Creating artwork for printing with ABS plastic on 3d printer vs polymer


I have been doing this for a while. I produce the graphic on the 3d printer 4mm high with a 1.5mm backing. I print with 100% infill and 1 she’ll. then I use carpet tape and tape the result to a wood block’ I’m using a very hard tropical species of wood. I then use a home version of a nail dremel, like they use in nail salons to smooth out any bumps. Then I screw the block into the back of an mdf jig and then turn the whole thing upside down and sand it smooth on sandpaper that is taped to a very heavy piece of glass…. Up to 1200 grit. I take a look at this under a jewellers loop to check for any messy fly aways. Of course I clean out the sanded plastic. Then I use a fine paint brush and paint it a bit with ordinary nail polish remover which sort of burnishes. I check for height etc and then lock into the chase and print. I’m using a c and p table top.

Lots of fun and immediate gratification with not waiting for polymer. For text I use lead font …. You can print text of course but the font size needs to be huge.

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A bit more info and photos

I’m using a makerbot my husband gave me for christmas two years ago, so that technology is a bit old. The wood I use is paduc 3/4 inch. The size of the paper in the photos is 4.25 by 5.5 inch and the business card size….. I blocked out my personal info. I am not attempting to do this for profit, it a late life hobby. Hope this helps….btw way, there’s an tutorial on retrofitting an old 3d printer into a laser cutter, which would be more accurate and open up the polymer plate option. I have only used ABS so far but will try PLA soon because printing the graphic directly to the platen would result in a better starting point.