlet, a great display piece for any room.
  4. Remote-controlled cars: Design and build a custom remote-controlled car, offering a hands-on and interactive experience for kids of all levels.

These projects aren't only fun but also educational, teaching kids about design, prototyping, and iteration.

Practical Projects at Home

Transform your living space with practical 3D prints that simplify daily life, from convenience items to decorative accents. As you delve into the world of 3D printing, start with practical household items that make a tangible impact on your daily routine.

Practical Items Description
Toothpaste Tube Roller Simplify your morning routine with a custom-fit roller for your toothpaste tube.
Cable Organizers Keep your workspace tidy with 3D printed cable organizers, tailored to your specific needs.
Phone Holders Design a phone holder that fits your phone's unique shape, ensuring a snug and secure fit.
Plant Pot Holders Add a touch of elegance to your home decor with 3D printed plant pot holders.
Wall Art Create unique wall art that reflects your personal style, from geometric patterns to abstract designs.

Creating a 3D Model

designing a digital creation

To bring your practical project to life, start by choosing a beginner-friendly 3D modeling program that suits your skill level and creative vision. You can opt for popular options like Tinkercad or Sketchup, which offer a gentle learning curve and a supportive community.

Here are some key steps to get you started:

  1. Explore tutorials and guides: Understand the basics of 3D modeling by watching video tutorials, reading guides, and following online courses.
  2. Practice creating simple shapes: Get comfortable with the software by designing basic shapes and objects.
  3. Experiment with customizing existing models: Learn advanced techniques by modifying pre-made models and understanding how they're structured.
  4. Join online communities: Seek advice, feedback, and inspiration from online forums and communities dedicated to 3D modeling and printing.

Downloading a 3D Model

Download a pre-made 3D model from popular websites like Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, or PinShape to kick-start your 3D printing adventure. As a beginner, you'll find a vast selection of free 3D models to choose from, including beginner-friendly projects and popular designs.

When browsing these websites, look for models with good reviews and comments, which can give you an idea of their printability and user experiences. Once you've selected a model, download the STL files, making sure they're compatible with your 3D printer.

Before initiating your initial print, consider the filament type, print settings, and any necessary supports required for the model. This will guarantee a successful print and help you avoid common mistakes.

Slicing and Printing Settings

print and cut details

Now that you've downloaded your 3D model, it's time to prepare it for printing by using slicing software to convert your STL file into a set of instructions your 3D printer can understand. This critical step guarantees your printer produces a high-quality print.

To achieve best results, you'll need to configure the slicer software settings, focusing on key parameters such as material type, layer height, and fill density.

Here are some important settings to think about:

  1. Layer height: Affects print resolution and speed. A smaller layer height results in a higher resolution but increases print time.
  2. Material type: Determines the ideal temperature, flow rate, and other settings specific to your chosen filament.
  3. First layer: Adjust settings for optimal adhesion and a smooth, even surface.
  4. Support material: Necessary for prints with overhangs, ensuring a stable and successful print.

Initiating Your First Print

You've prepared your 3D model and tweaked the slicing software settings, so it's time to put your printer to work on its initial voyage.

For your debut print, choose a simple model like the XYZ calibration cube, which will help you get familiar with the printing process.

Before initiating the print, make sure to properly set up your 3D printer, ensuring the print bed is clean and well-calibrated. Load the filament correctly to avoid any printing issues during the process.

Once you've loaded the model file, start the print job and monitor the print progress closely to address any potential issues that may arise. Keep an eye on the print bed, watching as your design takes shape layer by layer.

As your debut print nears completion, prepare to celebrate the fruits of your labor. Take pride in knowing that you've successfully completed your initial 3D print, and welcome the learning experience it offers.

Troubleshooting Tips

resolving technical issues efficiently

To guarantee a successful print, it's crucial that you're ready to troubleshoot common issues that may arise during the 3D printing process. As a beginner, it's important to be prepared to tackle problems that can affect the quality of your print.

The 3D printing community is always happy to share their troubleshooting tips, and with these simple steps, you'll be well on your way to resolving common issues.

Here are some key troubleshooting tips to keep in mind:

  1. Check your filament diameter: Make sure it's the correct size for your printer to avoid jamming or poor extrusion.
  2. Verify bed leveling: Proper adhesion and print consistency rely on a well-leveled bed.
  3. Adjust nozzle temperature and speed: Find the best settings for your specific filament and print job.
  4. Clean the print bed regularly: Prevent debris from affecting your prints and causing poor adhesion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Print First With My 3D Printer?

When starting out, you're faced with endless possibilities, craving creative freedom. Begin with personal projects that spark joy, and don't worry about design constraints – you'll refine your skills and find your style as you experiment and grow.

What's the Easiest Thing to 3D Print?

You'll find that printing simple toys, like a tiny car or animal, is a great starting point. Try beginner projects like a phone stand or quick accessories, like a custom phone case, to get comfortable with your 3D printer.

What Should the First Layer of a 3D Print Look Like?

When checking your initial layer, you want to see strong layer adhesion, perfect bed leveling, and a smooth, high print resolution, ensuring a solid foundation for your 3D print to build upon.

What 3D Printed Items Sell the Most?

You'll find that profitable products like customized phone cases, trending toys, and best sellers like home decor items, functional storage containers, and educational tools are in high demand, generating significant sales and profits.


Now that you've delved into the world of 3D printing, it's time to put your newfound knowledge into action.

You've learned how to choose the right project, download or create a 3D model, and adjust slicing and printing settings.

You're ready to initiate your initial print and troubleshoot any issues that arise.

With patience and practice, you'll soon be creating complex objects with ease.

Remember to stay calm, follow instructions carefully, and don't hesitate to seek guidance when needed.

Happy printing!

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