BilbyCNC : Finishing Techniques, Specials and Upgrades

So you have printed your model. Its looking good, but now lets turn it into something beautiful.
Over the next few editions of our newsletter we will be going through different finishing techniques 

In todays edition we discuss:

The Bilby CNC Filament Special
The Replicator 2 Glass Bed upgrade

Finish Me : the first installment of our FINISHING TECHNIQUES Special:
Acetone Polishing
Acetone Dip
Acetone Vapor

Dual printing, painting and more finishing techniques have been put off until next weeks newsletter due to the huge content in this weeks. 

Happy printing
Lee Bilby

But First......
A secret web link to a great filament special! 

We have set up a special page just for newsletter members (and those you choose to let in on the secret)!! This special page will let you get 8 spools of filament for the price of 7 PLUS free post! You can choose a variety of colours and a mix of ABS and PLA!! This offer is only available for 2 weeks!

Go there now before you miss out!
Note : You can email/txt etc this link to a friend, but you will not find it linked to on our site - that's why we call it a secret link!

Glass Bed Upgrade for the Replicator 2 now available!

The new upgraded bed for the replicator 2 is made from toughened glass that has been custom made

with sandblasted edges for safety. It will never warp or bow, like perspex can; and it is super flat!
We have been testing these beds for over a month! You can print straight onto the glass- which provides a very nice glossy finish to the base of the print, but adhesion can be temperamental so we still use blue tape.

All in all, highly recommended upgrade
Photographed on black velvet to make it easier to see

Finishing me: finishing techniques that won't blow the budget or the building!

Sanding and Painting
Myth: you can not sand PLA
You most certainly can. PLA is a stronger, harder plastic than ABS but it is defiantly still sand-able, it just takes a little more elbow grease - or a mouse sanders (a personal favorite).

Warning - if you are using a sander watch the temperature. If you sand too much in one place you may well find you actually start melting your print out.

We are going to talk more about painting effect in future editions, but you can defiantly paint both ABS and PLA in the same way.

Acetone Polishing 

Myth: you can not use acetone on PLA
This is rubbish! For months now, we have been polishing our prints with an old towel or face washer dipped generously in acetone. (note: a rough cloth like an old face washer is 

much better than a soft cotton tshirt).
The photos do not do it justice, especially from the touch point of view. The large red heart is probably the best illustration.

This is a 30cm wide heart printed at a .34mm layer height. The top right (your right when facing the photo) segment has been polished with the acetone rag. The small segment under it is raw.
YOU CAN NOT acetone polish ABS
Why? Because acetone completely dissolves abs, and rapidly. So you will end up with a mess, not a polish! For ABS look at "acetone dip"

Acetone dip
This is an ABS only finishing technique.
Just pop acetone in a glass jar and dip your model in and out quickly allow to dry and repeat if necessary. The short dip is best, as the acetone will soak in through the layers and your model will warp; like the little mans head pictured here. We suggest you tie cotton thread around the model to dip it. Also make sure you do this with models with a thick shell and NO gaps in the shell. If the acetone gets through the shell it will eat your model from the inside out!
Once dipped pop your model on a plastic disposal surface, like an old takeaway container lid, as liquid ABS / acetone will drip down off your model.
When done well the results are amazing, but remember you are dissolving some of the outer coating, and as such some of the finer details.

Acetone Vapor

We have not done this, not the least of which because of the explosive risks of acetone vapor, but it is interesting. There are safer ways to work with vapor than the article we are about to link you too, but still worth a look.
Read the following articles on
Acetone Vapor Safety test 
Smooth ABS with Acetone Vapor 

Make Me A Key Ring

We have 2 different Keyring packs available, both in sets of 10 and ready for you to attach your 3D printed pendant.
Great for school project or gift giving.
There are two types of keyrings to choose from! 

Each pack of 10 Keyrings is ONLY $5.00

Looking for friends?

We have set up a "Places and spaces to meet other techy people " page to document venues where 3d printing enthusiasts can get together across the country! 
If you want to add your group contact!

Intellecta Saturday Arvo Technology Sessions
Inquire about these sessions now! Intellecta will show you great 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, heat press fabrics, electronics and more! 
Phone: 08 8351 8288 or Email:

We encourage other organisations to let us know when they meet, so we can help promote you. Send info to