TAKING IDEAS BEYOND THE BUILD PLATE

MakerBot Post Processing Techniques

Discover these cost effective techniques for creating realistic prototypes, moulds, functional machines and more.

suitable for CAD and prototype 3D printssuitable for manufacturing, automative and transportation 3D printssuitable for educational 3D prints

MakerBot Post Processing Techniques

Effective techniques for getting even more from your 3D prints

It's clear that desktop 3D printing has a dramatic impact on how professionals work and what students learn. However, for all this value, many overlook what's possible with the 3D printed objects themselves.

A 3D print can be more than an early concept model, a teaching aid, or a student project. It can be an aesthetically realistic prototype, or a mould for an end-use product or packaging material, or even a functional machine or electronic device.

Over the last few months we've been hard at work developing step-by-step guides that will help you take your ideas beyond the build plate. We created these guides based on feedback from our customers and the wider 3D printing community. Each guide offers effective powerful techniques for getting even more from your 3D prints.

MakerBot Replicator+ Desktop 3D printer

HOW TO SAND YOUR 3D PRINTS

Sanding 3D printed models can be a great way to eliminate line in preparation for painting, silicone moulding or vacuum forming.

In this tutorial, we will show you the best practices associated with sanding your 3D prints.

Working time will vary depending on your model. The process shown takes about 3 hours from start to finish.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • Sandpaper (80, 120, 200, 240, 1000, 1500 grit)
  • Handheld electric sander
  • Cutting tools
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Flush cutters
  • Chisels
  • Respiratory mask
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
Necessary supplies needed for sanding 3D models

HOW TO GLUE YOUR 3D PRINTS

Gluing your 3D prints can be a powerful post-processing method if you're looking to cmbine multiple components of an assembly, or create a model larger than the build volume of your 3D printer.

In this tutorial, we will show you some of the best practices associated with gluing your 3D prints.

Working time will vary depending on your model. the process shown took us about 20 minutes from start to finish.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • 3D print with multiple components
  • Cyanoacrylate glue
  • 2 part epoxy
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper towels
  • Scraping tool
  • 400-1000 grit sandpaper
  • Respiratory mask
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
Necessary supplies needed for gluing 3D models

HOW TO PAINT YOUR 3D PRINTS

If you're an engineer or product designer creating concept models, a prop or set designer, artist, or an educator looking to add incorporate a bit more creativity into your 3D printing activities, painting your models can be a great solution.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to create nearly automotive quality paint job of your 3D printed objects.

Working time will vary depending on your model. Including drying time, the process shown took about 6 hours from start to finish.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • 3D print
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Spray primer/filler
  • Spray paint
  • Hanging cord
  • 80, 120, 200, 240, 1000 grit sandpaper
  • Chisels
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Bondo
  • Sanding block and sandpaper
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Respiratory mask
Necessary supplies needed for painting 3D models

HOW TO INSTALL THREADED INSERTS IN YOUR 3D PRINTS

Threaded brass inserts can be a great way to add longevity to 3D printed enclosures that need to accept screws.

In this tutorial we will show you some of the best practices associated with installing threaded brass inserts into your 3D printed enclosures.

Working time will vary depending on your model and how many inserts you plan to install. The process took 10 minutes from start to finish.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • 3D print
  • Soldering iron
  • Threaded brass inserts with matching machine screws
  • Washers
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Vice
  • Heat resistant gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Respiratory mask
Necessary supplies needed for adding threads to 3D models

SILICONE MOULDING WITH 3D PRINTED MASTERS

Silicone moulding is a powerful production method that when combined with 3D printing, can allow you to make several copies of one product. You can also create a product in a material that is not supported by your 3D printer.

In this tutorial, we will show you some of the best practices associated with creating silicone moulds around 3D printed parts.

Working time will vary depending on a number of factors. Creating a mould around our 3D printed part took about 1.5 hours. Casting into the mould took about 15 minutes.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • 3D printed mould box, hardware, vents and keys
  • Silicone
  • Resin and dye
  • Mixing cups
  • Mixing sticks
  • Mould release spray
  • Hot glue or cyanoacrylate glue
  • Funnel
  • Cutting tools
  • Rubber bands, tape or straps
  • Gloves
  • Respiratory mask
  • Eye protection
Necessary supplies needed for using 3D models moulds

SILICONE MOULDING WITH 3D PRINTED MOULDS

Silicone moulding is a powerful production method that when combined with 3D printing, can allow you to make several of one product, or create a product in a material that is not supported by your 3D printer.

In this tutorial, we will show you some of the best practices associated with 3D printing moulds to pour into. To demonstration this process, we will create a bicycle handlebar grip out of flexible silicone using a 3D printed mould.

Working time will vary depending on a number of factors. This process took us about 30 minutes excluding cure times, which will vary depending on the silicone products used.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • 3D printed mould
  • Silicone
  • Resin and dye
  • Mixing cups
  • Mixing sticks
  • Mould release spray
  • Hot glue or cyanoacrylate glue
  • Funnel
  • Cutting tools
  • Rubber bands, tape or straps
  • Gloves
  • Respiratory mask
  • Eye protection
Necessary supplies needed for using 3D models for moulds

HOW TO VACUUM FORM USING 3D PRINTED MOULDS

Vacuum forming is a manufacturing process by which a sheet of plastic is heated and pressed over a form to create a part. This process is used to create many of the products in your home such as plastic containers, tubs, sink units and electrical enclosures.

3D printing is a great way for manufacturers to create low cost moulds for low volume manufacturing or prototyping.

While we used an industrial vacuum forming machine to achieve our application, you can also build one at home to achieve the same effect.

While working time will vary, this process took about 1 hour from start to finish.

SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • Vacuum forming machine
  • Sheets of vacuum forming plastic
  • Mould mounting fixture
  • Cutting tool
  • Eye protection
  • Heat resistant gloves
Necessary supplies needed for vacuum forming from 3D models