How do you clean up (grind and polish) your green prints?

I’m reading in the enclosed instruction books that a “sewn buff, and Zam” are recommended but I can’t find a “sewn buff” unless it’s talking about the pad itself.

I can’t imagine that the whole polishing process would be sufficient with only one compound though. I would assume that sewn buff could mean grits from 80 or so to the zam polishing grit but I have no idea or experience with this.

I would love to learn all the steps that anyone here goes through to take a green part and polish it up for debinding and sintering!

I’ve never tried a green print polish before (always worried of breaking my piece before sintering). Would be interested as well in other’s results and process

Hey Drew,
Sewn buff is like this:

You’d use it with the polishing compound (zam) and a rotary tool.

Oh- so just a felt wheel? Nice! Yeah, I wasn’t familiar with that colloquialism.

So from green part off the printer, do you smooth it out with something else first (like if there is a stringer or rough patch on the print)? Like with a 120 grit attachment on the dremel or something before using the zam?

What have you done after sintering Mr. Highball?

I’ve used a rotary tool, ultrasonic cleaner and am trying a rock tumbler as I type this

Oh wow!! That will be very interesting.

Yeah, I’d say a rotary tool will give you the best detail preservation for sure at least. A tumbler would tend to smooth prints and I would think eliminate places of fine detail.

Either way I just got back from the hardware store with my dremel tools and will probably print squares to test with before I do any model test prints but yeah! Super exciting regardless!

Wait, can you post pictures of the results of each of your methods so I could see??

What do each of the methods do specifically?

I used a rotary tool on this (and some pieces shown on the shelf)

And I’ve tried vinegar and salt baths in the ultrasonic cleaner (this will guarantee a patina).

The hard part is getting all the scale off, which the rotary isn’t good at for small pieces or crevices, so I got the tumbler and it seems to be working, but I’ll post on that when it’s done

Hmm… interesting. Perhaps some bit that could get in there with a moderately high grit could be used. I’ll be figuring that out and watching your video!!

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From green to polish, you would start with a coarse sandpaper, move to finer and finer, then the final step is zam and buff.
The buff would catch on any “snags” in the print.
And watch out! Friction causes heat. If the print gets too warm, it’ll start to deform. This is a bit of a finesse process.

Really, you’re polishing as you would any metal. There are lots of general videos about polishing metal out there that could help as well.

There isn’t any benefit to polishing the green print before sintering, but you could use that coarse paper to smooth out print layer lines if you wanted.