Building the Ideal Space

Before I could start my printing adventure, I needed to build the ideal 3d printing space in my new apartment!  Using everything I had learned as print master at the Invention Studio proved very handy because, with a space that sees at least 100 people per day, room setup and space planning is a very important component of any makerspace (even your personal makerspace).  By following the rules I (and print masters before me) developed for the Invention Studio’s print room, I made my space the absolute best it could be!  Simply put, a 3d printer room needs (IMHO):

1.) Plenty of counter space.  Whether you run one printer or fifty, you need counter space to deal with all the auxiliary activities that come with 3d printing, namely cleaning and post processing of parts, cadding, 3d scanning, and printer repair.

2.) An organized solution for tools!  Throughout my 3d printing journey, I consider the following tools the most important to getting the most out of any 3d printing experience:

  • Hammer
  • Cordless drill
  • Allen wrench set
  • Mini screwdriver set
  • Various grits of sandpaper (from 80-400 grit) to get an ultra-smooth, finished 3d printed part
  • Various chemicals for post processing (i.e. Acetone for ABS, Acrylic glue for PLA – yes acrylic glue has the same affect on PLA that Acetone has on ABS… cool huh?, etc….).  Among the other effective post-processing methods I just outlined is also XTC3d by Smooth On.  It’s an absolutely incredible coating (more about that in a later post).
  • Paint Scraper
  • Heat gun
  • Mini chisel set for removing raft and support
  • Pair of heavy leather gloves (for safe use of paint scraper and chisels)
  • Benchtop vice

3.) A dry erase board for jotting down design ideas/things to do

4.) A couch/some sort of seating to create a nice atmosphere

5.) An organized solution for displaying and using your printers, as well as for hanging filament

6.) A place to store all your 3d printing filaments

7.) A very powerful computer with two decent-sized screens (for cadding)

8.) Separate computer to run your printer(s)

So without further ado, I present my humble print room:

print room (mine)

It’s still as work in progress, as there are a few things from my list that I am missing, but it’s all there for the most part!

I have:

1.) Whiteboard

2.) All the appropriate tools stored in a nice unit with doors (Ikea Kallax)… I also have labels on the doors that tell me what is inside each (“Regular Tools”, “Glues and Screws”, “3d Printing Tools”, “Sanding”)!

3.) A nice way to display the printers (also from Ikea haha).  I modified a stock ikea cabinet and added a filament-hanging system made of PVC pipe, and then I cadded some custom bumpers and printed them out of ninjaflex to keep the filament from moving too far to one side of the shelf.

4.) A computer to run my printer

5.) A couch and a chair to relax in while I wait for prints to complete

6.) plenty of counter space for repairs and print processing

I am currently missing:

1.) A cad computer

2.) 2 decent-sized screens

3.) Benchtop vice

However, like I said, it’s a work in progress….  More to come soon!


John (aka “The Mad Printer” 😉 )

Edit: a visitor to the blog mentioned one crucial thing I forgot to mention… A room that is well-regulated from a temperature standpoint!  If the room is too cold, your 3d prints have the potential to warp more (depending on the material used… some warp more than others)!

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