XTC-3D 3D Print Smoothing Resin

Recently after getting the 3D printing bug again, I’ve been looking at methods of smoothing PLA prints. With ABS you can use Acetone Vapour Smoothing to smooth out your prints, but with PLA the chemicals to do this are a lot more noxious.

Malcolm, over at the TVRRUG had recently purchased some XTC-3D to test, so it seemed an opportune moment to try it out. XTC-3D is a 2 part resin that you coat a printed object in. As it dries it pulls itself together smoothing out the layers in the 3D print, or so the blurb says!  To test this we took a few printed objects of varying qualities and applied the resin as per the instructions (2:1 of parts A:B). We mixed it up in a plastic container and then spread it over the prints using some foam brushes. It was then left to dry over night.





The resin has made a significant difference, especially on the cat model. On some of the train pieces it glooped into corners so might have been put on too thick. On the red piece it was put on too thin in some places, but a second coating might resolve this. The next experiment will be painting on top of these to see how they come out!

Comments (3)

  1. Malcolm

    My conclusions based on this trial were:

    1) The resin goes off quite quickly – so mixing in small quantities is advisable.
    2) The smoothing effect seems most effective on larger, flatter areas.
    3) The foam applicator provided was too large for the intricate train pieces – hence the glooping. It will be interesting to try again with a smaller applicator.
    4) Even when good smoothing is achieved, the clear nature of the resin means that the striations from the 3d print are still visible. It would be interesting to use a dye to make the resin opaque and observe whether the effect is to conceal the 3d printed origins of the model.

    As a result, I don’t see this as a magic bullet for smoothing of PLA prints. It will work well for some models and not for others. More practice is needed to gauge the correct thickness and avoid glooping. And it is not a cheap product to practice with….!

    1. matt (Post author)

      I think with really bad prints it would need several applications. I’d like to try a multiple application experiment to see how it does. I’m just about to go spray the red part to see how it paints up afterwards.

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