Creating a Gloss Finish for your 3D Prints Part 1 – Clear Lacquer Spray

Looking to give our 3D prints an extra something, we decided to research some different techniques for finishing. The first was to use a budget lacquer we found in a well known high-street shop. The print we would be practising on is a bust of Darth Vadar (not long until the new Star Wars movie). Printed on the Zortrax M200 in Black Z-HIPS filament it consisted of two parts. Naturally being the Dark Lord he doesn’t require much colour which saved us sometime. After removing the supports from the prints and filing away any unwanted area’s we added a little paint…..two silver dots.

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Next we headed outside with the lacquer so as to avoid suffocating ourselves (stay ventilated)! We left the raft on the main part of the print to make sure we didn’t cover any area with the pliers. Making sure to rotate the print whilst maintaining a light spray to ensure total coverage. After leaving the print to dry for one hour we then repeated the process.

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The final result is great and very cost effective.

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Our next test will be using a method which uses acetone vapours. This method should not only give our print a high gloss finish but also actually smooth the print surface and remove any indication of the layers it’s made up of.

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