My Tools and Equipment

*Updated April 4, 2024*

I get asked all the time which software and machines I use to produce my projects. Here is a little more detail for you guys. Please note that I don't currently have any official partnerships with any of these brands, but if they were interested I would 100% work with them due to my trust in their products.

3D Printers - The Bambulab X1 Carbon

Bambulab in the JBV Creative Shop

This printer came onto the market in May 2022 and quickly DESTROYED everything else in its class.  It was up and running in minutes, and was printing perfectly from the first print.  The best part, it is 3-4 times faster than my Prusas (see below). I haven't run into much in terms of problems with the machine.  It's clogged once (due to a part design error on my part) and was incredibly easy to un-clog.  I think this is a true sign of a good printer. If I needed to pick one small gripe about the machine, I wish it would come with a smooth pei sheet like the prusa machines.  But this is a very small gripe.

Since I first got it in March 2023, I have been using it daily for big and small parts, and it has proven to be an absolute workhorse.  For this reason, I highly recommend any of the Bambulab machines if you're looking for a printer that just works.  Here is an affiliate link if you're interested in buying one that will help support more JBV Creative projects :)


3D Printers - Prusa MK4 and i3 Mk3s+

Paul the Prusa - my favourite 3d printer

I got my first Prusa in January of 2021 and it quickly overtook my other two 3D printers as my most trusted machine. The Prusa machines are as plug-and-play as it gets.  The automatic leveling is spot on, the bed surface always sticks, and the printer calibration is precise.  Since I make mechanical assemblies with lots of gears, levers, and other moving parts, it's important that my parts are dimensionally accurate so they can all fit together well.  I have since added two more Prusa i3 Mk3s+ machines to my arsenal, and they are consistent across the board with the parts they produce, and their general reliability.

If you are interested in the Prusa machines and would like to help support JBV Creative, here's my affiliate link for the Prusa website. Please note, this is not a sponsorship, I just love their machines so I decided to join their partner program!

Laser Cutter/Engraver - The XTool P2

When XTool offered me a machine in exchange for this review video, I was reluctant to agree- I didn't want to make a review video, and I also had a laser cutter (The Glowforge Pro).  

After taking a look at the specs and features, I found it quite hard to say no-  It was bigger, more powerful, and cheaper than the glowforge.  Not to mention that it has one gamechanging feature that sealed the deal for me- An automated passthrough slot.  This means that it can automatically process parts that are up to 8 feet in length...automatically.

On top of that, I've found the XTool software to be efficient and fast meaning I can go from design to finished part without wasting any time or energy.  The final piece of the puzzle that has made me an XTool P2 advocate is that there are no paywalls or 'premium' features.  Unlike the Glowforge, everything comes with the machine, all at a price that is cheaper than the Glowforge machine.

All in all, I would recommend this machine to anyone who wants a stress free laser experience.  Check out this link to learn more, and also help support future JBV Creative projects.

Filament - ESun PLA+ (Cold White Colour)

My go to material - ESun PLA+ Cold White

I've been using this filament for over a year now- I love the colour, the consistency, and how well it prints on all my machines.  They have sent me some rolls for free over the past few months, but this was because I reached out to them to tell them how much I like their filament.  I have used other colours including red, green, and purple to name a few. It can be bought pretty much anywhere filament is sold.


CAD (Computer Automated Design) - Solidworks

After the initial idea pops into my head and a very rough whiteboard sketch is scratched out, I turn to CAD to bring my idea into a physical model that can be printed out. For this, I use Solidworks.  I originally got started with Solidworks in university, but did most of my learning after I graduated through jobs and projects. One thing I love about Solidworks is the workflow for creating individual parts which can then be assembled.  It definitely gives a similar vibe to actually building something in the real world, and I can imagine it even uses similar parts of the brain. Another great part about Solidworks is there is a large amount of Youtube content and tutorials showing everything from basic modeling to more advanced techniques. Solidworks has traditionally been a higher priced software package reserved for larger engineering companies HOWEVER they recently released a WAY more affordable copy ($99 US per year) to allow makers and hobbyists use their software. You can find it here (non-affiliate).

Screenshot of the Corporate Ping Pong Machine in Solidworks

Something to note- Fusion360 is another very popular CAD software that is also very capable and has a huge community surrounding it. This really becomes a matter of preference- for me, I've been using Solidworks for a long time and have grown to be very comfortable with the layout. For others, they may feel similarly about Fusion360. One advantage to Fusion is that it's free for hobby use.  I can't otherwise speak to the features, however I know some very capable engineers who use Fusion and swear by it.