Finishing 3d printed PLA

Anyone got any suggestions? I got a frame printed to hold prescription lenses in my rift. it works great but there are some rough edges. I believe pla has a relatively low melting pointing, or i’d have (gently) taken a dremel to it already. Anyone any suggestions, or would i be better trying to get the same printed in ABS and dremeling it? I’m okay with the concept of hand finishing but it’s going to take a lot longer.

this is the frame it’s relatively thin but it may only be the thickest part in the middle that needs much work.

No experience - but would a bit of wet and dry sort it? keep the heat down by keeping it wet?

@vredesbyrd would be the man to ask. He has a 3d printer in work and knows a bit about them.

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could you glue soft foam over the roughness?

Acetone can be used to smooth PLA, you only need a tiny amount.

Tons of videos on youtube about it :slight_smile:

When I printed an FPV camera mount for my quadcopter I couldn’t be bothered to smooth it…I didn’t even use it in the end :roll_eyes:

You have to be suuuuuper careful here.

I tried this with disastrous results, not thinking about the melting point at all.

Definitely an option since I’m assuming you’re not printing it yourself? ABS can be a pain to work with if you’re only familiar with printing in PLA.

I’ve tried a few different things but nothing beats sanding with gradually reduced grain paper or sponge for prints with nooks and crannies. Time consuming, especially if you go for more than just rounding and try to get a good finish, but it gives good results.

Yes the acetone literally melts it, last time I looked into it you use the acetone vapours and not directly applying it to the print otherwise it will melt into a blob.

The way it melts it is really weird, turning it to a melted cheese consistency. Spilt a bottle on some small parts for a print and ended up with what looked like poutine.

i think something coarser than wet and dry would be needed initially. i could just sand slower if it came to that. i may try foam or some thin pieces of sugru over the middle, the foam would be breathable but i can see it also needing replaced from time to time.

I’ve also seen stuff that you can buy to paint on that fills in the gaps and gives you an easier surfacer to work with, but it seems a bit expensive for how much of a bottle i would use.