Sandblasted finish by Andreas BastianGoing down the rabbit hole – Finishing prints with sand blasting and tumbling

Came up with an interesting idea today… what about sand blasting, or tumbling parts?  Most people are familiar with wet sanding parts. Or, for ABS prints, how to do Acetone Smoothing.  

But, if you are a PLA printer, like me, you are kind of out of luck.  That got me thinking… what about tumbling or sandblasting?  

First, lets look at some examples of sandblasting:

First up, one of my favorite DIY sites, Instructables.  They have an instructable showing what sandblasting a 3d print does, by andreabastian.  It looks like a nice matte finish, and it sounds like it is very absorbent.  I plan on priming/painting after this step, so that actually sounds good to me. 

That looks pretty good, and the next link I came across was Sand blasting 3d printed objects for matte surface finish from DIY 3D Printing.  Again, this shows some great promise.  

Here is another post about “Sandblasting printed stuff” from over at Ultimaker.

If you are looking for a cheap enclosure, check out Craigslist.  I was surprised at the price I saw, compared to say Harbor Freight.

As for a small sand blasting setup, I found this badger air-brush – turned sandblaster.  I own two of their airbrushes, and this is very interesting to me.  


All of this looking at sandblasting, had me also looking at tumblers. 

I first came across these videos – Creating a tumblerShowing the results.

Next, I cam across HackaDay, and their tag for parts-tumbler.  Some interesting stuff there, included turning an old printer into a tumbler.  

Next, I found this really good article talking about tumblers on Ultimaker.  They link out to this DIY home made tumbler, with parts on Thingiverse. (Here is another article about that tumbler and its capabilities).

Adafruit has an interesting look at polishing metal prints.

Finally… I found this article.  Imagine having a fairly large capacity tumbler in your own home?  With a few additional parts, you probably do too.  It’s a washing machine.  Just mount a bucket in there, secure it well, and let it go.

This is something I want to try down the line.  Have any of you had any experience with this?