Favorite Tools for Finishing

Favorite Tools - files, pliers, and putty knife

Favorite Tools – files, pliers, and putty knife

While at the local hardware store over the weekend I picked up a cheap set of files on impulse.  These have quickly been incorporated into my 3D printing toolbox.

  • For years I’ve been using sandpaper and a precision screwdriver set to sand and “file” away plastic.  However, I found the above set consisting of a flat metal file, triangular file, and circular file for less than $7.  Since this particular set was originally designed for sharpening metal saw blades, they make quick and easy work of plastic.  If you haven’t picked up a set like this yet, I’d highly recommend it.
  • The needle nose pliers are useful for cutting filament, handling hot plastic, clamping/fitting/or forcing small parts, and sometimes for scraping excess plastic.
  • The putty knife is useful for scraping excess small pieces of plastic off a printed object, but mainly for separating printed objects from the print bed.
  • Not pictured, I also use a variety of sandpaper.  While the metal files have been proving more versatile and durable than the sandpaper, the finer grades of sandpaper are indispensable for that really polished look.

What do you use to help a printed object look its best?