Rocktopus 3D Print: A Fun Guide for FDM Printing

Hey there, 3D printing aficionado! Ever stumbled upon the delightful rocktopus 3D print? If not, buckle up. This quirky and charming print is about to steal your heart. Today, I’m guiding you on how to craft your very own rocktopus 3D print using an FDM printer. Ready to dive in? Let’s kickstart the printing process!

Introduction: What’s a Rocktopus?

Originating as a whimsical variation of the octopus, the rocktopus 3D print captures the essence of amusement and innovation within the 3D printing aficionados. This design, predominantly distinguished by an octopus flashing a rock and roll sign, has evolved as an icon for open-source 3D printing and frequently serves as a calibration print. It’s more than just a symbol of creativity; it’s a showcase of the multifaceted realm of 3D modeling and printing.

Why Use an FDM Printer for the Rocktopus?

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) has become a leading technology in the 3D printing world. When it comes to creating objects like the Rocktopus, a playful and intricate design, the advantages of FDM printers stand out. Let’s delve into these benefits:

Advantages of FDM

  1. Cost-Effective:
    • FDM printers are known for their affordability compared to other 3D printing technologies.
    • This makes them an excellent choice for hobbyists or those just starting with 3D printing.
    • The lower cost also means it’s more accessible for educational purposes or small businesses.
  2. Material Versatility:
    • FDM printers can handle a wide range of materials.
    • Common filaments include PLA and ABS, which are versatile and easy to work with.
    • For more specialized applications, FDM printers can use materials like PETG and TPU, expanding their utility.
  3. User-Friendly:
    • These printers generally have a simpler operation process, making them more user-friendly.
    • They often come with software that’s easy to navigate for beginners.
    • The straightforward setup of FDM printers means that new users can quickly start printing with minimal training.
  4. Environmental Benefits:
    • FDM printing can be environmentally friendly, especially when using biodegradable materials like PLA.
    • This aspect makes FDM a preferred choice for those conscious about their ecological footprint.
    • Some FDM printers are designed to be energy-efficient, further reducing their environmental impact.

Ideal for Beginners

  • The FDM process involves layer-by-layer extrusion of material, which is easier to understand and control.
  • Beginners find it easier to tweak settings and experiment with FDM printers.
  • The simplicity of the technology means that even first-time users can achieve impressive results, like creating a detailed Rocktopus, without extensive prior knowledge.
  • The widespread community support and abundance of online resources make troubleshooting and learning more accessible for FDM printer users.

Understanding 3D Printing with FDM: Material Selection, Design Preparation, and Software Choices

Understanding 3D Printing with FDM: Material Selection, Design Preparation, and Software Choices

Material Selection

In the realm of 3D printing, material choice is critical, and for those new to the field, PLA (Polylactic Acid) is often the go-to option. Here’s why PLA is highly recommended, especially for beginners:

  1. Ease of Printing:
    • PLA is renowned for its ease of printing.
    • It exhibits minimal warping, which is a common issue with other materials. This means it stays flat and adheres well to the printing bed during the process.
    • Its low tendency to warp makes it suitable for large prints like a Rocktopus without the need for a heated bed.
  2. Biodegradable:
    • PLA is made from renewable resources such as cornstarch or sugarcane, making it biodegradable.
    • This characteristic makes it an environmentally responsible choice, aligning with the growing demand for sustainable practices.
  3. Color and Finish Variety:
    • PLA filaments are available in a wide range of colors and finishes.
    • This variety allows for a high degree of creative flexibility, enabling you to choose from matte to glossy finishes and a multitude of colors to suit your project, like a vibrant Rocktopus.

Design and File Preparation

When planning to print an object like a Rocktopus, the preparation of the design and file is crucial:

  1. Optimization:
    • The design should be optimized for FDM printing, considering the limitations and strengths of the method.
    • Avoid designs with extreme overhangs or complex geometries that are difficult to print without support structures.
  2. Customization:
    • Personalize your Rocktopus by adding unique touches. This could be anything from embedding initials to experimenting with different patterns or textures.
  3. Scaling:
    • Ensure that the design size aligns with your printer’s build volume.
    • Scale the design to your desired size, keeping in mind the resolution and capabilities of your FDM printer.

Software Choices

Selecting the right software is pivotal in 3D printing. Cura and PrusaSlicer stand out due to several factors:

  1. User Interface:
    • Both Cura and PrusaSlicer are known for their user-friendly interfaces.
    • These software programs make the slicing process (converting 3D models into printable layers) straightforward and accessible, even for beginners.
  2. Preset Profiles:
    • They come equipped with preset profiles for a wide range of printers and materials.
    • These presets simplify the setup process, reducing the amount of technical knowledge required to start printing.
  3. Community Support:
    • Both Cura and PrusaSlicer have large, active online communities.
    • This means access to a wealth of knowledge, tips, and troubleshooting advice from fellow users, which is invaluable for both newcomers and experienced printers.

Printer Settings for Optimal Results

When 3D printing intricate designs like the Rocktopus, fine-tuning your printer settings is key to achieving high-quality results.

