In this guide, we look at two different queries when it comes to Dremel products and tools:
1. Which Dremel 3D Printer might be best for 3D printing
2. And, which Dremel rotary tool might be best for finishing a 3D print (after being printed)
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Which Dremel Is Best For 3D Printing?
The main Dremel brand 3D printer on the market right now is the DigiLab range of printers.
There’s three main DigiLab models on the market right now – the 3D45, the 3D40, and the 3D20, and we’ve provided a comparison and summary of these models in a separate guide.
The 3D45 is the model that has the most advanced features and capabilities out of the three models.
For example, it has an enclosed build plate, can print a range of different types of filaments and materials, and is designed with new through to more advanced users in mind.
You can view the 3D45 here – Dremel DigiLab 3D45 (on Amazon)
Although the 3D45 is generally a good printer that will suit the needs/wants of some users, it might be in a price range that is too high for other users.
For these users, brands like Creality and Prusa who offer some more affordable options that might be worth consideration.
We’ve compared these brands to Dremel in separate guides:
Dremel vs Creality 3D Printer Comparison
Dremel vs Prusa 3D Printer Comparison
Can A Dremel Be Used For Finishing 3D Prints? (For Sanding, Smoothing, Shaving, etc.)
After filling in the lines of a print, sanding, shaving, and smoothing are common for some who work with 3D prints in order to finish or perfect the print.
There might be three choices for doing this:
1. Without a powered tool
2. With a powered tool
3. Using a powered tool on the print first, followed by finishing off the print with something other than a powered tool.
A Dremel rotary tool is a powered tool that comes in both corded, and cordless/battery operated models.
So, the information below might be relevant in deciding whether to use one or not.
Finishing 3D Prints Without A Powered Tool
Finishing a 3D print without a tool might be beneficial or even necessary for a few reasons:
– If using PLA or PETG, a powered tool that spins too quickly can create friction on the print surface, and melt it (because these materials have a lower melting point than others)
– Related to the point above, PLA or PETG can ‘gunk’ up the tool
– Also related to the speed of some tools, they may damage the surface of some prints if they swing too fast
So, some choose to sand, smooth, or finish their 3D print (after filling in the print) without a powered tool.
A few different options for doing this can be:
– Using just sand paper
– Using slightly damp carbide paper
– Using card scrapers (these cards shave the print instead of sanding it)
– Using a deburring tool, or some other type of non-powered tool
Although the above options might work for some, others might find them too slow, tedious, or demanding on their hands/fingers (depending on how much finishing they have to do, and how long it takes them)
Finishing 3D Prints With A Powered Tool
Some people may want to use a powered tool for 3D print finishing because they find it easier for several reasons.
Some tips that can make it more worthwhile or practical to use a powered tool on 3D prints can be:
– ABS and ABS+ might be better materials/filaments to use power tools on, because they may not ‘gum’ up the bit like PLA or PETG, and the finish can be better
– The speed and torque of the tool can make a difference. A tool that has as low of a speed (in RPMs) as possible (to create less friction), but enough torque/horsepower to finish the material, can be the best option
So, Can A Dremel Rotary Tool Be Used For 3D Prints?
There might be instances where Dremel rotary tools can be used with 3D prints.
Low RPM/slower spinning Dremel rotary tools might be suitable even for PLA.
And, Dremel rotary may work better with materials like ABS that have higher temperature melting points.
Using A Powered Tool On A 3D Print, & Finishing The Print Without A Powered Tool Afterwards
The third option is to do most of the work with a powered tool like a rotary tool.
And afterwards, the final finishing (like smoothing or sanding) can be done without one e.g. with sand paper or something else.
Which Dremel Rotary Tool Is Best For 3D Prints?
There might be four main options for those looking to use a Dremel rotary tool on 3D prints:
A Small And/Or Specialized Dremel
Dremel has two small and specialised rotary tools that are designed for lower intensity type works, such as crafting.
Those tools are the cordless Dremel Lite 7760 Rotary Tool (on Amazon), and the corded Dremel Stylo+ Craft Tool (on Amazon).
These tools may be suitable for some 3D prints, as not only are they smaller and lightweight compared to other tools, but, the Dremel Lite can operate at a low RPM speed of 8,000 RPM, and the Stylo+ can operate at an even lower RPM speed of 5,000 RPM.
However, you’d need to check the other features and specifications of the tools to check they will do what you want them to do.
A 4000 Or 3000 Series Corded Dremel
The 4000 series currently have Dremel’s highest performance and most versatile corded Dremel models.
We’ve compared the 4000 series models to each other in a separate guide.
The 4000 series models are larger than the small/specialized Dremel rotary tools, but they allow the user more versatility to do tasks and activities outside of specialty activities like crafting for example.
The 4300 and 4250 models are currently the highest performance models:
Dremel 4300 Rotary Tool (on Amazon)
Dremel 4250 Rotary Tool – Currently, there’s no US Amazon link available to buy this tool. We will update this link when the product is available. Buying options for the 4250 might currently be available from the Dremel site, or, the tool might be available for sale directly from some sellers
The 3000 model is still a reasonably versatile corded tool, but, it’s an older and lower spec’d model than the 4000 series models.
We’ve compared the 3000 model to the 4000 series and 8000 series models in a separate guide.
You can view the 3000 here – Dremel 3000 Rotary Tool (on Amazon)
An 8000 Series Cordless Dremel
The 8000 series currently have Dremel’s highest performance cordless Dremel models.
We’ve compared the 8000 series models to each other in a separate guide.
Like the 4000 series models, the 8000 series models are larger than the small/specialized Dremel rotary tools, but they allow the user more versatility to do tasks and activities outside of specialty activities like crafting for example.
The 8260 and 8250 are currently the most advanced models:
Dremel 8260 Rotary Tool – Currently, there’s no US Amazon link available to buy this tool. We will update this link when the product is available. Buying options for the 8260 might currently be available from the Dremel site, or, the tool might be available for sale directly from some sellers
Dremel 8250 Rotary Tool (on Amazon)
A Dremel Attachment
Dremel also has a lightweight attachment that attaches to most of the popular Dremel rotary tools
It is designed for precision and detail orientated work, and you can hold it like a pen.
That attachment is the Dremel Flex Shaft Attachment (on Amazon)
We’ve summarised the main features and capabilities of the Dremel Flex Shaft Attachment in a separate guide.
Dremel Bits & Attachments For 3D Prints
Dremel has a range of attachments, and a range of accessories/bits for their rotary tools.
As we mentioned above, one of the more useful attachments might be the Flex Shaft Attachment.
In terms of accessories, sanding bits, polishing bits, and similar bits might be useful for 3D prints (depending on what type of work you want to do with the bit)
Can A Dremel Be Used Specifically On PLA?
We essentially answered this above.
Filaments/materials like PLA and PETG might melt easier than other filaments/materials, or just be harder to work with whilst using a powered tool.
In some instances, a very low RPM/slow spinning powered tool may work with PLA.
ABS and other materials that melt at higher temperatures than PLA (some reports indicate PLA melts at 180 to 230 degrees celsius, compared to ABS at 210 to 250) might be easier to work with with powered tools.
ABS might be more complex or have more requirements to print compared to PLA though.
Other Tools For Working On 3D Prints
Ultimaker has a guide where they list essential tools and items for working on 3D prints – it’s available at ultimaker.com
They mention that a Dremel specifically can be useful for cutting, sanding, carving, grinding and polishing.
3dprintnation.com also lists useful tools for finishing 3d prints, and generally mentions that a rotary tool might be useful.
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