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How to Achieve a Semi-gloss or Satin Finish on your Resin 3D Print

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

This 3D print called Desk Clamp Headphone Hanger by Wyka from Thingiverse is an excellent lifehack if you're looking to declutter your workstation. Headphones can take up quite a bit of space on a desk - now you can hang it on this attachment instead :) Using this lifehack as an example, we're going to discuss how you can achieve a semi-gloss or satin finish on your resin 3D print.

After 3D printing the model on a Gizmo 3D Printer using Fun To Do Standard Blend resin, the model was cleaned with paper towels and alcohol. We cured it in a UV curing box. Stay tuned for a thorough write up on different cleaning methods for cleaning your resin 3D prints. Two finishing techniques were then used to achieve its final satin or semi-gloss finish on the resin 3D print: Sanding and Buffing.

Here's what you need to achieve the same semi-gloss or satin finish on your resin 3D print: MATERIALS For Sanding:

  • Various grades of wet and dry sandpaper - 150 grit, 320 grit, and 400 grit for example (depending on how shiny you want the result to be). The finer the sandpaper you use, the higher the level of gloss you can expect.

  • A bucket with water and a drop of hand wash or dishwashing liquid

  • Damp paper towel for wiping off dust particles.

For Buffing:

  • Blue buffing compound. White can also work if used gently.

  • A grinder fitted with a buff. What we use: 320 Watt Ryobi Bench Grinder fitted with a 150 mm Loose Leaf Calico Polishing Buff.

  • Damp paper towel for wiping off compound residue.


  • Starting with the roughest grade sandpaper (150 grit for example), dip the sandpaper into the water to wet it and then start wiping the part with the sandpaper in one direction. Your hand should be wiping back to front then lifting to wipe back to front again (don't wipe back to front and back again without lifting). Once you've covered the entire area, switch over to the next grade sandpaper - a finer grade such as 320 grit, for example, wet it and wipe the part in another direction (different to what you did with the first sandpaper you used). Tip: Changing the direction in which you are sanding is a little trick that makes it easier for you to see which area you haven't sanded yet.

  • Once you've sanded the entire surface area with the 320 grit or medium grit sandpaper, wet the next finer grade of sandpaper and start wiping it in a different direction than the last wipe you did.

  • Every now and again, rinse your sandpaper to clear it from buildup and also rinse your part or wipe off dust with the damp paper towel.

2. Buffing:

  • Apply a small amount of buffing compound to the buff by wiping it across horizonally against the wheel.

  • Once applied, hold the print securely against the edge of the spinning buff and rotate it as needed to cover all areas. Be sure to hold onto it tightly so that it doesn't become a missile!

  • When you are finishing off the buffing, try buffing the last of the compound residue off of the print by pushing it to the edges and off. It's the easiest way to remove the last of the buffing compound residue. You can also use paper towels to remove the last of the residue at the end.

  • Stay patient and keep going to get the look that you want.

Let us know how you go :)

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How to achieve a semi-gloss or satin finish on your resin 3D print

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