The resolution of RepRap-style fused-filament 3D printers is obviously improving, but even the best hobby-class fused filament printers still have noticeable “grain.” Or, to go someplace I probably shouldn’t, “Rrrrrrreplicators have rrrrrrridges.”

This video from Annelise Jeske of MakerBot TV addresses the heartbreak of ridgy-ness head-on. Personally, my aesthetic has always been that materials should be proud of their origins, so I rather like that my fused-filament objects look like fused-filament objects. But if you don’t and/or if you have an application that demands smooth surfaces, this video teaches the two basic methods of smoothing them out: additive, in which the ledges between the steps are filled in with a plastic compound, and subtractive, in which the steps themselves are abraded away. [via adafruit]

MakerBot TV S02E09 – Finishing Techniques