FDM finish options to smoothen the surface

0
H
3

Hi everyone, I’m planning to 3D print a part using FDM technology, but I’m concerned about the visible layer lines that typically appear on the surface. Does anyone have experience with effective techniques to achieve a smoother finish, such as sanding, chemical vapor polishing, or similar methods?

Solved by Nikolaus Mroncz

Dear Heinrich, vapor smoothing for FDM 3D prints is indeed good for smoothing out layer lines. You may just want to keep in mind that it will also affect the dimensional accuracy of the part quite a bit, because the process dissolves the outer shell of your print. There are various grades of vapor smoothing, and in the highest grade, the process will dissolve details and sharp edges.

If you need a preliminary finish to smoothen the surface before painting for instance, then sanding with grit sandpaper (150, 220, 400) is an option. Please note that it is not suitable for intricate surfaces and small details.

And finally, you can also apply an epoxy coating – it is suitable for all FDM thermoplastics. It smooths out any remaining imperfections and also adds a layer of resin to the printed part that fills the gaps.

    • H

      Hi everyone, I’m planning to 3D print a part using FDM technology, but I’m concerned about the visible layer lines that typically appear on the surface. Does anyone have experience with effective techniques to achieve a smoother finish, such as sanding, chemical vapor polishing, or similar methods?

      0
    • m

      Hello Heinrich, chemical vapor smoothing is a solid choice—it involves exposing the print to a solvent vapor that lightly melts the surface, smoothing out those layer lines and boosting the look. This technique works really well for ABS and certain types of PLA.

      0
      Reply
    • Xometry Engineer

      Dear Heinrich, vapor smoothing for FDM 3D prints is indeed good for smoothing out layer lines. You may just want to keep in mind that it will also affect the dimensional accuracy of the part quite a bit, because the process dissolves the outer shell of your print. There are various grades of vapor smoothing, and in the highest grade, the process will dissolve details and sharp edges.

      If you need a preliminary finish to smoothen the surface before painting for instance, then sanding with grit sandpaper (150, 220, 400) is an option. Please note that it is not suitable for intricate surfaces and small details.

      And finally, you can also apply an epoxy coating – it is suitable for all FDM thermoplastics. It smooths out any remaining imperfections and also adds a layer of resin to the printed part that fills the gaps.

      0
      Reply
    • H

      Thanks everyone for the detailed advice! Since I’m looking for a more robust finish, then epoxy coating sounds like a good option.

      0
      Reply
FDM finish options to smoothen the surface
Your information:




Suggested Topics

Topic
Replies
Views
Activity
Flame retardant materials for CNC machining
Hello,I'm working on a project that requires producing flame retardant plastic connectors with very precise tolerances. I'm looking into CNC machining as injection molding seems not to be an option due to the precision... read more
Z
4
220
Jun 12
Filament with low coefficient of friction
Hey everyone! Seeking advice on choosing material for 3d printing with a low coefficient of friction for moving parts. Maybe someone has any suggestions to share? thanks
a
1
322
May 29
Mirror polish finish for CNC parts: quoting and drawing guidelines
Hello, I would like a mirror polish on my copper CNC parts, roughness of Ra0.4 µm with mirror polishing. How do I specify this on the quoting site? Shall that be included in my... read more
D
2
484
May 15
Translucent material recommendation – injection molding
Hi, I’m looking for recommendations on injection molding material. I'm in the process of placing an order and need to find material that offers specific properties. I require it to be translucent and UV... read more
J
4
619
May 15
Selecting FDM 3d printing materials for chemical resistance
Hello there! I'm currently exploring FDM printing for my project and wondering about materials that could withstand 30% nitric acid at 60°C. Would a PEEK-like material be suitable? Thanks in advance!
D
1
436
May 08