1. New Extruder, Higher Performance
Many people are after quality when it comes to 3D printing. There are many ways to increase your quality, from changing settings to getting better quality filament but you can only do so much with the equipment your have on your printer.
3D printers out there like to save on costs so they opt-in for cheaper parts, whether being the frame, heated bed, or hot end.
You would be surprised just how much your print quality can change with a new extruder, especially one that’s premium like the Hemera Extruder from E3D.
It has the ability to print flexible materials with ease, due to it’s compact design and gearing system which gives it extra torque.
Check out my review on the Hemera here for the fantastic benefits that it will give your 3D printing journey, but it doesn’t come cheap.
If you are looking for a more budget extruder that still works pretty well, I’d go with the BMG Extruder Clone from Amazon. Although it’s a clone, it works extremely well and is high quality.
One downside is that it can be hard to manually advance filament through as the gears should be greased to have it working better.
You can just send a quick g-code to your printer to do this. It gives great retractions, with it’s CNC-machined hardened steel drive gears.
2. Convenient Spool Holder
Many 3D printers already come with easy-to-use spool holders, but for the ones that don’t it’s a great addition for your printing journey.
Even some that do don’t do the job very well due to not being long enough to hold certain spools such as the Maker Select 3D printer.
We have a brilliant creation by Filamentry called The Ultimate Spool Holder or TUSH for short. Simply download the STL file, print four, get some 608 bearings, attach them and voila!
You have a working spool holder at a cheap price. These 608 bearings are a good price from Amazon and come in a 10-pack so you have spares for other uses.
The simplest way to get the problem solved, if you are willing to spend is to purchase one. A spool holder I recommend is the Crecker from Amazon. This has the benefit of having a very simple, durable design, yet with much flexibility.
You are able to position the spool holder in such a way that it can hold any spool of filament that you come across.
The holder provides a good amount of tension to allow filament to feed properly through your printer. All you need is a flat surface and you can get it going.
3. Nozzle Upgrades Make All the Difference
Most 3D printers come with factory nozzles which are cheap, but still get the job done. After some time, depending on what you are printing and what temperatures you are using, your nozzle is going to degrade and wear out.
Brass is the standard material for a nozzle because of it’s thermal conductivity and it’s easy for manufacturers to produce.
Even before nozzles wear out, they can be the cause of filament jamming up and costing you precious time and materials trying to solve the problem.
You can opt-in for a standard replacement nozzle or you can go one better, and get yourself a nozzle of higher quality which will improve your printing experience.
For example, an affordable and great quality nozzle is one made out of hardened steel.
These Hardened Steel Wear-Resistant Nozzles from Amazon fit standard MK8 3D printers such as the Ender 3 & Prusa i3, and are great for printing harsh filament like carbon fibre, glow-in-the-dark filament, or wood filament.
The usual brass nozzles you are used to don’t do the job as well as this material, and would quickly wear out.
You will be able to print composite filament which are abrasive like carbon fiber infused filament, and it will give you a lot of printing hours before wearing out.
Another type of nozzle I would recommend is the Micro Swiss Plated Nozzle from Amazon. The benefits of this nozzle is it’s temperature stabilization and thermal conductivity.
It’s brass but steel coated, allowing filaments to extrude smooth and consistently while allowing you to print abrasive filament with little issue.
The steel plated nozzle is great for materials like PETG which can have issues sticking to the nozzle. You will likely see an instant improvement in quality once you change your nozzle, less curling as well.
Retractions should improve and result in less oozing and stringing, so definitely get a quality nozzle and see the difference it makes.
Just make sure you have the correct threading (for your printer) and nozzle size. The usual nozzle size is 0.4mm.
4. Direct Air Properly With Fan Ducts
You may think quality issues are coming from your filament, your temperature settings, or your heated bed. What if none of these were the issues and you just had cooling problems with your 3D prints.
These things can be hard to identify, but once you have it is something that can easily be fixed.
Insufficient cooling diagnosis is usually done through overhang tests and gap bridging. Once you’ve identified that it’s an issue, then you know the solution.
Using a fan duct on your printer could easily be the difference between prints going well from start to finish, and prints getting knocked off the build platform mid-print.
This happens more so with inexpensive 3D printers that don’t have these issues at the forefront and are more worried about the competitive price points for a budget printer.
If your fans are too far away from prints, or there is little airflow direction you can print yourself a fan duct for many different types of printers.
