Check out this new approach for how to create a smooth surface on your 3D printed parts using a solvent bath. And while this method doesn’t look like a great option for your desktop (unless it has a ventihood!), the results are promising! From 3ders.org:
To make the process easier for 3D print enthusiasts, two masters of engineering students at UC Berkeley, Ross Yeager (Electrical Engineer) and David (Industrial Engineer) designed and created 3D Refiner, “a machine that rotates a 3D printed part in from of a pressurized and constant flow of solvent, allowing for a symmetric smoothing of the print.” In other words, it will transform any of your 3D prints into a high quality beautifully finished part in a short time. You can print an object in very low resolution, and 3D Refiner will give it an appealing finish.
After 4 months of research, development, and prototyping Ross and David launched the 3D Refiner on Kickstarter. They discovered the most reliable and quick method to achieve a fine finishing of a 3D printed part is through a pressure applying liquid bath. The high pressure water pump is waterproof and made of a high grade and durable plastic which allows the pump to not be affected by the solvent. The two circuits with micro-processor, power adapter, and servos are separated by a shielded platform from the solvent tank. A waterproof housing for the DC motor rotating the platform is made for avoiding water/solvent damage to the motor.
The system relies on the use of a diluted solvent-water mix which can give off fumes, so it is recommended to operate the machine in a large open room with plenty of ventilation. With the funding the team hope to add extra added-on and features for an higher-quality 3D Refiner, and to research and develop the second generation product which will be “much smaller, lighter, using less solvent, and completely air tight before, during, and after operation.” …
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!