Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts

Rock Polisher?

Recommended Posts

I use a standard tumbler I bought off of Amazon with a mixture of shot and nuts and bolts. But I have only used it with ColorFabb Bronzefill and Proto-Pasta Stainless Steel PLA.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Post finished with a vibratory tumbler is common in most industries. These tools are less used by lapidary. Seeking a lapidary tumbler will take you the wrong way. Think parts, ammunition brass, etc. One places a media in the tumbler that provides the desired results. Tumbling mediums are diverse, with engineered geometries to provide differing results. Cones, jacks, spikes, rods, spheres, etc.

Lapidary does use these btw, but not as rock tumblers. Rotary systems are designed to remove detail, shaping and changing. Vibratory systems are used to polish, harden, and remove stray detail.

Vibratory tumbling uses engineered geometries to provide the desired results. Little cones, jacks, spheres, etc. The media is graded in hardness to the product being tumbled as well. If you hunt thru jewelry finishing articles, say in Rio Grande, or YouTube, you will find lots of discussions on proper use of this tool. It is not appropriate for many models, but perfect for others. In our case, one can print a few plates of shapes in the same plastic we are finishing. Then use sawdust or such as the base to keep things from beating each other up.

What I find perfect for almost everything I do, is a simply media blaster. Think sandblaster using baking soda. Harbor Freight sells these systems cheap also, you will need a containment system, but baking soda blasting gives you great control, and strips hair and such off models quickly.

On harbor freight, just search for 'Blasting'

Another tool that can be used more casually is a spot cleaning gun from the laundry industry. These shoot water out a fine nozzle so fast it can be hazardous. The following link is simply a grab from google, and not a vendor recommendation.


My favored is simply media blasting with baking soda btw... Results are amazing, but does take practice to develop the art in using it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • Ultimaker Cura | a new interface
      We're not only trying to always make Ultimaker Cura better with the usual new features and improvements we build, but we're also trying to make it more pleasant to operate. The interface was the focus for the upcoming release, from which we would already like to present you the first glance. 
        • Like
      • 19 replies
    • "Back To The Future" using Generative Design & Investment Casting
      Designing for light-weight parts is becoming more important, and I’m a firm believer in the need to produce lighter weight, less over-engineered parts for the future. This is for sustainability reasons because we need to be using less raw materials and, in things like transportation, it impacts the energy usage of the product during it’s service life.
        • Like
      • 12 replies

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!