So, every maker needs a set of tools to effectively build something. Here’s what I use.
So, I’m a big believe in using a journal to track notes, projects, calculations, etc, for my projects.
I love the Vela Field Journal (~$14 USD on Amazon). It’s a little expensive, but I love it. There’s a table of contents at the beginning of the notebook. The pages don’t smudge. Each page is numbered.
And speaking on pens, I’m pretty snobbish when I comes to writing instruments – I primarily use Uniball Signo pens (I typically use the Signo 307s)
Many intro electronic kits come with header pins, which are fine initially… but at some point, you’ll have to move to soldering to make more complex projects.
If you’re just getting started, then I’d suggest you order the Adafruit “Ladyada Electronics Toolkit” ($100 on adafruit.com). You’ll get everything you need to get started, including:
- soldering iron and stand
- solder wire, solder sucker, and solder wick
- diagonal and wire cutters
- coiled wire
- a few assorted electronic components
- Panavise pcb grip (an absolute must have!)
When you’re ready, you can upgrade specific tools as needed. Here’s what I’m currently using:
My soldering iron is the Hakko FX-888D ($130 USD on Amazon). It sits on my maker desk as is always plugged in and ready for use.
I also invested in:
- a silicon rework mat to keep bits of solder off my desk
- a pair of helping hands
- assorted tweezers
- cheap small tupperware containers to hold assorted components
- DC bench power supply
- assorted heat shrink wrap and a heat gun
So, there are better people to follow and get recommendations from on 3D printers. That being said, I’ll share what I did, and will provide links to who I follow/trust.
My first 3D printer was a clone of the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus, which i heavily modded (added an all metal hot end, glass bed, better fan, stronger frame, etc.). I started with a $350-ish machine, spent another $150, and got a $800 (retail price) machine. I still use it occasionally (and am still making upgrades)….
… but I recently decided to go all-in on a Prusa MK3S. No 3D printer is perfect (and I definitely have problems)… though overall, I’ve been really happy with the machine. The only drawback is the price ($799 for the kit, plus costs to ship).
If you’re thinking of buying a 3D printer, I suggest to take a peak at what these makers user: