Wood Burning to smooth PLA

Discussing what we do with our prints after we make them (clean up, integration, etc)

Wood Burning to smooth PLA

Postby Bats1939 » 2013-Jul-Sun-13-Jul

I took my wood burning tool that I use for wax carving to a cast yesterday. I set it to the middle temperature(it has varying temperatures and pieces and can be used as a soldering iron as well as a wood/wax carver) and was able to smooth the surface of my latest print. It's not super smooth, and since my tool wasn't clean it left some material in the grooves, but It did a lot to get rid of the grooves. It was also in two pieces that I snapped together and it did a good job of smoothing the line between the two prints. I was just using the tool that looks like a spade, but it does come with several other tools and they might be able to smooth inside recessed places better. It was also great for knocking off any loops that stuck out. It does leave a little slag on the extreme edges of the piece, but if you're careful you can smooth those into the part. You have to be quick and gentle, or else you'll leave a dent in the part too.

Next I'm going to try filling the grooves with various fillers and then casting it to see how that does. I'm waiting to get my silicone, which I ordered on Friday. I make robot dolls, so my reason for getting a machine was to make armatures that I could then clean up and cast. Making armor, helmets, weapons, ect out of clay or poly styrene sheets was just too much of a pain at the size I work.

Here's some pictures of how mine turned out. You can see how dirty it looks because the tool was dirty. at the setting i use for wax carving, i use a bit of latex foam to clean the the tool, but the setting for melting the PLA burns the latex, so I need to find something else. Maybe a lightly damp towel.
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Bats1939
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Wood Burning to smooth PLA

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Re: Wood Burning to smooth PLA

Postby ThereWillBprints » 2014-Mar-Wed-05-Mar

I think a hair dryer might be more effective. Maybe a small one from an Asian market. Possibly even going rotisserie style over a curling iron. One day PLA will be easy
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406mm by 8mm lm rods for x and z axis
Z stabilizer bar
bearing plates printed for fabricated plexi glass print bed (8"×18")
New print are a 274 mm width × 267mm height × 101 depth (will change to 200 mm once verified and I have time)
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