May 28, 2014

Sand blasting 3d printed objects for matte surface finish

Andreas Bastian made this guide for sand blasting 3d printed PLA objects to give matte surface finish with reduced visible layering and shiny parts.
His conclusions were:
  • Even blasting helps the final surface quality.
  • Additional shells (3 or 4) help keep the print sealed during washing.
  • After blasting, the matte surface is prone to absorbing skin oils and other particles, much the way an SLS print does.
  • The blasting grit will alter the color of lighter PLAs, the white took on more of a bone hue and the natural clear developed a somewhat murky color. The black PLA blasted to a very nice matte grey.

White PLA object inside sand blaster

Close-up of sand blasted black PLA object

Non-sand blasted compared to sand-blasted PLA

Source with more details and results photos:

Andreas is also well known for his work on e-Nable and Open SLS 3d printer.

If you are more interested in surface finish and smoothing of 3d printed objects with acetone look at: