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Elastic 50A-Support Removal & Smoothing?

Hello everyone,
I work mostly with Elastic 50A printing semi-complex biological shapes and am looking to streamline my processes.
What is the best way you have found to remove supports for the most smooth surface?

The flush snips still leave bumps. I have tried various sanding techniques and they have not worked out well. Currently I use a flexshaft with a burr bit to work down the nubs, then finish off with a very mild sanding wheel. You loose the glossy look, but the results are the best for ‘feel’ that I have found yet. This process is OK but leaves a lot to be desired. The bits have a tendency to ‘run’, biting into the material and moving to an undesired area, and the finish ends up being cloudy after the buff.
I’m very curious to read what others have found to work well.

Thank you all in advance,

KB

I have not found a great method. But freezing the print, and sanding while frozen helps.

I also haven’t found a great solution - but I highly recommend removing supports prior to curing for Elastic and Flexible resins. At 0.4 touch point size, doing this basically eliminated any need for sanding and finishing for me. The only caveat is that green elastic parts can be very fragile so you need to be careful!

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@rybu Freezing is an interesting concept. I have read it mentioned it on this forum elsewhere. What is the benefit? How is it compared to a multi-stage sand when fully cured?
This seems like it would add a significant amount of time to the process. Is the result worth it?

@leonhart88 this is a great point and one that I did not mention previously but is part of my regular workflow. I generally do separate the supports between the wash and cure and where able rub the support attachment point with a fingernail (gloved) to remove as much protruding material as possible. This is, unfortunately, not possible everywhere and still leaves behind both visible and felt protrusions in most cases that warrant further finishing. The areas that I am unable to reach with fingers require a tool-only approach.

I am currently experimenting with some uncommon bits for a better finish - reduce bite-in and run as well as better material removal. Initial tests are good but bits aren’t the best shape for the job (samples from another kit), I will update once correct ones arrive and I process a few lots.

When elastic is frozen, it behaves more like a model resin. So it’s relatively easy to sand. The downside is that once you start sanding, your point of contact heats up pretty rapidly. So it’s the kind of thing that you really ought to do in a cold climate, like a -10c day, outdoors. Because if you’re sanding in a warm room you’ll have to re-freeze shortly after you start.

Using single-bladed nippers will leave a much smaller ‘pip’ to be sanded than the standard flush cutters.

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