Reducing friction on resin printed parts. A workaround


Do you know any tricks to reduce the high friction between printed parts?

I’ve printed 2 prototypes of parts in Tough 2000 (they will be injection moulded in ASA) that have to snap together. They came out great and feel smooth to the touch.
But when sled against each other the experience is terrible if what you are trying to do is assess how smooth the assembly will feel like.
I know this is a known effect (Formlabs old Tough V5 sample, the snap-fit buckle, is just a poorly chosen demonstrator of the material).

But does someone know some workaround other than mixing your own resin to lessen the effect?
I just can’t feel any difference after lubricating with mineral oil (Ballistol in my case) or teflon spray.
Roughing the surfaces with sandpaper helps just too little.

I guess the lubricant you need it partly dependant on the speed the parts move will move with.

We lubricate our grey pro parts with Teflon/TPFE Grease (higher viscosity than spray). I dont know how will it will work in your application, but you could give it a shot since its not expensive and easiely available in hardware stores.

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What I need to improve is static friction, not dynamic. I guess the answer to the speed is “0”, because it’s like parts “stick” together, but then when they detach, friction remaining is bearable.
I just was hoping that Tough 2000 would be better in this regard than V5 but even if it is so on paper, the result is no good.
Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll try it out!

“Teflon grease” gave me the idea of using teflon tape and it really works!

It’s not permanent but for prototyping purposes it really behaves like a proper plastic and it’s less messy than applying grease. It resists several repeats.

Maybe something like molybdenum could be used? Or graphite? You can paint both on the part and have a similar colour.

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Hi @fantasy2, could you elaborate a bit? I don’t know how I could “paint” with molybdenum or graphite… I know them as powders.

But nevertheless great idea! I had a pure graphite pencil here (I knew it would someday come in handy! :grin:) and painting the sliding surfaces really does the trick. Your fingers get black but it is permanent and more professional than the teflon tape.

They are mostly known as powder but I have them here in bottles as a kind of lacquer and even a spray for the graphite(used for EMI shielding and electroplating)

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