When 3D printing intricate designs like the Rocktopus, fine-tuning your printer settings is key to achieving high-quality results. Here’s a breakdown of the crucial settings and adjustments to consider:

Layer Height and Print Speed

  • Layer Height:
    • A layer height of 0.2mm is generally a good compromise between detail and printing speed.
    • Finer layers lead to higher resolution prints but take longer, while thicker layers speed up the process but reduce detail.
  • Print Speed:
    • Maintaining a print speed around 50mm/s is advisable.
    • Slower speeds can improve print quality by allowing more precise extrusion and better adhesion between layers.

Supports and Adhesion

  • Supports:
    • The Rocktopus design usually doesn’t require extensive supports due to its structure.
    • However, assess the design for any overhangs or complex features that might benefit from minimal supports.
  • Adhesion:
    • Use a brim or raft to enhance bed adhesion, particularly important for designs with smaller footprints like the Rocktopus.
    • A brim or raft provides a larger surface area at the base, helping to prevent warping and ensuring the print stays secure during the process.

Temperature Control

  • Extruder Temperature:
    • It’s vital to set your extruder temperature according to the filament you are using.
    • For PLA, the ideal temperature range is typically between 190°C to 220°C.
    • The right temperature ensures smooth extrusion and proper layer adhesion without causing issues like stringing or blobbing.


  • Infill Percentage:
    • An infill of around 20% is recommended for the Rocktopus.
    • This provides a good balance between strength and material efficiency.
    • Higher infill percentages increase strength but use more material and extend print times.

Retraction Settings

  • Retraction:
    • Proper retraction settings are crucial to avoid stringing, especially between the tentacles of the Rocktopus.
    • Retraction pulls the filament back slightly when moving between print sections, preventing excess material from oozing out.
    • Adjust retraction speed and distance for your printer and filament type to ensure clean transitions between print areas.

By adjusting these settings — layer height, print speed, supports and adhesion, temperature control, infill, and retraction — you can enhance the quality of your 3D printed Rocktopus. Each setting plays a role in the overall result, and finding the right balance for your specific printer and filament type can make a significant difference in the success of your print.

Post-Printing Tips for Your 3D Printed Rocktopus

After your Rocktopus has been successfully printed, the next steps are crucial to turn it from a raw 3D print into a finished masterpiece. Here are some key post-printing tips:

Cleaning and Removing Supports

  • Removing Supports:
    • If you have used supports for your Rocktopus, remove them carefully to avoid damaging the print.
    • Tools like needle-nose pliers or tweezers can be very useful in gently plucking away support structures.
    • For intricate areas, a craft knife or a small pair of scissors can help in removing finer supports.


  • ABS Filament:
    • If your Rocktopus is printed in ABS, consider an acetone vapor bath.
    • This method involves exposing the ABS print to acetone vapor, which slightly melts the surface, smoothing out the layer lines.
    • Ensure proper ventilation and safety measures while using acetone, as it is a strong solvent.
  • PLA Filament:
    • For PLA prints, gentle sanding is the preferred method for smoothing.
    • Start with a coarser grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grits to achieve a smooth finish.
    • Be careful not to apply too much pressure to avoid deforming the print.


  • If Printed in Parts:
    • In case your Rocktopus is printed in multiple parts, assembly is the next step.
    • Use strong adhesives like super glue or epoxy resins for durable bonding.
    • Ensure that the surfaces to be glued are clean and dry for the best adhesion.

Protective Coating

  • Sealant or Clear Coat:
    • Applying a sealant or clear coat can protect your Rocktopus from environmental factors like sunlight and moisture.
    • This is particularly important if the print will be placed outdoors or in damp environments.
    • Choose a suitable sealant that’s compatible with your print material (PLA or ABS).

Painting and Finishing Touches

  • Personalization:
    • The Rocktopus serves as a blank canvas for your creativity.
    • Use acrylic paints to add color and character to your print.
    • Experiment with different painting techniques, such as dry brushing or layering, to bring out the details.
    • Consider adding gloss or matte varnish after painting to enhance the finish and protect the paint.

Following these post-printing steps — cleaning, smoothing, assembly, protective coating, and painting — you can significantly enhance the appearance and durability of your 3D printed Rocktopus. These finishing touches not only protect your creation but also give it a personalized flair, transforming it into a unique piece of art or a functional object.

Conclusion: Dive Into the World of Rocktopus Printing

And there you have it! With a bit of patience, a dash of creativity, and these guidelines, your rocktopus 3D print will surely be the talk of the town. So, why wait? Embark on your rocktopus 3D print journey now!


  1. Can I use other materials besides PLA for the Rocktopus?
    Yes, but ensure you adjust printer settings accordingly.
  2. Is the Rocktopus suitable for kids?
    Absolutely! Just ensure any small parts are used safely.
  3. How long will the Rocktopus take to print?
    It varies, but typically it’s a few hours.
  4. Do I need a high-end FDM printer for this?
    No, even budget printers can yield great results with the right settings.
  5. Where can I share my finished Rocktopus?
    There are plenty of online 3D printing communities, like r/3Dprinting on Reddit.


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Daniel Brooks

Join me the author of Explore 3D Print, on an exhilarating journey through the captivating world of 3D. Discover the endless possibilities of 3D printing and immerse yourself in a vibrant community of enthusiasts. Explore, learn, and unlock the limitless potential of this fascinating realm.

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