A large part of 3D printing involves the sanding, finishing, and post processing of parts, this is generally referred to as “model making”. Depending on the application of a part different levels of finishing may be required. Our Sales Engineers are happy to work with you to determine the appropriate 3D printed part finishing requirements for your project.
Sanding – Everything from just a rough pass to remove support stubble all the way to wet sanding with 600 grit sand paper with specialized hand tools to remove all layer lines
Painting – See options below
This option is great for getting color onto your parts and can be applied to anything produced on any of our 3D printed technologies. In some cases the parts will be fully sanded, then primed, and re-sanded again before the final coat of paint is applied in order to make the parts have an extremely high-end finish. In other cases a part will just be coated in the requested color to keep the cost down and lead time as short as possible. We have the ability to offer any paint color from the following color systems:
This painting process is great for prototypes, trade show models, or investor pitch models. If you are looking for something that will hold up to rough use, harsh environments, and end use applications, please look at our Cerakote option below.
Cerakote is a Polymer-Ceramic Composite coating that can be applied to HP MJF, SLS, and DMLS Metal Printed Parts. The unique formulation used for Cerakote ceramic coating enhances a number of physical performance properties including abrasion/wear resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength, and hardness.
At F3DP we have found this coating to be a viable long term solution for coating parts that will be used in a end use or production application. Another reason we like this coating technology is that like us, NIC Industries (the creators of Cerakote) like to test their product and stand behind their claims:
NOTE: Having parts painted typically adds 5-10 days to the time it takes to get parts done and shipped out.
Assembly – Groups of parts can be finished and then assembled into functional assemblies, holes can be tapped or helicoiled, parts can be glued or light welded together
Vapor Hone / Media Blasting – Parts can be blasted to give them a matte finish (similar to a plastic milk jug in appearance and texture) this is our most cost effective finishing option
Clear Part Finishing – Parts printed on one of our SLA machines in the Somos Watershed material can be hand sanded and clear coated to achieve a very clear surface finish
Laser Etching – Using laser etching we are able to cost effectively digitally mark 3D printed parts with logos, serial numbers, instructions, etc.
Model Making – Using a combination of all the services listed above fully finished and painted parts and assemblies can be made for use at trade shows, photo shoots, investor meetings, marketing materials, etc. Learn more about model making
Level 0 – Strip & Ship – Excess resin is cleaned off the parts and supports are removed. Support surfaces are not sanded and are left very rough.
Level 1 – Standard Finish – Parts are cleaned and supports removed. Rough support surfaces are sanded smooth. Unless specified this is the finish all parts we print are shipped with.
Level 2 – Matte Finish – Support surfaces are sanded, parts are lightly sanded in all rough areas. Vapor hone blast applied to entire part for uniform finish.
Level 3 – Smooth Finish – Layer lines removed through sanding of entire part. Vapor hone blast applied to entire part for uniform finish.
Level 4 – Paint Prep Finish – Layer lines removed through sanding of entire part.Part is prepared for painting.
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