3d Print Finishing Demo

Since I just finished a big long post about 3d print finishing, I thought I would do a project that demonstrated the printing and finishing process from start to finish! I have a fancy pen display stand that I had cadded some months ago, and it’s bigger than the build volume of my printer.  So, I had to go into a software called Netfab.  Netfab is a fantastic piece of software that helps you both repair holes in the mesh of an STL file and take a big stl file and chop it into smaller pieces.  So, that’s what I did with my pen stand (printed in wood-infused PLA): 20160608_225340

I chopped it into 4 separate pieces, printed them out, and then glued them together!  The resulting product looked like this: 20160608_230216.jpg

Now is where the finishing part comes in!  There are a few problems with the way the print came out post assembly:

  1. There are some artifacts left over from the 3d printing (the surface isn’t completely smooth).
  2. you can see all the lines from where I split the part and rejoined it together.
  3. The wood isn’t a really nice color.

So, there are three things I’m going to do to fix these issues:

  1. Sand the 3d print until it is incredibly smooth and uniform
  2. Fill all the lines from where I split the part
  3. Stain the wood a nice color

First up: fill all the lines!  Since this piece is made from wood-infused PLA, I decided to use wood filler to fill the lines (so that all parts of the piece would stain well).  However, I didn’t have wood filler handy, so what do you do when you don’t have wood filler?  You mix sawdust with Elmer’s glue and make some!  This is the first time I have tried this technique, so I have no idea if it will turn out well, but we’ll see.

Right now, it looks fairly ugly:


However, that’s because I really glopped it on thick.  Most of this will get sanded away, hopefully leaving all those seams filled with the elmer’s/sawdust mixture.

More pictures to come once everything is nicely sanded and prepped for staining!  Yay cliff-hanger posts!

John (aka The Mad Printer)

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