Here are fan ducts for the following prints on Thingiverse:
5. Belt Tensioners Make A Difference
Temperature changes the length of objects so in many cases, your 3D printer’s belt may lose tension over time with the heat. This is where a belt tensioner can come in handy.
Some people advise to lower your jerk and acceleration settings due to each move leading to stretch and compression of your belt.
For the most part, belt tensioners are beneficial if you aren’t adjusting your tension accurately, as they bring in elasticity where it’s not necessary. You want to make sure you’re not using a sprung tension method and something that simply pulls the belts tight enough.
A good belt tensioner is one for the Ultimaker using a much simpler design than usual. It can fit belts of other 3D printers or be scaled up or down in your slicer to be applied.
Here is a Y-axis belt tensioner which works for Prusa type printers. It takes a bit of DIY to set up but it’s a massive help.
With a well-tightened belt, your print quality should increase. Below is an example of the difference it made with a print.
6. Stepper Motor Dampers For Noise Reduction
Motor dampers are usually small pieces of metal and rubber combined together which screw onto your motors and the frame. What it does is separates the motors from the frame to prevent vibrations and oscillations from echoing.
It does a great job to take loud printers, and convert them to quieter printers. You simply install them on each of your motors (X, Y and Z), being either 3 or 4 if you have 2 Z motors.
Most sounds that come from your 3D printer do come from the vibrations of the frame so this is a cheap, easy fix.
The stepper motor dampers I would recommend, that have helped many people out is the WitBot Dampers which also come with heat-sink if your motor gets hot.
7. Heatbed Silicone Levelling Columns
Say goodbye to your springs and hello to silicone. These are made to replace those skinny levelling springs that do the job, but not so well. Once you install this upgrade, they are set and won’t go anywhere.
They do a great job cutting back vibrations compared to the alternatives, and have reliable guarantees to work. These are specially designed for the Anet A8, Wanhao D9, Anycubic Mega and many more printers out there.
You need a goo amount of heat-resistance and pressure resistance for your levelling columns, and these silicone upgrades work perfectly to handle the wobble of your printer, resulting in higher quality prints.
There is little benefit to sticking with the traditional bed springs that your printer comes with.
8. Get Yourself Some Premium Fans
Noctua NF-A4 is a premium fan which you will want for your printer for a few main reasons.
It’s extremely quiet, it has serious flow rates and cooling performance, making a huge difference to how well optimised your 3D printing process is, and has rubber isolating mounts to make sure the vibrations don’t travel through to the other parts of your printer.
Check out this previous article I’ve written for tips to reduce noise on your 3D printer.
Factory fans won’t be as good as this one in any right, so if you want a trusted fan to work for your 3D printer, this is one I would go for and not look back! You have different cable adapters to fit your needs.
The fan is more compact, yet more powerful. Some people report pushing up to 20% more air compared to standard fans while it’s around 25% smaller than stock fans.
Even with a low speed setting, you will see your fan working efficiently to make sure your prints come out the best that they can.
9. Flexible Magnetic Print Surface
How often have you spent an unnecessary amount of time trying to remove a print from your printing surface?
It’s one of the more common issues that people face when it comes to printing, and it can get very frustrating knowing you had all your settings correct, just like your last print but it happens again.
Some people have even injured themselves trying so hard to remove a print or had many near misses. This is something that can be easily sold with the right product. It’s just not worth the time and money using a bad print bed, so avoid the hassle and constant replacements.
If you want one product that will get the job done, you need to start using a flexible build plate on your 3D printer.
The reason these work so well is you don’t need to wait for any cool down, you can reach for your flexplate, give it a quick bend and your part should immediately come right off. Then you can put the flexible surface right back onto your printer and start the next print.
It has a magnetic base which comes in all different sizes so it can be put on several 3D printers. Then it has the actual flex plate, usually a piece of spring steel which attaches to the base.
The great thing is that the flex plate can come as a standalone product, meaning you can have a whole host of different materials as the printing surface such as PEI or Garolite.
After much research I chose the Creality Ultra Flexible Removable Magnetic Surface on Amazon. It is a great price with great functionality for hassle-free print removal. It’s easy to install, works with all FDM printer models and can be cut to size if necessary.
If you want the premium, branded version of this you definitely want to go for the BuildTak 3D Printing Build Surface on Amazon. It’s more expensive but you won’t find a better print surface.
