How to prepare and paint 3d printed PLA parts
My 3D printed parts are made of PLA plastic and can be painted with acrylic, enamel, and plastic automotive paints. PLA can be sanded with files and sand paper. Depending to the print quality use 150 -200 grit paper to start with. I prefer to use hobby files for best results. Powered sanders can be used but be careful to not melt the plastic. For the smoothest surface, sand and then prime with a sand-able primer and sand again.
Step by Step process for smooth finish on 3D printed parts and slot car bodies.
- Gather tools required (Felt tip pen, Hobby files, Sand-able primer, foam backed files 300 and 600 grit)
- Use hobby file to remove loose plastic and burrs.
- Use felt tip pen to mark a area of the model. Observe if ink runs alone print lines. Use hobby file to sand until ink is gone. Move to next area of the model. If you have a filler - sandable primer this may not be required.
- Spray model with sand-able primer and let dry.
- Once model is dry use foam backed 300 grit file to smooth out surface. Repeat 4 if required.
- Use 600 grit foam backed file for ultimate smooth surface.
- Spray paint with final color.
- Not including paint drying time 30 mins of sanding -prep time max.