Glossy smooth surface on PLA

  • Get Glossy & Smooth Finish On 3D Printed PLA Parts

    Getting glossy finish on 3D printed part can be a bit tricky at sometimes , for ABS usually Acetone vapours are used but what if the part is not printed on ABS and its PLA ? Well some people use THF/limonene for PLA but there are also other tricks to get a glossy finish on PLA parts  and one such trick I found that we can apply epoxy resin to get glossy finish . So I decided to make my own epoxy resin mixture using Araldite. Before applying on part if there is too much visible layers and gap you can sand bit using sanding/emery paper. This will avoid accumulating of resin in gaps . In my case it was a small part and it as not needed .

    Following things will be needed

    1.Araldite (Resin &Hardner)

    2.Painting Brush

    3.Plastic / paper cup

    4.Pigment as per the color

    5.Acetone

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    Step1- Take the resin in plastic cup, I took without measuring so you can weigh it to get accurate . Add pigment as per need and mix it properly . If you want to lower viscocity of resin then add just few drops(2 drops in my case) of acetone , too much acetone can end up not drying of resin . So add acetone only if required.

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    glossy finish on pla

    Step2- After mixing the pigment in the resin uniformly now add similar amount of hardner in the mixture and mix it well. If you have measured the weight of resin then add same amount of hardner . Araldite is used in 50:50 ratio .

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    Step3- Apply the epoxy resin on the part as soon as possible before it starts getting hard . Apply it uniformly on the surface of part.

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    Step4- Let it dry for atleast 1 to 2 hrs depending upon you part size and design . If necessary you can apply one more coat, in my case I just applied one coat on the PLA printed part 

     

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    After you complete applying use acetone to clean the brush otherwise the brush may get stiff and not useable in future.

    So here is my idea for getting glossy surface on 3D Printed part like PLA and other non ABS printed part , I hope 3D Printing community might find it useful for making PLA part glossy .


    Article contributed by

    Kartish Nair 

    Maker, 3D Printer Hobbyist   

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    (Note: The instruction given here are general information and has to be carried with proper safety , in case of any loss we are not responsible for the occured loss)