The build sheet adheres to print beds to help filament sticking during prints and is compatible with PLA, ABS, PET+, Brick, Wood, HIPS, TPE, Nylon and more. The BuildTak is a premium magnetic square sheet and has given owners of the surface years of use.
End the need for all the fancy blue tape, glue sticks, hair sprays and get yourself a proper build surface.
10. Stay Prepared With a 3D Printer Tool Kit
After some time in the field of 3D printing, you realise there are a number of useful tools that you regularly use, whether it be for fine-tuning your printer or post-processing.
Rather than buying these separately when you figure out you need them, it’s a better idea to buy a 3D printer tool kit that incorporates a list of useful items in one purchase.
One of the full 3D printer tool kits I recommend is the Filament Friday 3D Print Tool Kit from Amazon. It’s a 32-piece essentials kit which contains many accessories which assist you with cleaning, finishes, and the printing process. You will find many items that don’t come in the usual kits that you can get.
It includes items such as removal tools, electronic calipers, needle nose pliers, glue stick, filing tool, knife clean up kit, wire brushes and much more, all fitted into a nice carry case.
It may seem like a high price, but when you consider the quality and quantity of product you are receiving, it’s a great valued purchase. These are items that you will most likely use at points in your 3D printing journey, so getting them in one purchase is ideal.
This tool kit will make life much easier and is better quality than most items that come free with your 3D printer.
If you want a kit specific for removal, cleaning and finishing 3D printers, look no further. I’d go with the AMX3d Pro Grade Tool Kit. This tool kit also covers the basics needed for 3D printing, but at higher quality.
If you want a great steel set of tools with a product designed based on feedback from customers, then definitely go for this one.
Nozzles do require maintenance over time, without it you’ll definitely take a hit on print quality and more time spent troubleshooting. To avoid such issues, I recommend REPTOR 3D Printer Nozzle Cleaning Kit.
You get some amazing curved precious tweezers, as well as a set of needles which fit into a variety of nozzle sizes. It has an ergonomic design for added accuracy and accessibility of your nozzle.
11. Auto-Levelling Sensor With Ease
Having your bed levelled correctly is the difference between a successful print and a print that’s wasted your time and filament due to coming out badly.
Sometimes it takes 3D printer users many hours and tests to figure out that their actual issue was a bed that was incorrectly levelled.
Even when you think you have corrected the issue, it is something that isn’t a permanent fix because over time, beds can warp, parts change in size and it only takes a very small change to effect your results.
The simple fix to these issues is getting yourself an auto-levelling sensor.
How this solves your problem is the sensor tells your 3D printer exactly where the print bed is, in comparison to the height of the whole print bed, so if one side is higher than the other, your printer will know.
This is done through a small pin from the sensor being pushed in, activating a switch which sends a message about the Z value and location.
Even if your bed is extremely warped, your 3D printer will automatically adjust for that during the printing process. This will solve many adhesion and print quality issues in one swoop, so an auto-levelling sensor really is a time and money saver in the long-run.
The main downside here is that installing one might require a new mount for your 3D printer’s tool head, along with some changes to the firmware. But nothing to worry about as there are many easy to follow guides to put you in the right path.
Now that we have the solution, the auto-levelling sensor I recommend is the BLTouch from Amazon. Although it’s a fairly pricey item, the benefits of it, issues it will solve and frustrations it will save is well worth the investment.
It’s simple, high-precision and works with any kind of bed materials you have. This should last you years.
Many people go with cheap, cloned sensors based on the BL-Touch and get poor results. They just end up having to manually adjust their bed to get successful prints, so it ends up just being a waste of time.
You are better off going with the original, which has a tolerance of 0.005mm.
Below is an example of how it works, simply let the sensor work and let the printer work for you rather than working for the printer.
Get the BLTouch today from Amazon today.
12. Insulation Mat Sticker/Thermal Pad
Heated beds aren’t always as efficient as you think. Many times they will transmit heat in the places you don’t need it, such as the bottom of the heated bed.
This results in taking longer for your surface to get to the desired temperature, as well as a waste of energy, so time and money.
It’s worth investing in your 3D printer to decrease this unnecessary waste. Some printers have trouble simply getting the bed up to temperatures of 85°C and it can leave you frustrated thinking you are stuck with this issue.
The solution to this problem is an insulation mat. The one I would recommend is the HAWKUNG Foam Insulation Mat If you have an uninsulated heated bed, this upgrade is a no-brainer.
