Smoothing Out Tpu

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by Papi_Anon, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. Papi_Anon
    Papi_Anon Member
    (I hope I’m posting this in the correct subforum this time)

    I recently tried TPU for the first time for a flexible action figure part and the surface is obviously a little rough. However, when I tried to lightly sand the surface it only made the surface texture 'fuzzier' and compounded the problem. The part I had printed is a detachable face with eye-sockets for articulated eyeballs, with the face piece making use of TPU's elasticity for the sockets.

    So, my question is simply how does one smooth out the surface of TPU? Is it through ultra fine sanding, or do I just need to lightly coat the surface with some form of flexible acrylic like Pledge floor polish?
  2. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Maybe you can coat with polyurethane. Like say, UreCoat by Smooth-on. It can be thinned and it can be colored as well.

    Another thing you could do is print a press in mold in Shapeways' Fine Detail Plastic with the smoothest finish. Back it up to make it strong with plaster of Paris and then use something like Poyo silicone putty to press in. Press in because, you don't need expensive equipment to get rid of air bubbles. Shapeways' Fine Detail Plastic with the smoothest finish because, you probably wouldn't need to sand it. However, if you did want to do sanding it would sand easily.

    Speaking of sanding, did you try freezing it first? That may help get around the rubberiness. To freeze it really well I'd try air in a can and hold the can upside down while spraying.