How do I make my ABS 3D print smooth?

Hey tech enthusiasts! Here’s Carolina, your go-to gal for all things tech-related. Today, I’ve got a zesty scoop for those who are absolutely smitten with 3D printing!


First things first, anyone who’s laid hands on a 3D printer knows the sheer importance of achieving that pristine print finish. We’re diving deep into the world of post-processing today. Buckle up! This guide is geared to ensure you grasp the tricks to acquire an impeccable finish, especially when working with PLA and ABS.

Post-processing is so much more than meets the eye. It starts with your go-to methods like sanding using varied grit levels, the magical vapor smoothing, and exploring substances like the fabulous 3D Gloop and XTC 3D epoxy resin. But wait, there’s more! Always top it off with a primer spray to set the stage for painting. What follows is an enlightening journey to refining your prints to perfection!

Gazing upon your fresh 3D print, those pesky layer lines are quite the buzzkill, right? Enter: Sanding. Kick-start with lower grit sandpaper to eradicate those pesky imperfections and gradually make your way up for that ultra-smooth finish. You’ll see a transformation from rugged to glossy in no time. For those looking for a reliable range, the Miady 120-3,000 Assorted Grit Sandpaper is a game-changer.

And if sanding doesn’t fully satisfy your quest for perfection, it’s time to unveil the XTC 3D epoxy resin. It’s an elixir for 3D prints that want that extra oomph. Marrying sanding and epoxy methods might just be your ticket to a flawless 3D printed item. And here’s a secret – the 3D Gloop, while usually a printing bed adhesive, can make those lines vanish in just one swipe.

But the fun doesn’t end there. Once your 3D printed object is sanded, smoothed, and epoxied, the world of priming and painting awaits. Those prints should be popping with vibrancy!

Got some massive parts? Fret not. Print in segments and assemble them using the timeless method of Gluing. It’s pocket-friendly and straightforward. Just remember, glued parts won’t boast the same strength as individual solid ones.

Speaking of filaments, ABS has a trick up its sleeve. Behold the Acetone Vapor Smoothing technique. Get your hands on some premium Acetone, follow some steps with caution, and see the magic unfold. For our PLA fans, there’s a multitude of avenues. From sanding to painting to getting acquainted with THF (Tetrahydrofuran) polishing.

Always keep in mind that PLA and heat aren’t best buddies. So, if you’re thinking about using a heat gun, tread with care. And if you’re on the hunt for one, the SEEKONE 1800W Heat Gun from Amazon is a stellar choice.

Delving deeper, we uncover other spectacular techniques like Electroplating and Hydro Dipping. While the former enhances strength and look, the latter is all about that aesthetic appeal.

Post-processing isn’t just an afterthought. It starts even before your print takes shape. Opting for optimal print settings and orientation significantly eases the post-process journey. And while you’re engrossed in all this, always prioritize safety. Gloves, respirators, and well-ventilated spaces are non-negotiables.

Last but not least, here’s a sprinkle of pro-tips from yours truly: Always match your primer and paint brands to prevent any cracking mishaps. PLA prefers filing over cutting due to its brittle nature. And remember, patience is a virtue. Slow and steady wins the race in 3D printing.

Alright tech lovers, that’s all the wisdom I have for today. Keep exploring, keep innovating, and let’s keep making our 3D printed dreams come alive. Catch you in the next one! ✨