Introduction: Easy Way to Smooth PLA | No Sanding
First of all, Thank you for checking out my tutorial! You are awesome.
Second, I put a lot of time into the YouTube video so watch it too, it explains it all.
So currently, there is no easily accessible chemical to smooth PLA the same way acetone does to ABS.
But here I will show you how I fill in the layered build lines.
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
A 3D printed model with visible layer lines.
Any can of spray paint that bonds well to plastic.
Fast Drying Polyurethane - Clear Satin.
If you like this skull you can download it here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2951822
Do read and follow all safety warnings on all spray cans and 3D printers.
Step 2: The Magic Steps
First clean the model of any dust and make sure it's clean.
Next spray the model with your selected color of spray paint.
Then quickly spray a layer of Polyurethane.
Then place it under a fan to prevent drips and to make dry faster.
The paint and Polyurethane will mix and fill the layers, any holes, and printed flaws.
The thinner each layers and the longer you let each layer dry the better.
I waited 20 minutes between layers and then waited an entire day before spraying the final coat of spray paint to cover any discoloration.
Step 3: Finished!
And that's really it!
I like this method because you can print in larger layer lines without worrying and it will print much faster,
you can print in any color and paint the final color you want, it doesn't need sanding, it can fill holes or flaws, and its pretty easy to do.
Note: I did print the skull at a layer height of 0.3 which means detail was lost during printing. A height 0.1 would have been better and taken less time to smooth but I needed an extreme layer height to show how much this method can do!
The final result looks much cleaner and more professional. People wont believe it's 3D printed!
Feel free to check out my YouTube channel - 3DSage. I create lots of different and fun videos!
Thank you and see you next time!
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Please be positive and constructive.
What is the brand of filament you used? I tried it with Meltink3d pla. Didn't work very well.
Will this method work with ABS as well?
Yes! The mixture of polyurethane and paint will fill in the layers of any filament. Maybe not flexible filament but definitely ABS.
If the paint and polyurethane stick, then it will work. I think this method is pretty universal for smoothing just about anything, I used to use a very similar method while staining and finishing wood.
Does this technique have any effect on the strength of the piece? I'm wondering if it makes the surface a bit tougher.
I didn't think about the strength changing. That is an interesting idea. Maybe a little but I am not sure by how much. I think of this method for more decorative pieces instead of under stress and pressure.