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3-D plastics, quality, and finishing techniques?

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 11:30 am
by phasers-on-fun
Hello,

I have been slowly building a small collection of plastic kits. In this process, I have noticed many nice 3-D printed 1:1 prop kits. Typically, the description of these kits includes a statement along the lines of: significant sanding and filling are required.

The ridge lines from the printing process are clearly evident, and in some cases on the finished/painted models are still clearly evident. I do not understand if this is the result of poor finishing, or if it is not possible to eliminate these ridge lines.

I did run a search on the forums for discussions about this, but I did not find anything specifically on this topic.

My questions are: How difficult is this plastic to work with? Can the plastic be shaved, sanded, filled as easily as regular injection-molded plastics, or is this material harder, softer, more or less, brittle, etc. Is there one material to look for over another? I read in one model description that the plastic used was not as hard as another available plastic material also used in 3-D printing (I have forgotten the two types mentioned).

Thank you.

Robert

Re: 3-D plastics, quality, and finishing techniques?

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 1:44 pm
by Tesral
3D printing is where sandpaper goes to die. The plastics used are TOUGH. Nylon, ABS and so forth. (Lego is made from ABS, abet under presure.)

The alliterative to simply sanding is to fill and sand. Rather than remove the lines, cover them. Easier on your wrist and sandpaper.

Third, pay a lot more and get a finer print structure. For stuff in the 1/2500 range the only way to fly.

Re: 3-D plastics, quality, and finishing techniques?

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 3:18 pm
by phasers-on-fun
Tesral wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 1:44 pm
3D printing is where sandpaper goes to die. The plastics used are TOUGH. Nylon, ABS and so forth. (Lego is made from ABS, abet under presure.)
Thank you, Gary. I suspected this might be the case (based on what I was observing). I will steer clear for now.

Robert

Re: 3-D plastics, quality, and finishing techniques?

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 4:44 pm
by Tesral
phasers-on-fun wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 3:18 pm

Thank you, Garry. I suspected this might be the case (based on what I was observing). I will steer clear for now.

Robert
3D has uses, the quality can be high. But it is not perfect and be aware of the challenges, like any material.