Assembling this figure might require some minor tweaks. Please read all the instructions below.
More information as well as painted samples using pieces printed with shapeways can be seen throughout this forum thread.
-Ball joint head
-Ball joint torso
-Ball joint hips
Joint areas and other cavities might be full of powder ( from the printing process ) and that powder needs to come out. Not only will it be a problem when painting but it will also make some joints difficult or impossible to fit.
Some of the powder will be pretty loose, and some of it will be stuck in tightly. Either way, it is easy to remove by scraping and loosening it with a piece of wire or tooth pick.
Make sure to clean all joint cavities even if they appear clean.
You can find more accurate cleaning instructions with images here
I coat all joint areas with Testors liquid cement for plastic models. This seems to help with joint wear and strength in general. The WSF material which is used for printing will absorb most of the glue and the rest will evaporate without adding any unneeded mass to the areas. Keep in mind that areas coated with the cement won't absorb paint very well anymore, so it's better to coat only the joint areas that won't be visible later.PAINTING:
Since the White strong and Flexible material isn't entirely watertight it will absorb some paint. The advantage of this is that paint coverage is great and it makes painted areas very difficult to scratch.
The downside is that if the paint is watered down too much, the painted borders may look a bit soft do to some paint spreading into the surrounding surface. After the surface has absorbed a bit of anything however, any additional paint apps should be perfectly sharp
I recommend painting all the parts before assembling the figure.
Personally, I apply 2-3 coats with acrylics, with the first coat being more watered down to let the surface absorb it better. Joint parts that will be invisible later only need 1 or no paint coat. I do recomment painting those areas just to avoid missing areas that end up being visible after assembly plus it will make the joints tighter. After the paint coats are done I apply 2-4 coats of Krylon matte finish coat. 1-2 before assembling and another one after assembling.
With the paints and coats I use, I've found that the final painted and coated figure usually becomes mostly unscratchable (with fingernails anyway) after about a week.ASSEMBLY:
If you've painted and coated your figure before assembly, I recommend letting it all sit for 24-48 hours before assembling.
During the first 24-48 hours, the paint and coats can still be smudged around if handled with strength and humidity (from your hands) and you may still be able to wear off the paint that way if it hasn't bonded properly with the plastic yet.
Please follow the link provided for assembly order. The figures can be assembled in ALMOST any order but following the order in the instructions linked here is recommended: Assembly order
Do to the nature of 3d printing, some tweaks may need some minor tweaking.
I'm constantly tweaking joints to make assembly easier while keeping joints tight.
Some joint sockets and joint pegs may require some minor sanding on one end or some minor scraping along the walls of the cavity until they fit properly.
The printing powder stuck in the crevice space sorrounding the ball joint sockets will sometimes impede the expanding of the socket when trying to fit the ball joint. Scraping along the floor and lower walls of the socket usually does the trick.
Whenever scraping and sanding, do it in small increments and try fitting again, it's usually just a very thin layer of material that's causing the problem.PLEASE read through the assembly instructions to know what to expect.