Finishing 3D Prints

Created by JasonEC on Oct. 14, 2015, 9:46 a.m.
  • What tools do you use to finish your PLA parts after printing? How do you get into the nooks and crannies?

    I have a variety of sanding boards I've used for plastic and resin model building. But in all honesty, I want something even quicker. Is there any kind of small-sanding attachment for all those reciprocating-type tools out there?

    How would you "sand" or finish a circular recessed area which has about a 5mm lip? (What I've printed is the scope for a DL-44 Blaster. It printed with support between the lip and where the glass would be, and after removing the support material, it's going to need a LOT of work and it's in a tough spot.)

    Thoughts and suggestions appreciated!


  • What about some sort of dremmel attachment? They have so many different sizes one of them has to be what you are looking for.

  • I have about every dremel attachment known to man and find that they just don't work for flat areas. Better for small touch-up stuff.

  • Depending on your object one of the two below might work better:

  • I know this is an old post... ( new member)

    Printing with ABS -the common method to smooth prints is with Acetone...plenty of info on the web there.

    For PLA there isn't a non toxic chemical treatment similar to ABS/Acetone (as far as I'm aware)

    I've opted to go for the fill in the print lines as opposed to sanding. Sanding is great for open type prints where you can get the sanding blocks/paper in. But for those prints with lots of angles and changing surfaces not so good.

    For those prints I use plaster. a slightly wetter mix - more towards a toothpaste consistency.

    Brush a couple of coats, waiting for each coat to dry first...and a light sand will usually do the trick. Obviously this is more suited to static displays than handled props. Coating with rubber paint also works.

    Image above was printed in 3 parts, plastic welded with soldering iron, then coated with plaster, finally painted with bronze metal paint and black wax.