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48 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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14 votes
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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 ...
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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, ...
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  • 1,911
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 ...
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  • 1,503
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 ...
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  • 129
7 votes

What is this white layer on my 3D printer?

My guess is it's damaged print surface from the hot extruder mashing against the print surface. Your description seems to indicate that it isn't a layer.
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  • 2,080
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 ...
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  • 257
5 votes
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How do I give 3D-printed parts in ABS a shiny smooth finish?

Acetone can be used to smooth ABS. The left has been smoothed by an acetone bath and the right is the original model. (Image credit: Andrew Sink) Take note: acetone is dangerous to breathe in, so ...
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  • 209
5 votes
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Subdivision surface for STL files

Subdividing an existing mesh further won't do anything because you're not adding additional detail, just representing the same thing with more triangles. Subdividing as "preparation" doesn't make much ...
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5 votes

Rough surface when printing

I have experienced this problem. This picture is one that I could have taken. It has always been because I was putting too much plastic into the available space. This has been caused two things: ...
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  • 4,418
4 votes

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

Another method that you could try is an acetone vapor bath. (All credit to them, by the way) Just so you know, this is a very risky method, but the outcome is very nice. Remember that I warned you......
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4 votes

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

Make sure your printer is properly calibrated and that there are no jams as this can cause blobs or other defects on the object. Printing at a higher resolution would also make the object smoother, as ...
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  • 141
4 votes

Methods for applying full color graphic decals to the surface of a 3d printed part?

Industry has for years used a 'pad printer' to put images on complex shapes, like plastic or ceramic travel mugs, etc. I have observed these, but never used one. I see no reason why there couldn't ...
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  • 41
4 votes
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Smooth finish on large parts

From the printer... Non-post-processed surface smoothness of a print is mainly a function of the Layer height during print: it is smoother if one reduces the height of the steps taken between the ...
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  • 19.5k
3 votes

How to concave a cylinder with Onshape?

As is typical with many CAD type programs, a feature in Onshape known as revolve may be your solution. As you have a clear formula for the cross-section, half of the work is complete. You would ...
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3 votes

Methods for applying full color graphic decals to the surface of a 3d printed part?

I think this will work for you... Laser Printer Image Transfer: Print reverse image with color laser printer on regular paper. Apply Mod Podge or artist arcylic or artist matte gel to the 3d printed ...
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3 votes
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Practical concerns smoothing PLA print with chloroform vapours

This Reddit post seems to have some good trial and error dialog. This Thingiverse post, along with many other references online, suggest that the results are very similar to that of an Acetone ...
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  • 6,214
3 votes

How to remove ABS from PEI Sheet

Heat up your bed to the print temperature; maybe even as hot as 100 °C. This will soften the ABS and make it easier to scrape off. It will distort a print to remove it this way, but is good for ...
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  • 2,080
3 votes

Are these normal surfaces from an Ender 3 Pro with PLA?

The top image looks as if the (top) layer(s) are under-extruding, the walls don't appear to be suffering from the same problem. The following image from a recent PETG print is typical for an FDM ...
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  • 31k
2 votes

Practical concerns smoothing PLA print with chloroform vapours

Beside vaporizing with heat, you can use an atomizer and do cold vapor. The time is around 1-5 minutes at 45ºC for a 10x10x20 mm piece like a Marvin or a bot. I have done only gangster tests with ...
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2 votes

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

It should be noted that the suggested methods in other answers all have the following disadvantages: The vapor just seems to weaken the print to much faster than print smooths. Sanding melts the ...
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2 votes

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

I normally deburr with a deburring tool: Then I file if needed, then I hit it with a scotch brite pad: And then I give it a quick pass with a heat gun to darken all the areas that have turned ...
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  • 2,292
2 votes

How to concave a cylinder with Onshape?

There is no tool to create a parabola in a sketch in Onshape but you could use a 3 or 5 point spline to create a similar curve. If you knew exactly the curve you wanted you could create it with ...
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2 votes
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Is there a way to print on a 3D printed surface?

Rather than post a series of links for various services and vendors, consider to use as a search term "hydrographic film at home" to find results to suit your purpose. The first search results I found ...
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2 votes

Bed design for magnetic easy release when printing PLA

Follow up: I used the 6mil magnet, cut a sheet of thin steel, (about .5mm) to fit, added a layer of Buildtak and now it's much easier to remove prints, build surface is very flat. I assume you could ...
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  • 71
2 votes

3D printer putting scars on my prints

Those marks are the Z Layer seams, or the point where your printer stops moving in X/Y to move up one layer width and begin on the next layer. Unfortunately, These marks are unavoidable, but you can ...
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  • 677
2 votes

What is this white layer on my 3D printer?

If it actually is residue from the material you were trying to print, pressed against the surface so tightly and so thin that you can't separate it, the best way to remove it is printing a new object ...
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1 vote

Equally spaced surface flaws

The surface defects you describe is caused by Z-wobble. Basically this leads back in a defect in the Z axis gantry where X and/or Y movements are transferred into the print head. This can be cause by: ...
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  • 31k
1 vote

Meshlab creates weird bubbles when using poisson surface reconstruction

Solution: After trying a lot of different filters with different tools, I came up with simplifying the point-cloud. After that, using the poisson surface reconstruction filter worked just fine without ...
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