Fix Discolored 3D Prints with Fire

3D Printing & Imaging Workshop
Fix Discolored 3D Prints with Fire


Okay, let’s start this one with a perform at your own risk disclaimer. Fire is dangerous, plastic fumes are dangerous, so please be careful.

This week, some of my fellow hackers from Ocean State Maker Mill and I attended a charity event and demonstrated 3D printing to the attendees. We decided that instead of just getting dressed up in boring fancy clothes, we would spice it up a little with 3D printed bow ties. Not fully pleased with those available on file sharing sites, my buddy Jason Loik decided to design an original one for us. The only downside was that the design would require support material, and removing that would leave ugly blemishes on the print.

I figured that one of you geniuses out there had to have figured out a good solution: acetone bath, some kind of polish, something. I went to Google and rather quickly found a video with a technique that couldn’t be much simpler. Use a lighter! Of course, heat sets the original surface and color, so it must be able to fix it again. I decided to try it out. It couldn’t be easier and I’m very pleased with the results. Watch the video below where YouTube user danleow shows his process (and check out his follow up video that he claims improves the process).

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Matt is a community organizer and founder of 3DPPVD, Ocean State Maker Mill, and HackPittsburgh. He is Make's digital fabrication and reviews editor.

View more articles by Matt Stultz


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