Finishwork on FDM Parts

Date: Mon Mar 25 2002 - 20:28:52 EET

Dear List:

Every now and then our modelshop has a request for FDM parts. The ABS used
on these parts is extremely difficult to sand when compared to the ABS we
use to CNC cut or vac form, making it difficult to sand out the layer lines
and finishing. We have tried ideas such as dipping the parts in Resin Bond
or similar solvent; brushing the same solvents on; sanding with 60 grit or
coarser sand paper or using a primer/filler to finish these FDM parts. All
these processes have been with mixed results. Because of this the
modelbuilders usually choose CNC cutting our ABS parts unless the geometry
simply won't allow it. And they make our CNC programmers jump through some
mighty hoops to try CNC cutting before resorting to FDM parts. I have 2
questions in regards to this.

1: What are some other methods you use for finishing these FDM parts.

2: What are the chances of Stratasys coming out with a blend of ABS that is
"softer" and easier to sand and finish.


Robert S. Gansen
Johnson Controls Inc.
Automotive Systems Group
915 E32nd Street
Holland, MI 49423
Tel: (616)394-8095
Fax: (616)394-1166
Pager: (616)670-8095

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Tue Jan 21 2003 - 20:13:39 EET