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Best PLA for sanding?

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OK... my UM2 is on the way, now I have to pick which SLA to use. I've been reading through here but it seems that very few people here do a lot of (or any) post processing with their prints. Almost everything I print will need to be sanded smooth and since I will likely print a lot of things with low tolerance, the warpage factor of ABS probably rules that out. (I was actually pretty close to ordering a Zortrax just for the reason that it seems to print ABS with very good tolerances, but the UM2 won out in the end.)

So, my two main criterias for filament (in order of imprtance):


  • Sandability. I've tried to sand Makerbot filament and it was damn-near impossible. Sandpaper just glided right over the surface like it was glass. I must be able to sand the stuff enough to use some spray-filler/primer for a glass-smooth surface.
  • No hassles. I need to print with consistent quality and as little experimentation as possible.

What filament do y'all recommend for this?


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Most PLA will probably give this same effect. The problem is the friction from the sanding raises the temperature of the PLA to the point where it softens. You just need to sand it under water (just the print and the sand paper :wink: ) or use ABS


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i am doing a lot of post processing (wet sanding from grit 200 up to 1000) and have to say that some PLA tends to be tricky.

I had good results with orbitech PLA (its nice to sand but the overal print quality is not so good - more sanding needed), LAybrick is very easy to sand but not so easy to print and expensive.

i like colorfabb XT, its not technically PLA, but PET i think, but it sands well and is very tough


printed in Colorfabb XT, primed and only sanded a little, 0.08 layer height




printed in Orbitech PLA 90, primned and sanded for ever, 0,06 l;ayer height




Orbitech PLA 90, primed and sanded, 0,1 Layer height


good luck and have fun.


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That's just the thing. The Makerbot stuff has NO friction- the surface is so hard that sandpaper (wetpaper and regular) will not scratch it! It's not far from sintered nylon in that respect, which is even darn near impossible to SAW into until it gets hot.

Maybe the XT stuff will work, but PET is awful for assembling parts since no glues really adhere to it well (not even cyano). I'm waiting for Colorfabb and Faberdashery to get back to me about their PLAs.

Bauer, those are some very good results. I've been a bit afraid of ending up disappointed (since I'm used to paying the premium prices using high-end Stratasys and 3d Sys machines) but that truck especially looks VERY good. Probably the cleanest example I've seen of a PLA model yet.


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as i said, i am not sure what the XT really is, i am sure that i glued this model in the middle using superglue :)

i hope you wont be disapointed, i am still very happy with the ultimaker 1, mostly if you compare the costs to the professional machines.

Quality wise it will greatly depend on the kind of models you print, to get such a good result on the truck i had to split it in several parts, which increased the post processing time even more.

i had to do this because of the size and the limitations of the printer, but also because i had to make sure that i could reach all the surfaces to propery sand them.


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