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banana97

What tools do you use to cleanup prints?

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A good set of drill bits come in handy for clearing holes, with a pin vise or hand chuck to them them in. I have a set of number/letter drills which are "close enough" to most metric sized holes, but a set of metric drills would be better and cost less for the set. You could also pick up just the common sizes for cheap, you don't need fancy bits for hand drilling plastic.

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A few years back, I bought a 100 piece drill bit set from a guy on Ebay. I believe it was the same ones that Harbor Freight sells. It has been the best investment. Just about any size you want right at your finger tips for not a whole lot of money. I also got some pin vices from http://www.widgetsupply.com/. They have lots of wierd things like this that are perfect for this sort of thing from dremel tools to dentistry. I think most of it is overstock stuff, so it is really inexpensive.

-John

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This a great topic.

Is there a sticky anywhere on this aspect of printing.

All great Tips ... I wondered how people where cleaning them up.

Would love to find a Blog just on that!

Also for some reason ... most of the pics I see added, only come up as a text line which I can do nothing with.

I would like to see more pics ... as the Gallery in the Blog section, has many of the examples out of focus. For that matter, I am not seeing very many examples at all, except for Yoda and a few heads. Some of those look good, but I do wonder what kind of post work was done to make them look that way.

I saw an example of a whistle on youtube being made ... seeing as I am a bit of a perfectionist, it looked as if the thing was layered with bricks ... far from the example of the finely smooth head depicted in the gallery blog here.

I have heard mention of a solution over at leap frog ... arcrane or something to that effect ... you dip it in quickly then pull it out to dry ???

Can prints be painted at all???? Painting prints???

 

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For most parts just a cutter works perfectly. A single-cut file also helps.

If I want to preserve the PLA color, I use sand paper, then polishing paste + cloth.

For painted parts, I start with sand paper then add filling with a spatula. Actually, I don't know how it's called in English, but it's that paste you add to the walls and then sand before applying the paint. It's like plaster. Then more sanding and finally acrylic aerosol paint (for looks and in place of polishing). The same aerosol paint reacts chemically with policarbonate but not with PLA. I need polished parts as originals for making silicone moulds.

I have been told there is some sort of sand sprayer for sanding intricate objects, but I haven't found it yet.

I also know others have submerged the parts briefly in different kinds of solvents.

And finally never use a heat gun! By the time the surface melts, the rest of the object has warped too much.

 

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Patience is probably the most important tool. Maybe beer as well? And some good gloves.

I picked up some diamond abrasive embedded needle files and rotary tool bits at Harbor Freight the other day. *Awesome* for removing supports from PLA.

I've used the 180grit dremel flap wheel for removal of raft material from ABS, but haven't tried it on PLA.

Has anyone tried using a hotknife or hotweezers?

@Pablo: spackle is the word in English. Sandlaster with the right media would probably work really well. Maybe walnut shells? I used to use one for decapsulating ICs where more precision than a Dremel was required.

 

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Not to be too pedantic, or take this too far off topic, but 'spackle' is the word in American English. :-) British English doesn't really have a word, but it's mostly known by the brand name 'Polyfilla'. Bill Bryson wrote a great essay about just this thing, and the resulting added difficulty of transplanting continent...

http://books.google.com/books?id=tpU69-XkjDEC&pg=PT9&lpg=PT9&dq=my+wifes+people+call+it+polyfilla

He was returning to US, having spent most of his adult life in the UK. I moved here as an adult, without even the benefit of a US upgringing, but I can totally relate. :-)

 

@Pablo: spackle is the word in English. Sandlaster with the right media would probably work really well. Maybe walnut shells? I used to use one for decapsulating ICs where more precision than a Dremel was required.

 

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This is a must have tool for me ($7 plus $10 for a can of butane):

http://www.amazon.com/BBQbuy-Pencil-Welding-Soldering-Lighter/dp/B007A9YSPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422549200&sr=8-1&keywords=butane+torch

It can clean up thin strings instantly, make surfaces more shiny, heat an overhang/bridge area followed by gentle prodding to get it back up there (think belly of a horse sagging too much).

It's my new "go to" tool for post processing. BUT be very careful not to overheat and burn the pla to a brown/black color.

 

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