Finishing a 3D Printed Maltese Falcon

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komik

New Member
Hello all, this is my first post. This may seem like a few easy questions but I'm completely new at this and I know that I've got to start somewhere.

Recently I bought a 3D printed Maltese Falcon off of eBay. It's only 8.5" but it was the only one I could fit in my budget. Anyway, since it's 3D printed it has a lot of lines leftover form all the layers. It also has some plastic flash (is this the right word for this situation?) on some of the edges. What I want to do is paint it matte black and get it all smooth and shiny.

What I want to know is:
1) How should I cut off the plastic flash?
2) What's the best method for hiding the layers?
3) What's the best method for painting and sanding the 3D print?

Thanks!

Also, here are some pictures so you can see what I'm talking about

2015-01-10 12.58.02.jpg 2015-01-10 12.57.57.jpg 2015-01-10 12.57.52.jpg 2015-01-10 12.58.25.jpg
 

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Pro Mod

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
To trim the excess plastic you'll need a sharp modelling knife and some wet and dry abrasive paper.
The build layers are a bit trickier.
Generally I try to sand the layers to make them blend, but with such a complex shape I'd probably sand as much as possible and then spray it with a high build spray primer to fill it the remaining build lines.
You need to do this a bit at a time - spraying and sanding.
Don't rush it and ensure that each layer of paint is thoroughly dry before applying the next.
If you just keep spraying it won't dry properly and will be very difficult to get a good finish.
You may need to use some car filler (Bondo) to fill some of the deeper lines.
Once you're happy with it use a compatible black aerosol and again build it up in layers, sanding between coats to get that perfect finish!
Hope this helps and I look forward to seeing your progress!
 

RadarRedsox

Active Member
I think some people use an acetone fumes to soften edges? I Heard about it somewhere but because of the fumes it needs to be done inside a box.
3d printing is great! It really is made what dreams are made of!
 

komik

New Member
Thanks for the great advice!

I was able to remove the flash with some small metal files which worked great since I haven't picked up an xacto yet. I tried sanding out the lines but it was starting to flatten a lot of the soft edges so I stopped. I started using high build auto primer which seems to be doing a good job of hiding the layers. I've been sanding it with some 0 steel wool and high grit sandpaper which seems to be softening it out really good. My only problem right now is that the steel wool and sandpaper leave a lot of residue on it. I tried washing it off with water but I'm not sure if that's the best thing to do. Any tips for getting it clean between coats of primer? Also, the primer seems to be building up in restricted places like between the claws.

Here are some pics of my progress so far
2015-01-12 14.33.26.jpg 2015-01-12 15.29.13.jpg

The first pic is after sanding the first coat and the second pic after applying the second coat.
 

Scotophor

Active Member
Too bad you've already started, but for anyone else who comes across this topic by searching, the key words/phrase you want to search on for the acetone method is "vapor polishing". Others that will get a few results are "solvent polishing" and "chemical polishing". That method can save a lot of time and labor.
 

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spoudastis

Well-Known Member
rinsing it in water after the primer has cured should not be a problem.

Thanks for the great advice!

I was able to remove the flash with some small metal files which worked great since I haven't picked up an xacto yet. I tried sanding out the lines but it was starting to flatten a lot of the soft edges so I stopped. I started using high build auto primer which seems to be doing a good job of hiding the layers. I've been sanding it with some 0 steel wool and high grit sandpaper which seems to be softening it out really good. My only problem right now is that the steel wool and sandpaper leave a lot of residue on it. I tried washing it off with water but I'm not sure if that's the best thing to do. Any tips for getting it clean between coats of primer? Also, the primer seems to be building up in restricted places like between the claws.

Here are some pics of my progress so far
View attachment 425241 View attachment 425242

The first pic is after sanding the first coat and the second pic after applying the second coat.
 

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