The installation process is very easy, all it takes is cutting the mat to size, peeling the adhesive layer and sticking it down to your heat bed. Keep in mind though, it’s a very strong adhesive so it requires steady hands and focus to get right.
It can fit the majority of 3D printer beds out there, having a 220 x 220 version and a 300 x 300 version. They are also very easy to cut to size if need be.
The benefits to you and your 3D printer are vast. Your bed temperatures will heat up faster, stay stable over time, cool down very slowly and improve your layer adhesion and print quality.
Many people have reported an insulation mat being the fixer of their ABS printing issues. If you want to print your first large ABS print, you can feel confident after having this upgrade.
The insulation mat is non-flammable, durable, insulates sound well and has low thermal conductivity (traps heat well).
You’ll need to re-calibrate your printing settings after this upgrade because your heated bed will get hotter and more efficient. You’ll see a reduction in the energy used to power up your heated bed to maintain the temperature.
13. Aesthetic LED Lighting
3D printers tend to be put in dark, secluded places where it can be difficult to get a good visual of the process.
The wiring to get LEDs installed is very simple and it can be set up in a way to get your 3D printer automatically control the lights. LED strips are the usual type that people use for their 3D printers as they are flexible, easy to setup and relatively cheap.
14. PSU Covering To Protect It
When it comes to your 3D printer, there are many components that you need to manage to increase your safety. Without managing your risks there are issues that can arise that affect you and other people around your 3D printer.
One of these safety management issues is your power supply. It’s a good idea, if your printer doesn’t already have one, to implement a cover for your PSU to deter any electric shocks and keep your PSU secure.
The cover should reduce potential hazards by providing you with a good mounting point for the IEC switch.
If your 3D printer does not have an off switch, particularly for the Anet A8 printer you can get yourself a 3-in 1 Inlet Module Plug from Amazon and get it set up.
15. Get Rid of Moisture With a Filament Dryer
Ever heard of your filament being hygroscopic? It means your filament is absorbing moisture from the air, leaving it open to damage when heated at high temperatures. Proper storage in an airtight container of some sort is required to get the best results with your prints and there are a few ways that people decide to do this.
One of these ways is using an filament dryer product which actually takes the moisture out of your filament, making sure it is in optimal form for printing.
Rather than getting an actual branded filament dryer you can use a food dehumidifier which does the same job. Depending on which one you get, it may require a few small modifications so your can fit your filament in there.
I would recommend the Sunlu Filament Dryer from Amazon. They can get usually get to a nice 55°C and will work good enough to get your filament dry and ready for use.
Many prints get ruined due to improper handing of their filament and bad a humid environment so this should counterract that.
A spool holder comes in handy with filament dryer, I’d recommend the Plano Leader Spool Box which is an airtight container to protect your filament from moisture.
16. Vibration Feet Dampers
Most people aren’t a big fan of the noises a 3D printer makes, especially in the middle of the night when you are going for that big, detailed print. It can get pretty agitating, not only for you but for the people around you, and you may have got complaints before.
Some people are more sensitive to noise than others, so even if it doesn’t bother you that much, a family member or spouse might not feel the same!
This is where vibration feet dampers come in and there are a couple different solutions.
Sorbothane feet are an efficient, but premium product that many 3D printer hobbyists use to reduce the noise of their printers.
I would recommend the Isolate It Sorbothane Non-Skid Feet because it is a proven product which does wonders to isolate vibration, decrease shock, and damp unwanted noise. It has an adhesive bottom so it doesn’t slip and is very easy to install.
If you want to try out the inexpensive option which involves a print through Thingiverse, then there is definitely some options.
This link will take you to Thingiverse with ‘vibration damper’ searched to show you an extensive list of vibration feet that fit under each corner of your printer to reduce vibrations.
If you haven’t found your printer, simply go to Thingiverse and type in ‘vibration damper + your printer’ and a sweet model should pop up that you can get started with.
Vibration damper for the following printers:
17. Raspberry Pi (Advanced)
Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that gives you extra capabilities. When mixed with a 3D printer, it’s basically printer control on steroids. It gives you the ability to do so many things you didn’t even know were possible with your 3D printer.
When you have a raspberry pi, you gain access to the use of Octoprint (known as OctoPi).
Octoprint is an open source 3D printer controller application which gives you access and control of your 3D printer through a unique web address.
