3D Print Cleanup-ish

Or, perhaps more accurately, what NOT to do when attempting 3D print cleanup. I learned a lot on this first outing, so I figure even if the results aren't 100%, I'd share what I managed to learn along the way. If you'd like to add anything about the process in general, please leave a comment, I'd love to hear it!!
Special thanks to Luiz Kruel for the 3D print!! https://www.artstation.com/artist/lkruel
*edit: comments are pretty limited here; for a slightly more in-depth prose, I have the process here as well: http://imgur.com/a/Q65UC

www.twitch.tv/pavmike
https://gumroad.com/pavlovich
https://cubebrush.co/pavlovich
https://www.youtube.com/user/Pavlovich2005/playlists
http://3d.cgmasteracademy.com/instructors/michael-pavlovich.html

First, the digital stuff. Here's the 36 videos, with step-by-step instructions on the 3D modeling process (upper-left hand is the list view drop-down)

Keyshot render of the 3D models; up to this point was super easy. I'm about to find out I'm all left-handed thumbs when it comes to anything non-digital.

Keyshot render of the 3D models; up to this point was super easy. I'm about to find out I'm all left-handed thumbs when it comes to anything non-digital.

Here's the whole box of stuff I ended up with by the end; some of it I didn't use, some of it I used but probably wasn't ideal (more on that later). Shopping list for deets: https://amzn.com/w/3HW5DR0EEVBUW

Here's the whole box of stuff I ended up with by the end; some of it I didn't use, some of it I used but probably wasn't ideal (more on that later). Shopping list for deets: https://amzn.com/w/3HW5DR0EEVBUW

Getting the size right; I took decimated versions of the models into Maya and made a rudimentary cake (that's an 8" round top). Create > Measuring Tools came in handy.

Getting the size right; I took decimated versions of the models into Maya and made a rudimentary cake (that's an 8" round top). Create > Measuring Tools came in handy.

Luiz Kruel was cool enough to print out my characters on his Makerbot; here's some other prints he's done on it for me

Luiz Kruel was cool enough to print out my characters on his Makerbot; here's some other prints he's done on it for me

The first print was medium quality as a test, but I spent so much time testing stuff I decided to take the first print to final. Bonus built in webcam so you can view progress anytime!

The first print was medium quality as a test, but I spent so much time testing stuff I decided to take the first print to final. Bonus built in webcam so you can view progress anytime!

Luiz was even kind enough to break off the supports for me! More info on the printing process is in the bonus section of the Reptile Creature series https://youtu.be/5zfCOrBLFrc?t=52s

Luiz was even kind enough to break off the supports for me! More info on the printing process is in the bonus section of the Reptile Creature series https://youtu.be/5zfCOrBLFrc?t=52s

For scale

For scale

X-Acto knife and needle nose pliers for support cleanup, then needle files for getting in there and sanding down small areas (SUPER useful).  400-3000 grit sandpaper was a bit overkill, but the pack was cheap!

X-Acto knife and needle nose pliers for support cleanup, then needle files for getting in there and sanding down small areas (SUPER useful). 400-3000 grit sandpaper was a bit overkill, but the pack was cheap!

It was printed using PLA filament, so no acetone bath for me. XTC-3D to the rescue! Got rid of all the stepping like a champ. There's ton's of good tutorials online on how to mix and apply correctly.

It was printed using PLA filament, so no acetone bath for me. XTC-3D to the rescue! Got rid of all the stepping like a champ. There's ton's of good tutorials online on how to mix and apply correctly.

Take this stuff outside, bad fumes! Also make sure you do a pass with the foam brushes before it hardens so you don't get drippy or pooling areas. It was also difficult to see if the XTC was everywhere it needed to be; darker color PLA is better.

Take this stuff outside, bad fumes! Also make sure you do a pass with the foam brushes before it hardens so you don't get drippy or pooling areas. It was also difficult to see if the XTC was everywhere it needed to be; darker color PLA is better.

Prime and sand and prime and sand (ignore the clear coat, that goes on last)

Prime and sand and prime and sand (ignore the clear coat, that goes on last)

Prime and sand. I was hoping priming and sanding would get rid of the larger errors (mostly from the medium print quality I assume), but alas. The working surface was just an amazon box with 2 holes poked in so they could dry with minimal handling.

Prime and sand. I was hoping priming and sanding would get rid of the larger errors (mostly from the medium print quality I assume), but alas. The working surface was just an amazon box with 2 holes poked in so they could dry with minimal handling.

Putty to the rescue! Looking back, I should have done this step BEFORE the XTC-3D...oh well. The only one I used was the Perfect Plastic Putty (and used one of the precision applicator needles)

Putty to the rescue! Looking back, I should have done this step BEFORE the XTC-3D...oh well. The only one I used was the Perfect Plastic Putty (and used one of the precision applicator needles)

Pretty neat stuff! For where the errors were I probably didn't need super precise application, but it worked.

Pretty neat stuff! For where the errors were I probably didn't need super precise application, but it worked.

Like I said, should have done this way earlier, but I wasn't sure what priming and sanding would take care of.

Like I said, should have done this way earlier, but I wasn't sure what priming and sanding would take care of.

Painting! This...is where most of the lumpy surface actually came from. Oops! Don't bother with the blending medium in the small bottle, the airbrush medium is probably what you want to thin the acrylic, but it came in too late for me to use.

Painting! This...is where most of the lumpy surface actually came from. Oops! Don't bother with the blending medium in the small bottle, the airbrush medium is probably what you want to thin the acrylic, but it came in too late for me to use.

Yuck! Went from nice and smooth to lumpy. I think the airbrush medium would have helped here. Also, the grey primer was great for seeing where you needed to sand (and at 600 grit was glassy smooth), but the acrylic here totally textured the surface again.

Yuck! Went from nice and smooth to lumpy. I think the airbrush medium would have helped here. Also, the grey primer was great for seeing where you needed to sand (and at 600 grit was glassy smooth), but the acrylic here totally textured the surface again.

In progress. The acrylic was not high quality acrylic, the medium I used seemed to enhance the strokes instead of alleviating them (again, I'm thinking the airbrush medium would have been a better choice, but I got it too late)

In progress. The acrylic was not high quality acrylic, the medium I used seemed to enhance the strokes instead of alleviating them (again, I'm thinking the airbrush medium would have been a better choice, but I got it too late)

Final paint, pre-clear coat! Also, small details like the eyes and mouth geo got in the way more than helped during sanding--if I did it again, I'd leave that stuff off and just focus on broad smooth surfaces.

Final paint, pre-clear coat! Also, small details like the eyes and mouth geo got in the way more than helped during sanding--if I did it again, I'd leave that stuff off and just focus on broad smooth surfaces.

Clear coat applied! 20-20 hindsight:  PRINT IN PIECES and glue together later after you've cleaned them up. Having them as all one piece made every step a bit more challenging.

Clear coat applied! 20-20 hindsight: PRINT IN PIECES and glue together later after you've cleaned them up. Having them as all one piece made every step a bit more challenging.

Also looking back, Flame Princess's hair was way too busy. I'd simplify the shapes and leave very little detail.

Also looking back, Flame Princess's hair was way too busy. I'd simplify the shapes and leave very little detail.

The cake was good though!

The cake was good though!