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smoothquest

Herein you will find details on my quest for the “perfect” FDM printed stone surface.

This is NOT a general guide on getting high quality FDM prints for terrain - it is specifically focused on models (typically terrain tiles) with large areas of relatively flat (parallel to print bed) but irregular top surfaces.

The goal is to end up with a primed print ready to paint with effectively zero FDM artifacts - especially layer lines. In my case there are two motivations for this goal :

  • Mixing and matching FDM and resin printed pieces without the FDM printed pieces looking “different” because of printing artifacts
  • Opening up the full range of finishing / painting techniques like dry brushing and washes which are typically problematic on FDM prints.

I don't think it's feasible to directly achieve the desired level of quality with the current generation of basic (I'm working with Ender 3 Pros) FDM printers, although that may change (perhaps ironing mixed with non-planar slicing…). This means that for now there will need to be additional post-print processing to smooth things out prior to painting.

Some of the specific goals include :

  • Tuning profiles to reduce FDM artifacts as much as possible prior to post-print smoothing
    • reduce layer lines as much as possible
  • Find reasonably efficient post-print smoothing process.
smoothquest.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/29 11:25 (external edit)