Sanding Method

Methods of sanding your model for a better quality finish

Although a time-consuming procedure, the use of a sanding method will result in the best possible finish on FDM printed parts. Relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as a mask and goggles need to be used if utilising this finishing method.

In order to speed up this process, you can use a Dremel tool (or similar) in order to carry out the sanding. This is particularly useful for sanding parts with complex or organic geometries as there are various Dremel bits you can use.

Important Note: If you are using a Dremel or any rotary tool to carry out the sanding, it is important to do so extremely gently and take your time with it. The use of rotary tools will definitely speed up your sanding process, however it can affect the accuracy/tolerance of your print if sanded too aggressively. Apply consistent and light pressure with rotary tools in order to avoid removing too much material and ruining your parts.

Rotary sanding tools and sanding paper is available via the MSD's Machine Workshop:




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  • Wet-Dry sandpapers of varying grits (80, 120, 240, 1000, 1500)

  • Pliers and Flush Cutters

  • Putty/Hobby Knives of Varying shapes

  • Small container for water

  • Respiratory Mask

  • Safety Goggles

  • Gloves

  • Isopropyl Wipes or similar to clean part

  • Automotive Filler

  • Aerosol Primer

  • High-Coverage Aerosol Paint

  • Aerosol Clear Coat

This method is on par with the No-Sand Method in terms of quality of finish but is a slightly slower process, however it is faster than hand-sanding or using a Dremel to post process your prints. Relevant PPE such as a mask and gloves should be used when utilising this method.

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