Thursday, 31 March 2016

Behemoth BSF prep

Shapeways' W/BSF (white/Black Strong & Flexible) material is a laser-sintered nylon, printed in a bed of nylon powder. That means that, although they clean off a lot of the surplus powder before shipping, there's still a lot there caught in crevices and what-not.

In some areas, this powder can completely fill areas that are supposed to be void.

You can see, in this photo of the Behemoth straight out of its packaging, that it looks pretty much like it's been rolled in coal dust.

A certain amount of the crap can be dug out with probes and what-not, but you'll never get it all that way, and it's a tedious and time-consuming job. I thought I'd try something a bit more brutal, and gave it a going-over with my water blaster — not a tool designed for fine work, I might add.

It certainly did the job, though it would be preferable to be able to use a handpiece that isn't a long as my arm, and thus a bit easier to aim at the thing I'm holding in my other hand.

As well as getting rid of the surplus dust, it also revealed that the BSF isn't B all the way through, but appears to have been steeped in some kind of black dye after printing. I think that process tended to harden the deposits of extra dust, making them more difficult to remove manually.

When all the extra dust is gone, the printing lines on the surface of the model are a lot more apparent. I'm not quite sure how to go about ameliorating that; maybe some kind of liquid surface filler might be in order.

The process continues.