How to Smooth 3D Prints
Some people like 3D printing textures, while others hate them. Nonetheless, there are many reasons why you might want to finish printing. Maybe it is a display piece, or it needs a smooth surface to reduce friction between moving parts. People who don’t like textures, how to make PLA prints smooth?
Remove excess material
The printed matter may contain extra material, such as the support. You must remove them for the print to complete successfully. You can use several different tools to do this.
When looking for a knife for cleaning 3D printed parts, the first thing to consider is the choice of blade.To remove supports or other excess material, place the blade on one edge of the print, and then move the blade over it, remember not to apply too much pressure, or you may risk removing more material than expected And the risk of damaging prints. Repeat this operation until the edges are smooth.
There are two things to keep in mind when using rotary multifunction tools. First, they are speed tools, not torque tools. Therefore, when you do not see the desired result, instead of applying more pressure, increase the rotation speed. This will not only save you a lot of work, it will also extend the life of the tool.
Secondly, because you use power tools on plastic, don't stay at one point for too long or apply too much pressure. The movement of the tool generates heat, so doing so is a reliable way to melt the plastic where you are working and create dents and holes in the print.
Some rotating tools also come with sanding attachments, but they may be a bit too strong for smooth PLA. Next we will look at effective sanding techniques.
Sanding is one of the easier to use methods of smoothing printed matter, and there are many different sanding methods.
If you have large prints, you may want to consider using sandpaper. They can reduce the pressure on your hands and make the abrasion on the sandpaper and printed parts even.
If your print has many details, the best way is to use a nail file. There are many different sizes and types of nail files, and the right choice depends on what you want to polish, but cheap cardboard files usually work well. You can also use loose sandpaper.
You can also over-wet sanding. High-grain wet sandpaper can be used as the final sanding stage because it does not remove a lot of material and leaves a polished surface. The technique of using wet sandpaper is roughly the same as ordinary sandpaper, you just need to moisten it from time to time.
PLA is not particularly heat-resistant, so it is not suitable for outdoor applications. This means that you can use a hot melt gun to grind the PLA prints flat.
The best and most consistent results can be obtained by placing the print on the turntable and rotating it slowly to evenly distribute the heat. This also helps prevent excessive melting of any specific area for better overall results.
Another way to achieve a smooth surface on a print is by adding an additional coating of material, whether sprayed, painted, or dipped.
This can fill any defects in the surface texture, including layer lines, and leave a shiny, even finish. Two common examples for PLA are using a paint primer or an epoxy coating.
The use of a primer will generally produce prints that look better than simply sanded prints. However, you should keep in mind that this method is more time consuming because you have to wait for each layer of primer to dry.
In addition, it is best to follow up the primer print with paint, because if it is not stamped, the primer alone will not stand the test of time.
Epoxy is a resin coating that works in roughly the same way as primers. However, it is a bit difficult to use because you have to mix it before using it for printing.
However, epoxy resins are significantly better than primers in filling larger holes or printing artifacts left by the printing process.
If you want to know more, please click: