SLS Nylon Care Guide

It’s arrived! Now, what next?

SLS is a messy powder based heat process – despite it being both accurate and strong, the natural finish can always be improved on. Prints leaving our workshop are cleaned with a compressed air blaster to remove as much powder as can be removed quickly and efficiently, however there is sometimes dust residue or trapped powder that does get missed off. We could clean them for a lot longer, but it’d add a lot of man hours and therefore a lot of extra cost onto the price of your models… which I’m sure you’d rather not have to incur!

Here is our guide on what to do after you’ve received your 3D prints.

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Powder?

You’ll probably notice a small amount of white powder coming off the print when you touch it. Unfortunately this is part and parcel of the process but this thin layer of residual powder can be easily removed with water and a bit of soap. You can use a coarse brush if you want it really clean. The material may feel porous but its only the outer 0.2-0.3mm that will retain any moisture and this will dry out very quickly. Alternatively you could have the models polished for free using our polishing service.

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Blocked Holes?

We try to clean every part of every model we print, but it’s only human that we may miss the odd one when there are hundreds of models to clean every day. The powder should come loose if you give it a poke with a needle or something similar. Long thin holes can be a bit stubborn and in some cases designing in a ‘drain’ type hole half way along the part can aid in getting the powder out.

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Keep it clean!

Oil and dirt can seep into the outer layer of the print. Most dirt will come off with some soap and water but treat it like your favourite shirt and try to keep it away from anything that will stain.

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Can the parts be smoother?

Short answer – yes. We now have an industrial vibratory polisher on site so request that next time you order. It turns the finish from that of an Extra Strong Mint to a Softmint. If you’ve already received the part try some 400 grit wet and dry paper and make sure you refresh the water you use to avoid staining the part.

Finishing

White is boring, we know. If you want to add some colour to your prints you can use water based acrylic paints and fabric dyes. A filler primer will and some sanding will smooth the surface ready for that. We offer a professional finish service for those of you who don’t trust yourself around a paint brush.

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Glueing Parts

Epoxy resin is the way to go. Araldite is the most common brand but there are cheaper alternatives out there if you have the time to look. Regular super glues don’t bond too well, even with the powdery layer removed.