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Steel Piece: Is it possible to polish it a home? [message #78918] Thu, 14 November 2013 00:37 UTC Go to next message
avatar barnettcohen  is currently offline barnettcohen
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Registered: November 2013
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I am new to the Shapeways forum and a newbie to 3D printing and so apologies for asking what might be a redundant question though I did search the forums for an answer.

I recently ordered a one-off piece made of raw steel that has yet to arrive. From my communication with Shapeways and from reading the forums, it appears the steel is likely be nicked and grainy. I am wondering if there is anyway to polish it at home and/or give it a chrome-like quality in a matter of days without purchasing or employing heavy duty machinery. I am under a tight deadline and so unfortunately do not have days to do this. Really, I only have about two working days before it goes to market. Any advice/thoughts/etc. would be most appreciated. Lastly, if I was to take to a polisher or finisher, whom should I be searching for on the web? Seriously, very new here. Thanks.

Re: Steel Piece: Is it possible to polish it a home? [message #78919 is a reply to message #78918 ] Thu, 14 November 2013 00:42 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar FreeRangeBrain  is currently offline FreeRangeBrain
Messages: 234
Registered: April 2013
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Depending on the size and detail, I'd say either a benchtop grinder/belt sander type arrangement with grinding/sanding/buffing wheels or belts, or a Dremel tool (or such other similar off-brand device) with appropriate sanding and buffing attachments. The benchtop machines will be perhaps a bit cruder in application. Your mileage may vary.

Personally, I'd go with the Dremel. Just be patient and take your time for best results.


Creativity - sometimes by the brute force method.
Re: Steel Piece: Is it possible to polish it a home? [message #78975 is a reply to message #78918 ] Thu, 14 November 2013 14:49 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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Registered: April 2009
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Time to polish depends on several things. How big? grape size, baseball? What is overall surface? Smooth like an egg or rough like a walnut?
At the very least you will need a dremel type rotary tool to produce a chrome like shine. First you will need to cut down the bark like print lines so surfaces are evenly smooth. Best /fastest done with carbide cutting burs. There are all sorts of abrasive wheels and points to get into tight crevices. Once all is smooth then polishing compound and soft felt or muslin buffing wheels will produce high shine. Home Depot or Lowes will have these things. Maybe $100-$150 invested in tools and supplies. Nothing like a deadline to get you motivated Very Happy
-G


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Steel Piece: Is it possible to polish it a home? [message #80922 is a reply to message #78975 ] Tue, 10 December 2013 06:59 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Colin  is currently offline Colin
Messages: 13
Registered: August 2008
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Rouge cloth and hand rubbing will give a quick, easy and inexpensive gloss but won't remove nicks or scratches.

Clean any excess rouge off the piece with a diluted ammonia solution -- be sure you have plenty of fresh air with that, and don't get any in your eyes.

The other suggestions regarding Dremel and buffing or benchtop grinder and abrasives would be best for scratches and worse.

Be aware of the texture of the basic material, though.

A smooth mirror finish is probably quite difficult to achieve due to the layers of 3D printed steel.

I have not tried more than rouge, cleaning, rinsing and drying.
Re: Steel Piece: Is it possible to polish it a home? [message #91026 is a reply to message #78918 ] Mon, 02 June 2014 15:18 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar roofoo  is currently offline roofoo
Messages: 254
Registered: August 2008
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The model in my profile pic is stainless steel that I polished using a dremel, and increasingly fine sandpaper. I started with 400 grit, then 600, 1000, and finally 2000.

I also posted about it here:
https://www.shapeways.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&goto=234 71&&srch=hummingbird#msg_23471

Edit: Sorry for bumping this old thread! I didn't notice the date. :P

[Updated on: Tue, 03 June 2014 18:07 UTC]


http://www.eyephoriadesign.com http://www.shapeways.com/shops/eyephoriadesign http://www.etsy.com/shop/eyephoriadesign
Re: Steel Piece: Is it possible to polish it a home? [message #93671 is a reply to message #91026 ] Wed, 09 July 2014 17:29 UTC Go to previous message
avatar bulatov  is currently offline bulatov
Messages: 31
Registered: March 2009
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I work here
I do finishing of my metal pieces in 2 steps

  • belt sander with various grits
  • tumbling with steel shot

The finish quality is pretty good.

This rhoimbic dodecahedron has large polished surfaces.


Vladimir Bulatov, 3D graphics researcher, Shapeways

 
   
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