What's in Your Cleanup Toolkit for Removing Supports?


#1

Flush cutters cause pitting and fling material everywhere, so I’m curious what others use to clean up the supports. I’ve had good results with needle files and an Xacto knife, but honestly something like a short section of jeweler’s sawblade in a handle would be great for dealing with delicate areas. I’m wondering whether folks have jigs or tools for holding short, interchangeable strips of sandpaper as well. Seems like an ideal candidate for a 3D printed solution…

I appreciate your thoughts!


#2

An ultrasonic knife might be handy. Or maybe a micromotor from NSK, like their Evolution series. Neither are inexpensive accessories though.


#3

Form experience, if you have pitting when you cut the supports, your touchpoints are too big.


#4

I remove the supports after it comes out of the alcohol bath and before the part is cured. Usually I use small touch points and rip the support off. For delicate parts or thin areas, I use sharp modeling snips (i.e., cheap Tamiya knock offs). I then do a second alcohol bath, then let it dry for an hour. Next I wet sand the support areas in warm water using everything from sanding sticks to small torn sheets of regular sandpaper usually in grits of 240 or 320. Usually the supports disappear in an a few swipes. After all of that, I let it dry for a few hours, then I cure it. For model parts, I prime it to see if there are any divots to fix. Usually there are none or they are so small as to be nigh invisible without a loop.

Harder resins, like Tough or Durable, will leave more pits than something softer like Grey so I soak them longer in alcohol to soften the supports more before removal.


#5

Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve put together a wee kit and will post pictures & description for the group in a bit.


#6

Ok, got REAL tired of flinging support bits everywhere, so I bodged together this “glove box” complete with ziploc bag window. It works so well I may have to build a decent one.

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#7

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A - Jeweler’s saw
B - Quality needle files (seriously don’t cheap out on your abrasives)
C - Dental pics, tampers, and forceps
D - “Detailing sticks;” essentially spring-loaded holders for loops of sandpaper.
E - Xacto knife
F - Dowel with sandpaper dot on one end.
G - Switchblade sandpaper holder; helpful for the insides of instrument bodies.
H - Brush for cleaning chips and stuff; the resin really has an affinity for itself even after cure, and it can take more than just a whack to dislodge support debris.

I use the top of the finish kit tray thing paired with a monitor stand I found in the trash at work to hold pieces at a convenient height for the bench mag, and I can slide the tray underneath to store in-use tools.