Time to talk about everyone’s favorite topic – finishing 3D prints! I know some people who, unfamiliar with 3D printing, think that the perfectly smooth, polished-looking figurines and other objects they’ve seen online just popped out of the 3D printer like that – if only, right? Some people love finishing, others hate it, but no one can deny that it can be a lot of work to remove those support materials, smooth out those rough edges, fill in those lines, and make those prints all shiny and flawless-looking. A lot of tools are involved, too: the knives, the sandpaper, the glues, and, of course, the solvents.
There are all sorts of solvents that can be used to smooth the surface of a 3D print: acetone, butanone, tetrahydrofuran, and other toxic chemicals (which can now be safely recycled!); there are also the solutions designed specifically for 3D prints, such as XTC-3D. Now UK-based SLS 3D has developed a new finishing material you may want to check out. Finissage 1069 is a fine grain paste made from alkyd resins and nitrocellulose, and according to SLS 3D, it’s incredibly easy to use.
Because Finissage 1069 is resin-based, it adheres to prints – both ABS and PLA – very well and dries quickly. It’s extremely affordable at £4.99 for a 180g tube. A little bit goes a long way, too, according to SLS 3D Development Manager Eve Parker, who tested the filler out herself and reviewed it on SLS 3D’s blog. She used it to smooth out the base of a vase, which was looking a bit rough with some deep grooves and print lines. Her first layer dried within 15 minutes; after sanding it with a fine grain sandpaper, she added another layer to smooth it out more. This turned out to be way more than enough, but after some more sanding, she had a mirror-smooth finish.
“Now my base is amazingly smooth and ready to finish with paint or lacquer. Finissage is resin based which allows it to adhere easily to any surface without crumbling or cracking,” says Parker. “I’ve learnt from this exercise that you only need the smallest amount of filler, the better I get at applying the filler, the sooner I will the get the smooth finish I want. Other than that it is easy to use and to sand, even for a novice to achieve a professional looking finish.”
Finissage has a major convenience factor in its easy application and quick drying time, and it’s sold in only one part as opposed to your typical two-part epoxy fillers. It’s still in the pre-order stage, but is expected to ship this month from SLS 3D, which is a brand new company whose website just went live last month. While they’re obviously just getting started, they have already set themselves up as a reseller for some popular brands like Mass Portal’s Pharaoh 3D printers, Polymaker’s filaments, and Agisoft PhotoScan scanning software. In addition to Finissage, SLS 3D also offers a few of its own accessories, such as a nozzle cleaning kit. In June they will be releasing their own 3D scanner, the SLS X400, and the company promises that more 3D printing and scanning accessories will be coming soon. Keep an eye out for further developments from this new company, and in the meantime, why not give Finissage a try? You can never have too many good finishing tools. What are your thoughts on this information? Discuss in the Finishing 3D Prints forum over at 3DPB.com.