Mar. 31, 2015 | By Simon

Of all of the luxuries that 3D printing has afforded us, finishing the final prints once they come off of a print bed has not been one of them.  Whether you’re using SLA, SLS, FDM or any other method of additive manufacturing, chances are you’re likely to have to do some sort of finishing work to the print to get it to where you need it to be.  For some this might be preparing for a layer of paint, to be used in a mold or simply just as-is but in its most optimal finished state.  

While the methods of finishing a 3D printed object are expansive and range from soaking the print in rubbing alcohol to sanding or blasting it with air, the intended end result is nearly always the same: to get the print to a smooth and desirable finish.  

Today, a company called 3D 2.0 Inc has announced that they are releasing a tool that aims to make this process easier called the Retouch3D.  

The hand-held tool (which looks similar to a more-familiar Dremel rotary tool) features variable heat settings and interchangeable tips designed specifically to meet the demands of finishing a variety of 3D printed shapes and sizes.  The tool is compatible with many mainstream materials used in 3D printing including PLA, ABS and resin-based systems.  To account for future materials, the temperature adjustment settings will allow users to increase or decrease heat by small increments.   

”Until you own a 3D printer, what you don’t realize is that removing supports and getting rid of printing errors can be frustrating and time-consuming,” said Phil Newman, Founder of 3D 2.0. “We figured that if heat created a 3D print, then heat would be the best way to clean it up. And that’s how Retouch3D was born.”

The ergonomic design was made to be comfortable in the hand for accurate precision and features an efficient temperature control system designed for a wide variety of 3D print retouching tasks ranging from removing support material and refining layer imperfections to blending print surfaces and infill gaps, among others.  

The current Retouch3D tips include:

  • Macro remover tip (A) – removes large supports, brims, and rafts from your 3D print.
  • Macro refiner tip (B) – refines larger layer imperfections such as layer blobs, overhangs, and stringing (the sticky-out bits that everyone hates!).
  • Micro refiner tip (C) – refines small, detailed and curved layer imperfections.
  • Micro remover tip (D) – removes smaller, close-in support material.
  • Blender tip (E) – blends the surface of your 3D print where blobs and imperfections have occurred.

“I love the concept, the industrial design looks very polished, and I like how it has more than one tip,” said Mike Grauer Jr, a Board Member of 3D Printing Community and 3D evangelist. "Sanding and other surface finishing is a pain and I haven’t seen a similar product on the market."

With the rapid growth of 3D printers and 3D printing in general, 3D 2.0 couldn’t have picked a better time to launch their product, which they’re doing so on the 3D printer-friendly Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.  Those who back the Retouch3D during the campaign will be able to purchase it for an early bird price of $149.  Additionally, the company is looking for beta testers who can help finalize the design’s control system and interchangeable tips.   

Those who back the Retouch3D can expect their units to be delivered in early 2016.  The company plans to launch the tool in other markets soon after.  

”We are really excited to launch our project on Kickstarter, and look forward to introducing Retouch3D as a whole new category of product,” added Amanda Hurt, who was a project manager during the development of the tool.  “The 3D printing sector is experiencing rapid growth and we expect Retouch3D will dramatically improve the user experience.”



Posted in 3D Printer Accessories


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dbclunie wrote at 3/31/2015 8:16:26 PM:

Xeno nice find, I was showing links to wood burners with diff tips for $50 bucks as well , but what you put up is much more of what they're making, and yah $149-200 bucks for a regulated "hot iron" is ridiculous, I'm sure they are nice people, but I really hope that kickstarter doesn't succeed. I'm totally going to get that wax carver...

ac wrote at 3/31/2015 7:58:12 PM:

A luxury soldering iron! loves to say "World's First" wrote at 3/31/2015 7:36:03 PM:

If we only had a nickle for everything announced on Kickstarter. Kickstarter = 40% success rate. Only newsworthy upon shipping after launch based on this success rate.

Bad Bob wrote at 3/31/2015 5:29:47 PM:

I have a Foredom wax carver that is a professional tool, I used to use for lost wax work and it wasn't much more than this !!!

Xeno wrote at 3/31/2015 3:20:34 PM:

Search Ebay for Wax Waxer Carving Pen exactly the same at a fraction of the cost :)

Faktuu wrote at 3/31/2015 11:21:21 AM:

Seriously ? 200$ I`m using 50$ solder iron and it works just fine

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