When we finish a print whether it be in PLA, ABS or any other hard material we sometimes have the need to finish and paint our piece, we can do with Dremel. The first step is certainly to smooth and make disappear as much as possible those that are the layers of our printing.
How to build a Dremel like accessory
It is true that a piece in ABS can be smoothed with the technique of acetone vapors, but if our subject has very thin and rather long details we risk softening them too much by making them yield. So you have to be patient and work with abrasive paper of various grades. If the structure of the piece allows it we can work with the drill type Dremel but not with the abrasive discs that are on the market, as we risk only to ruin the surface irreparably, but with a simple sanding disc of our construction we can solve the problem.
Let’s go to the shopping list:
- Empty bottle detergent or fabric softener or similar
- Shaft for mounting Dremel discs or various clones
- Abrasive Paper in various shades
As you can see, we do not need anything expensive or that we do not already have so let’s get to work.
- Let’s take the empty bottle and give it a nice wash (to get rid of the various scents and residues inside)
- Helping us with a compass we make a circle of the size we want, I recommend that you also make different sizes for various uses, say 2cm – 2.5cm – 3cm – 3.5cm, I would not go further for obvious reasons of centrifugal force.
- In the same way you get circles of the same sizes from the abrasive paper, even of these make several to have a good stock of them
- At this point, if we used the compass, we have already marked the center of our plastic circle and the abrasive paper disc. If this is not the case, let’s get it either by two or three diagonals or thanks to this little object https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1241609 we can print it ourselves.
- Let’s widen the hole in the center of the plastic disc just enough to let us pass the screw to tighten it to the drill shaft, let’s not forget the abrasive disc and a washer. Let’s tighten everything.
- We have finished, we can move on to the sanding phase, gradually changing the grain of the abrasive disc as needed.
IMPORTANT: TAKE YOUR SPEED THE LOWEREST AS POSSIBLE if you are processing ABS, PLA or various plastics.
First because the material would heat up too much by deforming, second because the abrasive disc would come off after a while.
The flexibility of the plastic disc is ideal for curved and uneven surfaces, however to have less flexibility just use two coupled plastic discs.