Tutorials

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Finishing Options for FDM and PolyJet 3D Printed Parts

17 1 Beginner
Finishing or secondary operations encompasses a broad range of processes that change a manufactured part’s properties. Engineers can employ finishing simply to improve part’s appearance and reshape it to meet certain dimensions, or use it to enhance functionality, such as increasing strength, chemical resistance, electrical conductivity and more. Secondary operations basically turn raw parts into finished goods and this isn’t limited to traditional manufactured parts. 3D printed parts can also be enhanced with secondary operations, but much like designing for additive manufacturing, different processes and best practices apply. Throughout the product design and manufacturing process, engineers should also be thinking about how 3D printed parts can be finished. Determining the appropriate finishing operations depends on the additive process, material and geometry as well as the desired aesthetics and functionality. This guide explains the primary finishing operations additive manufacturing service providers implement for FDM and PolyJet 3D printing technologies, grouped by possible finishing objectives, and compatible materials and applicable design considerations.
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How to Solvent Smooth 3D Printed FDM Parts

9 1 Beginner
The normal surface finish of FDM parts is suitable for most purposes, but in applications where a smoother surface is required, solvent smoothing is an alternative to sanding, filling, and mass finishing.
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Hand Sanding and Polishing for PolyJet 3D Printed Parts

9 1 Intermediate
Sanding and polishing 3D prints can be tricky. This tutorial demonstrates how to handle post-processing for printed parts when using the Stratasys J750.
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How to Remove SUP706 Soluble Support on a 3D Printed Part

5 2 Intermediate
Removing SUP706 Soluble Support is quick and easy. Following the best practices ensures that you do not damage or break your part in the process. The following is brought to you by Stratasys.
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How to Solvent Smooth FDM Parts

5 0 Expert
The normal surface finish of FDM parts is suitable for most purposes, but in applications where a smoother surface is required, solvent smoothing is an alternative to sanding, filling, and mass finishing. Solvent smoothing utilizes a chemical agent to smooth a part’s surfaces (Figure 1). This process modifies the surface of FDM parts by eliminating layer lines while preserving feature detail and part accuracy. The smoothing agent can be applied either as a liquid or a vapor and it is quick and nearly labor-free. The finish achieved can mimic that of injection molded parts. This tutorial is courtesy of Stratasys.
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How to Give Your 3D Printed FDM Part the Smoothness of Injection Molding

5 1 Intermediate
This tutorial will demonstrate how you can give your FDM printed part the finishing smoothness of injection molding. The Finishing Touch Smoothing Station can dramatically improve the surface finish of ABS parts that are built using FDM technology. The semi-automated smoothing process is compatible with FDM’s entire line of ABS plastics.
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Creating Texturing Patterns on FDM Parts

3 0 Beginner
The goal of this tutorial it´s how to add texture patterns to your FDM part and make it more presentable. Erasing those awful visible layers to give a better finishing, you can salect any texture and add to your FDM parts even photos or any image.
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How to Paint FDM Parts

2 1 Intermediate
There are many reasons for coating FDM parts. These include UV protection, sealing, shielding, or surface modification, but painting FDM parts for an aesthetically pleasing finish is the most common. Painting brings a product to life by adding depth, contrast and character. This is true for concept models, marketing samples, and finished goods. For product development and many production applications, paint completes the desired look and feel. With a little know-how and a touch of patience, models, prototypes, and parts can look like production parts. The following instructions are for creating top-quality painted parts. For applications that do not require this level of finishing, skip any unneeded steps. A good paint finish traditionally starts with sanding and filling.
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FEA Results in Color 3D Printing

1 0 Intermediate
Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computer-based method of analyzing and simulating the behavior of components under a variety of conditions, including force, temperature, vibration, and motion. FEA calculates displacements, strains, and stresses under internal and external loads. These predictions confirm if a design is suitable or if modifications are required to prevent failure. This tutorial comes courtesy of Stratasys.
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Vibratory Finishing for Rigid PolyJet Parts

1 0 Beginner
Polishing PolyJetTM 3D Printed parts in a vibratory finishing system (also known as a tumbler) improves their surface finish by removing minor surface irregularities and sharp edges. With this process you can save time and manual labor, especially when dealing with large quantities or complex models. A tumbler system can polish multiple parts, hands-free, in only a few hours, depending on the size of the parts and the tumbler. This method is usually performed on metal parts, but it was tested on PolyJet models from the Digital ABSTM and VeroTM material families and found suitable.
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How to media blast FDM parts

0 0 Intermediate
Common applications where media blasting is applicable: • Smoothing and polishing for: - Concept models - Prototypes - End-use parts • Surface preparation such as texturing and etching for: - Painting - Electroplating - Mold masters
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Inserting Hardware Post-Build

0 0 Intermediate
Various types of hardware are commonly used in plastic parts to withstand the torque and load applied when joining parts to create assemblies. Like machined or molded plastics parts, components made with FDM technology can also have hardware inserted into them. Inserts may be added during an FDM build or in a secondary, post-build operation. This Best Practice covers secondary insertion of hardware with common methods such as adhesive bonding, pressing, and heat setting.
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How To Dry Sparse FDM Parts

0 0 Intermediate
When sparse FDM parts are placed into a support removal tank, they can fill up with solution from the tank and water from the rinse. Most of this solution or water will drain from parts naturally within 30 minutes of their removal from the tank. However, in some cases, geometry will trap some liquid inside. Later, this liquid will slowly leach out. To avoid this, we recommend using a vacuum and/or oven to completely remove any liquid from your FDM parts. The best method is to use the vacuum first, followed by the oven. Either method can be effective individually if you increase the amount of time the part is in the oven or the number of vacuum cycles applied to the part. The following Tutorial is courtesy of Stratasys.