3D Printer Basics – Cleaning Prints

3D Printer Basics – Cleaning Prints

Welcome to the last installment of the series for 3D Printer basics. This final post on the topic will wrap up how to finish prints. For those of you who have access to a 3D printer, you can try it at home. For others, you can keep it in mind for when we re-open. For this post, we’ll see how to clean up prints. There’s various ways to clean them up, through sanding, paint, putty and even solvents. Sometimes the print may not be perfect – such as holes in the final layers or excess material in other areas. Through the two guides I will post here, you’ll see how you can salvage or improve your prints.

This MatterHacker guide does a great job of showing you the differences between solutions while having an original piece to compare it to:


This guide breaks down the steps in a more obvious way. While I think it is lighter, it also covers solvents. Typically acetone is used for ABS and not PLA. Here they cover a new product I haven’t been able to try yet that would react in a similar way on PLA than acetone. It smooths out layers so you can barely see them.