What are some methods of post processing PLA?

Discussion in 'Post processing' started by Shai, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. Shai

    Shai Master printer guru Deltaprintr Staff

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    Once you've printed your part, you may want to do some sort of post processing. There are various ways to go about this depending on what you are printing and what type of application it is for.

    Go ahead and share your method(s)!
     
  2. Bhelliom

    Bhelliom Active Member

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    I have been using a cheap set of diamond coated files from Menards (5 bucks) to take care of extra blobs and remove support leftovers. Works way faster than sandpaper, especially if you want to get into small areas. I may look into using a wood-burning kit with all the extra ends for cleanup, seems like the PLA would look better if shaped with more heat, instead of the faded sanded look.

    I find myself using a drill press to make holes the correct diameter, as they always seem to print a bit small. I have also successfully used a thread tap to cut threads in a hole in parts printed at 100% fill.
     
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  3. Jesshield

    Jesshield Member

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    Heatgun, soldering iron with a flat head set to the right temp, sanding, files... Joining parts I have used friction welds, a 3d print pen (this broke after 1 item, not worth the 25 bucks on Amazon.) but mostly Gorilla Gel super glue. PLA doesn't react strongly with Acetone, but I have seen video of putting PLA items in an acetone bath and letting them sit for a longer period of time and they appear to come out pretty smooth, but I have yet to try this.
     
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  4. AcBCDN

    AcBCDN Member

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    For edges I use a de-burr tool. Traditionally for metal but works great on PLA. I have never had much luck with sanding for filing larger issues.

    When gluing parts together I used E6000. I think is bonds stronger than CA glue. Takes longer though, so, CA is a quick fix.

    For smoothing parts I am going to try XTC-3D from smooth-on when I have a need.

    All of these ideas came from either here or a 3D video I saw at one time or another.
     
  5. mildmojo

    mildmojo Active Member

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    I use a hobby or utility knife to trim irregularities. Occasionally a rotary abrasive tool, but that tends to melt PLA rather than grind it. Sometimes I have to drill holes out a bit. And sandpaper, of course. Heat can restore the color to a sanded PLA part.

    You can mold PLA by dunking it in boiling water. I've done that to flatten curled parts or restore a part that semi-melted in the sun.

    For strings, I wave a flame over the part very quickly. It doesn't take much. If you go too slowly, you may discolor the part, especially on lighter colors.

    I've only used XTC-3D coating once so far. Though I was careful and I used their measuring cup, I must not have mixed the two parts correctly, because it never dried. I had to reprint the items. I've read that you really have to nail the mixture proportions. I didn't heed the advice to use very thin layers, either, which didn't help. They looked great when wet, though!
     
  6. Jake Anderson

    Jake Anderson New Member

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  7. RoBoMono3D

    RoBoMono3D New Member

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    Sand your model/print and then use heat to curve it, and make it smooth. Achohol also works to smooth it.
     
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