Do any of the guys here have experiences with tumbling 3d prints like in

(Frank “Helmi” Helmschrott) #1

Do any of the guys here have experiences with tumbling 3d prints like in Rock tumblers or something similar? I’m looking for a good way to give good, clean prints a bit of a polish, edge softening or similar.

Would really be interested to hear some experiences, see some pictures or videos…

(Ray Kholodovsky) #2

Never done it but talked about it a lot. The normal wear and tear on some of my parts creates a nice finish - I’m specifically talking about the glossy look of printing PLA on heated glass and it getting worn down to a more matte finish.
Why not just go for it? You can get a small tumbler at harbor freight for not too much. I didn’t go for it because most of the parts I print are too big for anything reasonably priced.
There’s always 400 grit sandpaper :). Seriously.

(Frank “Helmi” Helmschrott) #3

Hey @raykholo - yes i’ll most probably go for it but just thought i can not buy some media that i won’t ever use afterwards because it’s useless - it’s always good to collect some experiences people already have.

(Ray Kholodovsky) #4

Yeah I have to go to HF to return a useless tap and die set but I’ll probably be out of luck on the cutting oil, so I hear ya.

Why not mock it up yourself? Get a jar and hopefully you can find something to emulate the ceramic media, perhaps marbles or something else made of that material?

(boog nish) #5

Hey @Frank_Helmi_Helmschr . I have been curios as well although i have a tumbler i have not tried it, i just think it will be too rough on the prints. Teying to get mu buddy to get hisittle sandaster up and running to tey that though:). Woul be onterested to hear any tumbling results if you give it a go before I get to it. Cheers!

(Carlton Dodd) #6

I’ve seen posts of someone tumbling parts with brass or zinc screws for media. The parts looked nice, with a metallic finish.

(Chris Brent) #7
(david merten) #8

@Carlton_Dodd ​ you beat me to it. They used brass screws on bronze fill and it looked amazing. Better than my steel wool results which ain’t too bad.

(Frank “Helmi” Helmschrott) #9

Hey guys your tipps are awesome. Please don’t get me wrong but i’m really just searching for personal experiences. I know that there’s google and i know that i could go to my neighbours (if i had some that were 3d printing - i don’t unfortunately). Actually i was just looking for experiences. Doesn’t matter if you don’t have any.

(Walter Hsiao) #10

I’ve done some testing with ceramic media in a vibratory tumbler, it tends to make the outer surface white so I sometimes use wax to restore the original color. I’ve mostly found it useful for removing the glossy finish in the plastics, and less for removing layer lines. I need to do some more experiments though, maybe with something more abrasive.

There’s some pictures at There’s also some other posts there about metal coating with screws.

I’ve also tried an air eraser (mini sandblasting pen) but didn’t find it very useful. It mostly made the plastic whiter in a very small area.

(Whosawhatsis) #11

Everybody who’s actually tried it says that you need to use metal tumbling media, like wood screws or steel pins. Rotary tumblers seem to work better than vibratory ones, probably largely due to the the media being so much denser than the print.

(Camerin hahn) #12

Abs acetone vapour smoothing looks great

(Libero 3D Printers) #13

I’m with Camerin, ABS with a vapour polish looks fantastic.

(Camerin hahn) #14

saw this the other day.