With our 50% 3D tiger prototypes printed, trials with post-processing have begun! After the pieces were printed, we found that the plastic surfaces were too bumpy and unfit for adhering the cultural patterns on top. So, after thorough research by the Major 3’s, we came up with a solution: sanding the 3D pieces.
Last spring, a team of Major 1’s built on the research from the Major 3’s and watched hours of videos on the subject. The sanding team then used this new knowledge to form our initial procedure for sanding.
Luckily, we had many sunny days last year and were able to sand outside in the fresh air! Over the course of several weeks we made updates to our procedure as we gained more experience sanding. First, we used chisels and pliers to remove any small excess pieces from the 3D printer. Then, we dry sanded with electric sanders and by hand. If there were any gaps or ridges in the plastic, we fixed them with a paste filler. Lastly, we wet sanded the tigers by hand. When we finished the entire sanding process, the surfaces had gone from shiny and bumpy to matte and smooth.
Now that we’re back, it’s quickly getting too cold out to sand, so the carpentry program has graciously offered to allow us to sand in their workspace, where there will be good ventilation. The sanding team looks forward to working hard to get the prototypes, and then the final pieces, sanded and ready for further steps!