This means, as long as you have an internet connection, you can do the following:
- Heat up your printer
- Prepare files for prints
- Monitor your print progress
- Calibrate your printer
- Carry out some maintenance
This can all be done without physically being at your printer. You also gain access to Octoprint’s powerful plugin system, which gives extra functionality.
For example, if you have your printer in your garage and don’t want to have to go back and forth, you’ll want to upgrade to using a raspberry pi so you can do it from your desired area.
Many people set up a webcam to watch their printers using the raspberry pi system, to which they can view through a web browser.
You can create time lapse videos, stream your print live, and if you see your print failing you have the ability to stop your printer. The recommended camera for doing so it the Raspberry Pi V2.1.
It has an 8 MegaPixel capability with 1080p and is used by many other 3D printer users.
Now, the raspberry pi I recommend is the CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 which comes with a nice quick start guide. It has many features and allows you to not only remotely control and view your printer, but from anywhere around the world as long as you have an internet connection.
The features of the OctoPrint application OctoRemote are:
- Control and monitor multiple 3D printers through OctoPrint servers
- Upload and download files
- View your printer through the webcam viewer
- Move the print head and control the extruder
- Download rendered videos and change the timelapse
- Control and monitor the hotend and bed temperature
- Slice STL files through OctoPrint’s CuraEngine plugin
- Send system commands to shut down or reboot your server
- Send commands to the terminal and monitor it
- Add custom controls with inputs and sliders
18. Brackets for Wire Strain Relief
The wiring system in your 3D printer can easily get damaged if they aren’t organised properly, so it’s a good idea to get a good system in place.
It may not affect you for some time, but after much exposure, wires can start breaking off and shorting from the constant movements of the printer’s components. One of these is the wires from the heated bed.
Some printers, the Creality for example, already implement these wire strain relievers to aid in the wiring system. Many others don’t so it’s a good idea to get this upgrade set up on your 3D printer.
The Creality CR-10 Mini strain relief bracket for the heated bed can be found here on Thingiverse. The link for the Anet A8 printer is here. For other printers, you can search on Thingiverse or on Google for the STL files.
For your extruder motor wires, you can use this to prevent your wires from getting bent when the carriage moves around. It’s a good idea to print it in ABS or another heat-resistant material since the bracket will be in contact with the motor.
19. Filament Sensor
There are quite a few issues as a 3D printer user that you have to be able to minimize to give yourself the best chance to get successful prints. When it comes to those longer, several hour prints, this is even more important to make sure your process is in order.
This one is a fairly straight forward upgrade. Some printers come with filament sensors built in, but several don’t. What these do is simply detect when the filament loaded into your printer has run out or is about to run out, automatically stopping your printer.
Without this automatic detection, your printer can continue printing the file without filament, leaving yourself with an incomplete print which requires a reset.
If you run out of filament during a 10 hour print, 7 or 8 hours in, it can easily render your print useless, meaning you have wasted plenty of expensive filament and your precious time.
This is one issue that you can completely avoid by using this simple upgrade, a filament sensor.
What this does to benefit you is it gives you the luxury of being able to load filament and let your prints run, without having to worry. When your printer automatically stops, just reload your filament and it will get back to your print.
It’s a simple, but effective product which will help with those longer, more detailed prints so it’s a good idea to invest in a filament sensor to aid your 3D printing journey.
After much research I chose this model on Amazon. It’s a cheap, reliable option that gets the job done without any fancy extra bits.
Do watch for retractions because the feeder could push the new filament out so wait until the filament is running well before leaving your printer.
This IR-Sensor from Amazon is for a Prusa i3 Mk2.5/Mk3 to upgrade to a Mk2.5s/Mk3s.
20. 32-Bit Control Board – Smoothieboard (Advanced)
The control board of your 3D printer gives you access to most of the electrical features such parsing g-code, temperature regulation and the actual movement of the motors.
It used to be a time where the control board was simply to get the 3D printer working, but now it’s a part which can offer extra features.
It’s a big upgrade but it can get fairly complicated, so you want to either have previous experience with this or have a very good guide to take you through the process of changing your control board.
The benefits of upgrading your control board can be vast, depending on which one you go for. One I would recommend is the BIQU Smoothieboard V1.3, from Amazon.
This upgrade does require knowledge of configuring Marlin V2.0.x firmware as well as basic wiring skills. It not a simple plug and play type upgrade, so you’ll need to do a good amount of research beforehand.
