Plastic welding and how to save failed 3D prints

Plastic welding and how to save failed 3D prints

If you really want to tempt your fate, just
start an overnight print. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? (Birds chirping) (Printer noise in background) But wait! You’ll be happy to know that you can save
most of them. Using a soldering iron, you can actually salvage
just about any failed print. Let’s see how. Ok, so maybe that wasn’t the best result, but we can always try again. And I did and of course it failed the second time as well. But because this is quite a large piece I won’t print it again, we can just print the upper part and then glue them together using a soldering iron. And here’s the upper part… While waiting for the upper, upper part to finish, we could try and put this two together first. The top of the object should be flat and clean,
so cut away any debries if you have to. Grab the unfinished object and measure its
height as precisesly as you can. Load the model in your slicer and then move
it in the Z axis. Enter the height that you’ve measured, but
use a negative number. This will basically cut away the bottom part
of the object that’s already been printed, so that you will only be left with the missing
upper part. Use the same settings as before, let it
print and hope for the best. Check if the parts fit together and do a bit
of sanding if you have to. Right, let’s see how you can use the soldering
iron to weld the pieces together. You really don’t need anything special, just find the cheapest one you can find and that will do just fine. I would recommend getting a flat tip though, as it really makes the process easier and a lot faster. Heat it up to around 300’C, which is a good starting
point. Too high and the plastic will burn and setting
it too low will barely melt the surface. Then simply work your way around the object
and slowly weld the two pieces together. Here are a few examples that I did in the
past. You might notice the weld up-close, but you can always lightly sand it to hide the joint. If you have a larger gap, then you can actually
use a piece of filament as fake solder. This is how much waste I’ve collected
in only half a year and I’m sure I’m not alone. I urge you to salvage as many prints as you can. Not only will you save a lot of plastic, you will also reduce the pollution as well. I hope that was helpful and don’t hesitate
to get in touch with any questions that you might have. Until next time, happy printing.

local_offerevent_note November 7, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


6 thoughts on “Plastic welding and how to save failed 3D prints”

  • Have you thought about extruding 10cm and using that as "solder" (I think the term is fill rod since you are welding) for the smaller cracks and seams? I think it would give you a better look and easier to sand after if needed.

  • Love this video, as you show great closeup shots of your technique. Super helpful, as we have all had failed prints like this one.

    Also, you had me at 1:03 when I saw your sweet board game collection 🙂

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