48

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 them a coat of automotive filler primer, and using glossy spray paint. You can also get great results with an acetone vapor finish if you're willing to switch ...


30

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 information from them together with my own experiences. Most of these glues are not exactly PLA specific by the way and work for many other materials too. Be ...


29

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 than ABS. We found some solutions for smoothing PLA, but most involve rather dangerous-sounding chemicals such as Tetrahydrofuran and Dichloromethane. The one ...


15

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 undersized hole and then ream it out with the drill. This both provides alignment for the drill and adds extra plastic around the region you'll be weakening. If you ...


14

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 sanding the better. For big prints I like big generic sandpaper sheets from the hardware store. Starting with the highest grit and moving down. Make sure you're ...


14

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 and sag into the infill. So wait for the heat gun to get fully hot and then use a short duration of high heat. Let the part cool between attempts if you don't get ...


12

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 pen's end, it is proportional to the surface wetted. Capillary Force is the resulting effect where water moves up through a thin tube, it is anti-proportional ...


10

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 at a slightly smaller than nominal size and use a standard carbide drill to ream the hole. Things to consider: Printing the holes smaller than nominal will ...


10

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, P600, P1500 and P2000). To make the shining result you have to polish the print with plastic finish compound. Alternatively you can apply XTC-3D Print Coating....


10

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 parts which can be printed without support material and assembled after the printing. Given that this is not always fully possible, a convenient way to get ...


10

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 printed very clear, some can't. Most of the transparent PLAs I've used print much more clear at around 240°C. ABS - I've seen some pretty impressive clear ...


9

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.


8

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) to a point where it gets soft again, and then you're usually in trouble because instead of a clean round cut, the material will start to bend and tear. And if ...


7

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 something that is or should become flat. Plus, you can fix any nails you damage while removing support structures.


7

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 acetone dries. However, it does not dry very fast and you have to be careful not to destroy the object. For PLA I usually use regular super glue (Cyanoacrylate).


7

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 available that work really well when you're sanding something organically shaped. The grits you start and finish with will depend on how rough your surface is.


7

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


7

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 had great success in using a soldering iron with the tip placed close to (but obviously not touching) the problem area. Keeping within about 3-5mm has very good ...


6

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 many articles online where you can learn more about the process. Aside from finishing, you will generally get a smoother looking end result by lowering the layer ...


6

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 perfectly constructed and not reach the strength objective. Filling a model with an epoxy or a casting resin will provide additional strength. Testing smaller, non-...


6

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 caution whilst using Super Glue because it produces very bad tear gas. Use it in a well ventilated area.


6

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 together Most filaments are melting at or around 200 °C. I recently got rid of my box of (PLA) waste material by putting them on a tray and melting them together in a ...


6

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 separately, the lower one "upside down" Cut the remaining piece into quarters For more equal printing, maybe even cut them along the equator too and print the lower ...


6

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 something to stick to Smoothing via Sanding & Filler To smooth your object you generally have two options: Only sand down (and possibly vapor-smooth) and ...


5

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 wood. If you know before printing that you're going to want to drill the part or potentially need to, then you'll want to modify the design of the part such that ...


5

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 starting point/guide. Drilling horizontally may cause the layers to separate but if you clamp down in the z-direction you're much more likely to succeed. It's ...


5

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, though I find that it will evaporate even if left in a closed mason jar over time. The small nozzle applicator and the fact it doesn't seem to evaporate makes ...


5

Increasing the distance between the support/raft and the print should allow for easier removal. Some slicers (such as Slic3r) have settings for 0.0 mm spacing for water dissoluble supports, and 0.2 mm for regular plastic supports. Changing the upper surface of the support also can help. Some slicers will leave the support as lines all the way to contact ...


5

It's totally possible to achieve but the result vastly depends on your painting skills and your spray paint quality. Your can look at this page for a concrete example. How it compares to stone filament is fairly subjective though. Painting a 3D print usually breaks down in 3 steps : Smoothing out the lines. Achieved by either sanding the print or ...


5

I would do as fred_dot_u initially suggested, by increasing the bed temp (or using a hair dryer) to heat the BuildTak. Then, use a small fan to quickly cool the platform (or at least quicker than room temperature). An ice pack on the build plate/part could also work. This drastic fluctuation between the build platform (or BuildTak) and the part should make ...


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