Buffing your model is essential when finalizing a 3D print so it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to hold. Instead of rushing through your model-making process, learn five important tips to smooth and finish your 3D prints. Surprise yourself with better, more comfortable products when adapting your 3D printing process to include smoothing and finishing.
Learn the Different Grit Options
3D printers need to know their grit options before smoothing and finishing a creation. When talking about grit, we mean sandpaper. The type can affect the final surface of your item. Coarse grit is great for quick removal (recommended for touch-ups). You can use medium grit before priming. The other two types of grit are very fine grit, used between painting coats, and extra-fine, used for polishing and shining. What you use is based on your needs and the type of filament.
Wear Protective Gear When Smoothing Out Fibrous Materials
Sanding fibrous materials without proper gear leads to injury. Filing without gloves can cause the rough surface to sting you. You may even risk inhaling airborne particles if you don’t wear a mask or goggles. Make sure to wear this gear while working around the 3D printer.
Use Power Tools To Smooth Down Larger Areas
Power tools can assist in grinding large portions of a prototype. These tools work well, but you need to control the speed and pressure used on the surface—too much pressure could cause friction. Analyze how thin your model’s walls are before attempting to file them down.
DIY a Sanding Pad To Soften Sharp Areas
DIYing a tool could work with the right materials. If you can’t quite reach troublesome areas, you may need to try other methods. You can create your own sanding pad! Sandpaper is flexible, so it can morph in a particular way to get to problematic parts of the 3D model.
One method involves wrapping your sandpaper around a hard object, like a wood block. Place a rubber band around it so the sandpaper adapts to the object’s shape.
Use Finer Sandpaper To Finalize Polishing
Grab the next best grit option—the very fine or extra-fine grit sandpaper will do. These options smooth out the paint coats and finalize your polishing process. You can use the coarse grit to buff out any missed sharp edges.
While learning tips for smoothing and finishing your 3D print, drop by a certified 3D printing filament company to get to know fibrous materials, like 3D printer Kevlar filament. The Kevlar filament is one of Filamatrix’s best sellers for its toughness and tensile strength. Find your next set of 3D printer filaments by visiting our online shop.