When it comes to sanding 3D prints made from PLA (Polylactic Acid), the type and grit of sandpaper you use can make all the difference in achieving a smooth finish without damaging the print. PLA is a popular material used for 3D printing due to its low melting point, biodegradability, and ease of use. However, it can also be prone to visible layer lines and rough surfaces, which can be addressed through sanding.
So, what grit sandpaper should you use for sanding 3D prints made from PLA? The answer largely depends on the level of roughness on the surface of the print and the desired finish.
For prints with visible layer lines, it's recommended to start with coarse-grit sandpaper, such as 120 grit or 150 grit. This will help to remove the rough layers and flatten the surface. However, be careful not to sand too aggressively or you may cause damage to the print. It's important to sand gently and evenly to achieve a uniform finish.
Once the rough layers have been removed, switch to finer grit sandpaper, such as 220 grit or 320 grit, to further smooth out the surface. This will help to remove any scratches or marks left by the coarse sandpaper and refine the surface texture.
If you're looking to achieve a very smooth and polished finish, you may want to go up to even finer grits of sandpaper, such as 400 grit or 600 grit. However, keep in mind that the higher the grit, the longer it will take to achieve the desired finish.
When sanding 3D prints made from PLA, it's important to take precautions to avoid damaging the print. Use light pressure and gentle, circular motions to avoid creating divots or grooves in the print. It's also important to sand evenly across the entire surface to prevent creating uneven spots.
In addition to sandpaper, you can also use other tools to achieve a smoother finish, such as a sanding sponge or a rotary tool with sanding attachments. These tools can be especially useful for getting into tight corners or hard-to-reach areas.
In summary, the recommended grits of sandpaper for sanding 3D prints made from PLA are 120 grit or 150 grit for removing visible layer lines, followed by 220 grit or 320 grit for further smoothing out the surface. For a very smooth and polished finish, you may want to use even finer grits of sandpaper. Remember to sand gently and evenly to avoid damaging the print, and consider using other tools in addition to sandpaper for hard-to-reach areas.
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