48 votes
Accepted

How do I give 3D-printed parts in PLA a shiny smooth finish?

PLA parts can be finished with a coat of epoxy like XTC-3D from Smooth-On. This will smooth out the part and give it a pretty nice shine. I've also had a fair amount of success sanding prints, giving ...
user avatar
32 votes
Accepted

What glues for bonding printed PLA to injection-molded plastic?

PLA is a nice one, and gluing has been a topic on some of our most favorite maker's channels. For example Stefan from CNC kitchen (this video) and Joel the 3DPrinting Nerd (this video). Here some ...
user avatar
  • 19.2k
29 votes

How do I give 3D-printed parts in PLA a shiny smooth finish?

Acetone vaporing is a great way to smooth ABS prints. For PLA, however, acetone smoothing does not work. An article about smoothing PLA says: This is a pity, since PLA is much easier to work with ...
user avatar
  • 1,076
15 votes

Drilling 3D-printed plastic

Have to get this out of the way... Can you just print the hole into the part instead of drilling? That's usually best, when possible. If you need to drill, you'll definitely want to print an ...
user avatar
  • 6,436
14 votes
Accepted

What can I use to "sand" my ABS prints?

I have a bunch of solutions to this problem but I'm always looking for additional ideas. I usually start by slicing as much as possible off with a hobby knife. The more than can be removed before ...
user avatar
14 votes

How to remove white marks from PLA

A quick blast from a heat gun will very slightly reflow the surface texture and eliminate white marks. However, it's important to avoid over-heating the perimeter layers or you'll see them soften ...
user avatar
  • 6,436
12 votes
Accepted

Water does not flow through 4 mm hole when there is a small amount, how to let water flow through small hole even when there is low pressure?

What you encounter there is a combination of Adhesion, Cohesion, and Capillary Force. Cohesion is what holds the water together. Adhesion is the force to retain water against a wall or hanging from a ...
user avatar
  • 19.2k
10 votes

Drilling 3D-printed plastic

I wouldn't recommend drilling a hole in a 3D printed part in a traditional sense like with wood. Instead, I would merely ream a 3D printed part. I've done this quite a bit where I'll print my holes ...
user avatar
  • 6,214
10 votes

How do I give 3D-printed parts in PLA a shiny smooth finish?

It takes quite an effort to make PLA shiny, and it's not as simple as ABS and acetone. You have to sand down the print with sandpaper with different grit sizes (start with grit P100, then P240, P400, ...
user avatar
  • 1,911
10 votes
Accepted

How to easily get rid of rafts and support structures?

The best way to get rid of them is to change the design of the printed object to make them unnecessary. Instead of printing the one part with support material, the piece can be split into two or more ...
user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Are there any ways to make a 3D print transparent?

It depends on a lot of factors, type of plastic, whether the parts need to be strong, can you use a vase print, etc. Here's a few thoughts. PLA - The brand of PLA makes a big difference, some can be ...
user avatar
  • 668
9 votes

Are there any ways to make a 3D print transparent?

Use Taulman t-glase and after a light sanding with really fine paper (optional really, but go for it if you can), spray it with polyurethane varnish or something similar. Check out the article here.
user avatar
8 votes

Drilling 3D-printed plastic

In addition to the good answers already given, I'd like to add: Use a sharp drill bit, and don't go too fast. Dull drill bits and fast rotation are more likely to heat up the plastic (especially PLA) ...
user avatar
  • 466
8 votes
Accepted

How to remove white marks from PLA

As suggested by Ryan Carlyle you will need to use heat to reflow the plastic. However I recommend against using a heat gun as generally you want a very concentrated small area to be heated. I have ...
user avatar
  • 166
7 votes

What can I use to "sand" my ABS prints?

I use nail files. They're easy to get, cheap and have different grits on either side. You can lay them flat or hold them in your hand and they have some stability making it fairly easy to sand ...
user avatar
  • 129
7 votes

What is the best way to connect 3D printed parts?

For ABS print, I recommend acetone. It is not a glue, but it will dissolve the plastic a bit and if you apply it to both connecting parts and push them together, they will stay connected after the ...
user avatar
  • 1,076
7 votes

What can I use to "sand" my ABS prints?

I use normal wet/dry sandpaper and it works just fine. If I remember correctly, I usually start with 220 and then work my way up to 400, 600, and 800. There are also foam or rubber sanding pads ...
user avatar
  • 1,493
7 votes

Are there any ways to make a 3D print transparent?

You can make a mold from the print and then get a cast from that mold with a clear casting material.
user avatar
6 votes

How do I give 3D-printed parts in PLA a shiny smooth finish?

Your two easiest options are dipping your print in acetone or giving it an acetone vapor bath. Note this process generally only works with ABS not PLA, with the exception of some brands. There are ...
user avatar
  • 257
6 votes

Prints are now sticking too well to the bed. What to do?

Options to check (in order of probability of occurenece and success): Z-calibration Maybe you should perform calibration again. It's possible that nozzle is now too close which causes the filament ...
user avatar
  • 3,438
6 votes
Accepted

Post processing FDM for strength

Recognizing that the posting party feels that FDM constructed parts are of insufficient strength for his purpose and allowing for proper layer bonding, one can understand that the model can be ...
user avatar
  • 9,782
6 votes

What glues for bonding printed PLA to injection-molded plastic?

Yes Super Glue is best choice. I personally use it in many PLA projects. I even apply Super Glue layer to ABS prints to avoid layer separation. It works well with both ABS and PLA, but exercise some ...
user avatar
  • 301
6 votes

Secure disposal of 3D prints

Big batches need you to be time efficient - or use a method that uses little work. So my suggestions are mainly needing oversight. Keep a fire extinguisher and safety gear handy though! Melting ...
user avatar
  • 19.2k
6 votes
Accepted

How could I print a large sphere-like object?

A sphere can be put together quarters easily, but those need support in the center. However, there is a slightly different cut is more economic: Cut a top and bottom "plate" off, print them ...
user avatar
  • 19.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Sandable primer suitable for PLA?

There are generally 2 types of operation you might want to do before priming your object: smoothing to a point that you are comfy with and roughing pass with very fine grit to give the primer ...
user avatar
  • 19.2k
6 votes

Good lubricants for moving parts?

When dealing with lubrication of plastics, any solvent or reactive substance is to be avoided. Petroleum is risky and Vaseline™ is a brand name for petroleum jelly. I've had quite good results using ...
user avatar
  • 9,782
6 votes

How do you remove rough edges from completed prints?

To remove unwanted residual material: You can scrape with a knife Use sand paper use files Very fine sandpaper or files can smooth out the rough surfaces left from filing or sanding. Dremel tools ...
user avatar
  • 2,002
5 votes

Drilling 3D-printed plastic

The primary difference between drilling FDM printed plastic and wood is that the plastic part is not solid the entire way through, and that plastic will melt or burn at much lower temperatures than ...
user avatar
  • 1,845
5 votes

Drilling 3D-printed plastic

Drilling is indeed possible, but as stated in previous answers you should preferably do this along the vertical from the print bed for maximum strength, and if possible use an undersized hole as a ...
user avatar
5 votes

What is the best way to connect 3D printed parts?

For ABS I use a gel super glue (Loctite is my current favorite), it seems to slightly melt the ABS parts together and makes for a great bond. A slurry of old scrap ABS and acetone also works well, ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible