3D Print Finishing: How to finish your 3D prints
The introduction of 3D printing has brought about significant changes across various industries, including the medical sector. One of the significant advantages of 3D printing in the medical sector is the creation of custom-made prostheses that perfectly fit an individual's unique needs. However, finishing a 3D print can be a time-consuming process, particularly when it comes to removing support material. To achieve a perfect finish, the excess material needs to be removed from the print carefully.
To remove excess material from a 3D print, the first step is to use a polisher, such as the Espert 500. The tungsten carbide cutter is a popular choice and should be lubricated with an Accu-Lube stick to keep it cool during polishing. This is important for maintaining the life of the cutter. Once the cutter is lubricated, it can be used to mill away the uprights and remove any excess material from the print.
After removing the excess material, the next step is to use a ceramic sanding belt, such as product code 340026, which has a long service life when machining titanium workpieces. This sanding belt can be used to achieve a smoother finish on the print. For an even better finish, the surface can be polished using diamond polishing paste. It is important to adjust the different steps of the process to the material of the workpiece for optimal results.
Polishing the workpiece after each processing step is crucial for achieving a smooth finish. Once the polishing is complete, the workpiece can be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning tank to remove any remaining debris or particles. This will leave the workpiece looking polished and clean, ready for its intended use.
While 3D printing has revolutionised many industries, finishing a 3D print can be a time-consuming process, particularly when removing support material. However, by following a step-by-step approach that includes using a polisher, sanding belt, and diamond polishing paste, along with careful cleaning and polishing, a perfect finish can be achieved. It is important to adjust the different steps of the process to the material of the workpiece for optimal results.
In addition to the finishing techniques themselves, there are some best practises to keep in mind when finishing 3D prints. For example, it is important to work in a clean and well-ventilated space to avoid contamination of the print or exposure to harmful fumes. It is also important to use appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, when working with abrasive materials or chemicals.
Finally, it is worth noting that the finishing process can vary depending on the specific material being used for the print. Different materials may require different tools, techniques, or coatings to achieve the desired finish. For example, some materials may be more prone to warping or cracking during the finishing process, while others may require additional steps to ensure proper adhesion of coatings or platings.
If you prefer to watch a video instead, you can also check out the video below, which showcases the steps demonstrated above.