How should I prepare FUD for painting? How can I clean it?

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by butz, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. butz
    butz New Member
    I would like to know, how I can clean my items made from Frosted Ultra Detail in order to make paint stick.

    The parts have a layer of some oil on all surfaces and a white slick in some edges.

    What substance can be used to dissolve those resuduals?

  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    If you live in the US, you can go to Michael's Hobby Stores and pickup a cleaner sold next to the Rubber Cement. It comes in a metal can, and is named BESTINE. It's chemical name is Heptane.

    Heptane does a wonderful job of cleaning that wax off, and it even turns the outside surface of the FUD a nice flat white just as though you had primed it.

    Soak your items for 10-15 minutes and they should be good to go. Don't let them soak for say 24 hours.. they start forming this crystalized junk on the outside surface.

    Just make sure that you use the Bestine in a well ventilated area.. it is more volatile than gasoline.
  3. butz
    butz New Member
    Thanks for your reply.
    I do not live in the US but it should be no problem to get heptane.

    I did try acetone and turpentine so far and both of them made the FUD have a white surface. But the white slick (not really wax I think) didn't disappear. Maybe I didn't soak the parts long enough or heptane really is a better choice.

    But I have to say that I don't like the white surfaces of FUD after cleaning. Some areas of my items are expected to be not painted but to let pass light from an LED. The original condition of the surface is more convenient for that. The white surfaces also seem to be more brittle.

    Isn't there a way to clean FUD without changing it's surface?

  4. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Someday all the info will be in a central location... someday... maybe even provided at material launch instead of users experimenting. Meanwhile you have to search all over and with luck find a big list of alternatives in a different forum section. Different liquids, ultrasound machines, heat... pick what fits you, anyway a good reading about frosted material.

    Rough/matte surfaces can be coated in glossy varnish to recover their transparent properties. No promises.
  5. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    I've heard that ordinary dishwashing soap has been used successfully, but I haven't tried it yet.
    I think someone also used some kind of furniture polish to clean FUD off.
  6. butz
    butz New Member
    Thanks again.

    That would be really great. In fact, I hoped that someone working at shapeway could provide some "official" solution in this thread. Maybe I should drop them an email instead?

    I read that a week ago or so and as I wrote above I tried some of the proposals made there. But nothing seemed to work properly. As I understood the last few answers in that thread, the wax used by shapeways has changed and so most of the solutions mentioned in that thread are no longer applicable. That now used white slick just sticks in the inside edges of my items and won't come out.

    I'll try that.

    I also tryed that but didn't seem to work. Most of the oil disappeared but some of it seemed to remain. When I painted the parts cleaned this way, the email color just seemed not to dry completely, even after four days. The white slick inside my parts also still there.

    I think I will try soaking the items in acetone (least toxic substance that could work, I think) for some minutes and using clear varnish to get transparency back where needed. That maybe could work. Soaking the whitened parts in water also gives them transparency back (while under water).

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  7. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Enamel? Try using acrylic paint, at least as primer. So you could use a first coat of acrylic varnish for double duty: recover the transparency and separate material from top coats. Some are removable, with ammonia typically, so you can even try and undo if it fails.
  8. Roy_Stevens
    Roy_Stevens New Member
    The reason FUD turns white opaque after cleaning is because the cleaning process removes all the corn oil from the print. The semi-transparency of FUD is a lie, it's like getting a white t-shirt wet and calling it a window. I haven't found any acrylic paint worth more than the bottle it's packaged in. Use Floquil paint, directly from the bottle on cleaned FUD for best results.

    Does anyone know the type and manufacturer of the FUD printers? I found it once but can't seem to put my finger on it again when I actually have enough money to buy one.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  9. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Based in materials, resolution and maximum sizes, ProJet 3500HD, by 3dsystems. They now are out of production, but there are similar models and the materials in some cases are just renamed versions.