Smoothing the rough surface

Hello everyone.

My name is Thomas and I am very new to this 3D scene but still very glad to be here. I would like an input from everyone about something. Recently I purchased MakerBot printer and printed something simple. At first glance I was amazed by the finished product. I'm sure you've felt the same way. But on a closer observation and physically picking up the object, I realized that the outer surface was rough (or more like layered). Now my question is what is your solution to this rough surface? I tried sanding to smooth it out. But I'm pretty sure there's a much starter way to tackle this problem.

Thank you have let's make something!

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You never mentioned which type of plastic you are printing with. ABS can be as simple as just using acetone. PLA seems to be much trickier, and using chemicals much more potent than acetone. I haven't found a satisfactory way aside from sand, primer, paint, etc.

Toga_Dan3 years ago

paint, then sand, then paint, then sand

m3shin (author)  Toga_Dan3 years ago
So true. When in doubt old ways are always better.
I'm just looking for a different way that will minimize the physical labor :)
Toga_Dan m3shin3 years ago

paint, then tumble , then paint, then tumble.

they make a variety of ceramic shapes to tumble parts with. ceramic acts as abrasive.

Qcks3 years ago

I think sanding and maybe a solvent epoxy finishing process after printing would be best, but, have you tried flame polishing?
It won't work for every type of plastic, but for small pieces made of very rigid plastics, flame polishing works pretty well for producing a smooth glassy finish. Again it depends on what you're doing and what you're working with, but if you're impatient, flame polishing pieces might work.

caitlinsdad3 years ago

http://hackaday.com/2013/06/07/smoothing-pla-print...

Solvent vapor baths "melts" the rough surface.