Introduction: 3D Print Salvage

I recently made a rather large 3D printed project and was dismayed to come in after an 8 hour print to see one corner of the platform upturned.

This very quick tutorial is how I fixed this problem and salvaged the piece.

What you will need:

The 3D Printed object to be re-shaped

A surface that can take some heat (I used the drill plate to my drill press)

A heat gun


Something to reshape the plastic while it's HOT (I used a long bolt - not shown)

Step 1: Reshape 3D Printed Material

This piece was supposed to be the top of my 3D printed lantern. With the corner up like this I would not be able to use it. I could of just tried re-printing it, but this was a large piece and I didn't want to waste the material.

Step 2: Clamp

Clamp your damaged 3D printed piece to a surface that can get hot. As mentioned above I used the plate to my drill press. I first tried just holding it in place, but heat guns get HOT and I was cooking my hand, plus it was hard to hold the piece, hold the heat gun and reshape all with just 2 hands.

Step 3: Apply Heat

Do this very slowly. It only took a couple seconds (ON LOW) to get the plastic malleable. I didn't want to melt into a puddle and so I would aim the gun at the project for a second or two and then test if it was enough.

I would say within 10 seconds the plastic was soft enough to push it down (with a bolt - not my finger - I didn't want the kind of burn melted plastic can give) and reshape it.

As it cooled I kept the bolt lightly against it so it wouldn't 'pop' back up.

Step 4: Let It Cool

I let the project cool for 5 minutes or so. After 5 minutes (by the time I put the heat gun up and got something to drink) it had cooled completely and was again hard and set.

Step 5: Done

Now my piece is usable and fits on top of my lantern. You can still see where I had re-shapped it, but I am sure that after I sand the whole project and paint it no-one will ever know it tried to be a problem piece :).

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