Overall, it has many features and is a great control board, that can support quiet operation, homing without sensors, native support cloud printing over the internet, touchscreen interfaces and higher processing speeds allowing you to print quicker.
Some control boards require soldering wires and whatnot, luckily it is already done for you with the recommended controller board.
It supports resume printing, automatic shutdown after printing, filament break detection and much more.
21. A Simple 3D Printer Enclosure
This upgrade has a lot to do with controlling the environment inside and outside of your 3D printer to your benefit. Particularly for materials which are prone to cooling issues like ABS.
Enclosures aren’t essential but they can definitely help your print quality by stopping it from cooling too quickly, resulting in warping and ruining your print.
A good enclosure will keep your print safe from drafts, temperature changes and will protect you from accidental injuries that can happen when a 3D printer is out in the open.
Many printers are already enclosed in it’s design, but many others aren’t so an enclosure can be either purchased or built using a range of materials. Some people have built an enclosure from cardboard, insulation foam or Ikea tables with fibreglass.
You have quite a few options here depending on what you are comfortable with.
Instead of goign with the DIY option, if you want a done-for-you solution that actually works, you can’t go wrong with the Creality Fireproof & Dustproof Enclosure from Amazon.
Benefits of an enclosure are vast, they do a good job limited emitted fumes from materials, protects your printer from dust, improves fire safety, increases print quality and much more.
If you want to build your own enclosure I would recommend reading All3D’s post on it or use this popular guide from Prusa 3D:
22. Clean Up With Filament Filters
This is a simple upgrade you can apply pretty quickly. It has the benefit of protecting your filament from needing cleaning, and oil can be added for lubrication.
The sponges are used to clean the filament of any dust particles which stops them from being able to clog your extruder. It will extend the life of your nozzles and hotend, and it can be used with Direct-Drive or Bowden Extruders.
The STL file can be found here from Thingiverse.
An even more basic method is an option which is just using some tissue/napkin and a zip tie. It’s illustrated simply in the video below.
If you want a premium version of this that’s professionally made, check out this Filament Filter from FYSETC on Amazon. Many people report that after using this upgrade, they see an instant change in the quality of their prints.
It’s a low cost and gets the job done properly so you can stay on top of your 3D prints.
23. TL Smoothers for Noise & Quality Benefits
This one is a quality control upgrade which lowers the vibrations from your stepper motor drivers. With a good TL smoother add-on installed, you should get a smooth movement in your stepper drivers and less noise from your printer.
Many people have reported a huge decrease in their printers volume after using this upgrade.
The main benefit that people use these for it for their ability to eliminate salmon skin (a printing defect) in their prints.
With TL smoothers, it’s important to place them in an appropriate area because they can run pretty hot, even when not printing.
It’s a very inexpensive fix for your motors to alleviate some print quality issues and it’s fairly easy to install as they have a plug and play type setup.
The TL smoother with great ratings on Amazon and one I’d also recommend is the ARQQ TL Smoother Addon Module this model.
I would double check the wiring before installing your TL smoother as sometimes the extension cables can be wired in reverse.
You do want to make sure your printer doesn’t already have this upgrade installed from the factory, such as on the Ender 3, or it won’t be of any use to you. It’s great on Tevo 3D printers, CR-10S and a Monoprice Delta Mini.
Specifically for the Monoprice Delta Mini, ZUK3D created a TL Smoother Board Mount on Thingiverse you can use to implement the TL smoother easier.
24. Webcam Mount For Viewing Prints
If you want to monitor your 3D printer but you don’t have the Raspberry Pi upgrade, you can create yourself a universal webcam mount. It fits many printer designs and camera sizes. You can also search for a mount for your specific 3D printer to make it more compatible.
25. Dual Extruders, Dual Capability
The majority of 3D printers use single extruders to transform their filament to lovely pieces and parts. This is easy, efficient and works very well without having to do much else. This isn’t the only option, you can open up your 3D printing experience with a dual extruder.
It’s a fairly difficult task which does require a good amount of experience to do, but it’s definitely possible. I found a guide on Instructables to convert a CR-10 printer to a dual extrusion printer, with BLTouch auto-levelling sensor.
Do keep in mind that you use more advanced STL files as they have to incorporate both extruders into one file. This means you will have a harder time designing prints and will have to learn the process.