Recipe: Transparent Finish for PolyJet Parts

by GoEngineer

If your PolyJet 3D printed part needs a transparent finish, you are in luck! I’ve been cooking all day in the GoEngineer Santa Clara 3D printer lab and have perfected the recipe. It’s simple to follow yet very effective. Let me know how it works out for you and if you have any other 3D printed part tips or requests.

INGREDIENTS

  • PolyJet VeroClear Printed Part
  • Clear Gloss Spray Paint
  • 500 Grit Sandpaper
  • 800 Grit Sandpaper
  • 1000 Grid Sandpaper
  • Bowl of Water

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Build Style: Building your 3D printed part in gloss mode will cut down on the amount of polish work required.
  2. Build Orientation. Orient your part during build to minimize the amount of support interface on the model. Keep in mind that wherever support material contacts the model, it will leave a matte finish. If possible, try and orient the part so that the matte surface is in a location that is easy to sand and polish.
  3. Wet-sand the 3D Printed Part. Start by wet-sanding the part to remove the surface imperfections due to the support interface by dipping the 500 Grit sandpaper in the bowl of water to get it wet and start sanding the matte surface of your part. Sand in circular motion for 10 minutes per square inch, dipping the sandpaper in the water every few seconds to keep the surface wet.
  4. 2nd Sanding. When the sanded surface appears smooth, switch to the 800 grit sandpaper and follow the same process. Sand in a circular motion and do this until the surface feels smooth and looks hazy when dry. This should take about 15 minutes per square inch.
  5. 3rd Sanding. Switch to the 1000 Grit Sandpaper and continue in the same manner until the surface is smooth. This 3rd sanding process will take a little longer because the 1000 Grit sandpaper is not very abrasive. A good rule of thumb is 20 minutes of circular wet sanding per square inch.
  6. Rinse the Part. Let it dry thoroughly.

 

Now it’s time to paint…

When you are sure the part is completely dry, add a clear coat with clear gloss spray paint. Make sure the paint is thoroughly mixed. At this point the part should look hazy but feel smooth.

Carefully spray the hazy surface with the clear gloss spray paint. The part should appear transparent almost immediately,
but WAIT and let the paint dry for a minimum of 3 hours with appropriate ventilation.

 

NOTE: The part shown has had the same process applied to only half of its surface to illustrate the difference between original surface finish transparency and polished and coated surface transparency.

 

For this and many other tricks, contact one of our experts or come visit one of our GoEngineer locations!

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