3D Printing Related News

Getting the perfect surface on 3D printed objects

3D printing is everywhere and everybody is aware of it’s potential. Unfortunately this isn’t just computer modeling, printing settings and that is it: you have your 3D object. This type of printing still has a long way to go. Finishing isn’t high quality, which makes this process appear to be a little handcrafted.

Walking the trade shows we have recently visited, I have noticed that the entire 3D business is growing increasingly. Every time there is a new printer, a new discovery related to 3D, new software, materials, etc. And some renowned brands are also either manufacturing or selling them.


3D printed samples at APPPEXPO 2016, Shanghai.

Fortunately for 3D stringy surfaces, there are some tips and some easy homemade processes that can help solve this problem. Obviously this is the part were it gets “handcrafted” but at least it gives you very good results. This process is called sanding.


Sanding process on 3D printed object. Courtesy of Rumy blog

To do this process it is important to print with a material with the same or similar color you want your piece. This helps to avoid heavy painting layers. To sand the 3D pieces it is required to use sand paper, polishing compound and acetone for any tiny angle on the piece. The sand paper helps remove any imperfection and to achieve a smoother surface. Then polishing the object gets you an ever more realistic and professional finish. Exposing the piece into acetone vapor also help get an even softer and shinier surface.

So definitively this isn’t yet an automated process and it requires some patience and extra work to get high standard products, but as technology advances I am sure in the future this process will be automated and facilitate 3D industry to improve and continue to impress with duplicating and producing 3D prototypes.


Before and after the sanding process. Courtesy of The Voice of 3D Printing Technologies.

Source: The Voice of 3D Printing Technologies

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