How to treat the surface after PLA 3D Printing

treat the surface

The 3D printing process usually only accounts for 70% of the production and prototyping stages. It is the post-production process that requires time and effort from users to achieve the desired appearance for the product. 3DShop Vietnam would like to guide how to treat the surface after PLA 3D printing to achieve the best 3D printing quality.

Remove support structure

Support structure is almost indispensable in FDM 3D printing, especially for 3D printing objects with complex shapes. The processing of treating support structure can be pre-calculated to improve the printing surface quality.

There are two types of support resins : soluble and insoluble.

  • Soluble

Some material can dissolve in water or solvent. PVA plastic often used as a support material for PLA 3D printing products. It can decay in water.

treat the surface
Soluble support
  • Insoluble

Insoluble support resins are common 3D printing plastic materials (PLA, ABS, …), or used with single-nozzle 3D printers. These supports must be removed either manually, by hand or with cutting pliers.

treat the surface
Insoluble support           


Sanding is one of the most popular 3D printing post-processing methods which was applied to all FDM 3D printing materials at a very low cost. However, users should wear protective gear (face mask), as sanding can release very small dust particles that can be harmful if inhaled.

treat the surface
Sanding in treating 3D printing model


Coating is overlaying a 3D printed object with a base coat before overlaying the desired color. Before painting, 3D printed objects should be pre-brushed to remove 3D printing lines.

When the model has dried out, the water color can be painted up with a brush or spray. 


Some small 3D printed parts can be glued together to form a single product. This method is applied to big 3D printing objects. Because the 3D printer’s print size is limited. 

Thank for reading our post “How to treat the surface after PLA 3D Printing”. If you want to hire our 3D printing services, please contact us at the address below.

3D printing service at 3DShop

Phone: 024 7300 7070

Hotline: 035 873 6772 | 083 4400 810

Website: 3D Shop Việt Nam 

Address: Room 305B, Building 86 Le Trong Tan, Thanh Xuan, Hanoi.

Facebook: 3DShop Vietnam

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