Featured Image

Truck Bed Liners Improve 3D Prints

Yup, LINE-X and Rhino Linings – stuff like that! Material compositions similar to that of conventional spray-on truck bed liners are being employed to coat 3D-printed parts for a somewhat cheap and easy way to yield a high-quality surface finish with...
by External Contributor
Feb 24, 2021

AMT Tech Report Selection by Stephen LaMarca: Yup, LINE-X and Rhino Linings – stuff like that! Material compositions similar to that of conventional spray-on truck bed liners are being employed to coat 3D-printed parts for a somewhat cheap and easy way to yield a high-quality surface finish with minimal effort. No sanding or priming necessary, and visible layer lines are gone!

There are at least two kinds of 3D printer operators: those who work hard to make their prints look better after they come off the bed and those who settle for whatever comes off the printer. If you are in the latter camp, you probably envy people who have smooth prints with no visible layer lines. But the sanding and priming and multiple coats of paint can put you off.

[Teaching Tech] has a few tricks that might change your mind. He shares his technique for using different coatings for 3D prints that provide good quality with a lot less effort. The coatings in question are polyurethane used for coating pickup truck beds and bitumen rubber used for waterproofing. In the United States, bitumen is known as asphalt, and both materials are relatively cheap, available, and safe to use.

According to the video you can see below, there's no need to sand or prime the print. In addition to covering imperfections and sealing gaps, it produces watertight prints that have UV resistance and some measure of protection against heating.

The waterproofing example was fun. Using vase mode, [Teaching Tech] printed a few boats. Having single-layer shells, the boats had a few imperfections. Untreated, the boats actually floated, because they didn't weigh enough to break the surface tension. However, placing a payload — in this case, a stepper motor — into the boats caused them to sink. With the coatings, though, the boats would float with their motor cargo.

The outward appearance is good, although it isn't as smooth as paint. You've probably seen truck beds and that's what it looks like. Still, for many parts that's not a bad look; it almost appears powder-coated. Painting the material on didn't look very difficult, although the rubber sealant looked thin. On the other hand, it was cut with water, so it might work to use less water in the mixture.

We are anxious to try this out. We aren't sure if the popular Flex Seal is asphalt rubber, but it might be a good thing to try and easily available in the states.

We've looked at some coatings before. Paint doesn't have to be hard, but we get why some people don't want to bother.

External Contributor
Recent technology News
The Peter Parker proverb, “With great power comes great responsibility” can be applied to the emerging class of hybrid CNC machines. Within the last decade, augmented CNCs with additive, subtractive, and/or inspection capabilities have emerged...
Composite laser-assisted tape winding. Lightweight ships for better fuel and emissions. Combining nickel and copper to 3D print temperature-resistant ship parts. Off-world construction takes a step closer to reality.
Nowadays, the comparably high costs associated with carbon fiber (CF) composite parts to its aluminium or steel contenders remain a constraining factor. A higher degree of freedom to optimize the part geometry and the fiber layup...
Additive technology in wind tunnel testing for Formula One. 3D-printed parts for German railways. Alternatives to reinforced concrete beams – from recycled plastic? Additive-made microneedles in the battle against COVID.
"Using the powdered wood particles and feces left by the minuscule bugs after feeding, the scientists were able to concoct a unique circular economy feedstock, which could be binder jet 3D printed without any polymeric additives...
Similar News
By AMT | Feb 11, 2021

Recently on IMTS spark, Dave Leone, Director of Engineering, Dimensional Control at GE Appliances (GEA), sat down with Robert Schoenberger, Editor, Today’s Motor Vehicles, to discuss the digital transformation that happened at GEA when they embraced 3D...

2 min
By AMT | Feb 12, 2021

Episode 43: Ben wrecks his new RC car! Stephen announces car part manufacturer, Edelbrock, will no longer be manufacturing products in California for all the best reasons. Benjamin nerds out about the latest innovations in machine vision. Steve gets...

20 min
Featured Image
By External Contributor | Feb 18, 2021

AMT Tech Report Selection by Stephen LeMarca: Even at the end of this 11-minute video, I still can't get over the fact that the reciprocating piston of an internal combustion engine has been around longer than toilet paper. Yeah, we‘ve...

1 min