Smooth as a.. thing that is very smooth
Objects that come out of most hobbyist 3D printers look a bit rough. The printing process creates ridges and swirls that, in my opinion, look nice and homemade… But to others that look can be an eyesore.
Luckily, ABS plastic is very receptive to post-processing. As I tell folks whenever I run a 3D printing demo: you can sand it, drill it, paint it, you name it.
The team at MakerBot TV recently put together an episode showing some of these finishing techniques, including the use of modeling epoxy:
That’s definitely a method I’ll have to try sometime. My own process for smoothing involves light sanding, followed by multiple applications of acetone:
For more techniques, you can watch the full episode of MakerBot TV embedded below:
If you’re going to put some of these to use, just keep in mind that basic safety equipment is always a good idea.
Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing evangelist who posts weekly on the Ponoko blog. Follow him on Twitter @techknight.