Post-processing of 3d printed part

The post-processing of a print can be necessary on some occasions, with the purpose of meeting the dimensional requirements or improving the appearance of the model.
In this article, you will find the most common processes with tips to realize them.
Content table:

Removal of burrs and threads

removal of burrs and threads in 3d prints


This process is quite common when the material is prone to leaving threads, when the supports are not soluble or easy to remove, and in the case of the elephant foot effect.

You will only need cutting pliers for this process.


Sanding and polishing

Sanding 3d printed parts

Most materials are compatible with this operation. However, the thermal resistance of the material must be considered when sanding or polishing, since it can deform the piece due to the increase in temperature generates by the friction.

This process is recommended to finish cleaning leftover burrs or threads that remain on the piece, as well as to smooth the superficial layers when printing with 0.8mm or 1mm hotends.


Down below you will find several tips for sanding and polishing your piece:

  • For pieces with low thermal resistance, it is recommended to use sandpaper in order to avoid excess friction and control the temperature.
  • For finer or narrower details, the best option is to use precision files that will allow a better control of the process.
  • Power tools should only be used with materials that have high thermal performance such as PAHT CF15 or PP GF30.
  • For better results, we recommend using multiple tools that gradually have a higher number of grits, this will improve the result on each iteration.
  • In the case of sanding pieces that have fiber material such as PAHT CF15 or PP GF30, it is essential to wear a mask and safety goggles because of the particles they release.



gluing of 3d printed parts

In the case of printing a model in multiple parts, it will be necessary to glue these parts together. This process is very easy and you will only need contact glue.


The following aspects must be taken into account to make the joint as strong as possible:

  • If you use liquid consistency glue, you have to make sure that the faces of the pieces to be joined are as smooth as possible in order to have proper adherence. 
  • If the glue is more consistent, you have to make sure that the end surface of the pieces is porous, this will allow the glue to adherates better. To do this, you can sand the contact surface with coarse-grit sandpaper.
  • To increase the strength of the pieces that need to be glued, you can make some inserts between the pieces,  this will make the process easier.
  • It is not recommended to use melt adhesives with materials that can be deformed by hot temperature.


Primer and painting

priming and painting of 3d printed parts

This process can improve greatly the appearance of the print, giving it a smooth and uniform look. Not only can you paint the model but you can also add covering that will contribute additional characteristics, like resistance to corrosion.


It is advised to follow these steps for this process:

  1. Prepare the surface of the print, sanding it to remove any imperfections and contribute to a uniform look.
  2. Prime the object you want to print, this consists of adding a product on the surface that will improve the adhesion of the paint, remove any porosity left by the sanding and protect from corrosion.

    This task can be done multiple times, leaving it to dry between each layer. 
  3. Paint or apply the desired covering. The final appearance will improve with each layer of paint applied.


Forum community 

Need more tips? Check out our forum community for help.


It's important to keep your printer in good shape to make the most out of it. In this chart, you can find a list of the extruder maintenance procedures and how frequently these should be done. 

Maintenance Plan (Epsilon Series)

Maintenance Plan (Sigma Series)

Maintenance Plan (BCN3D Sigmax)

Maintenance Plan (BCN3D Sigma)


bcn3d-recycle  Take your e-waste to a certified recycler. Check how we do it in BCN3D.



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