Clean-up and Priming Shapeways parts...?

This is the place to get answers about painting, weathering and other aspects of finishing a model.

Moderators: DasPhule, Moderators

Post Reply
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:09 pm
Location: Sherman Oaks

Clean-up and Priming Shapeways parts...?

Post by Havoc » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:20 am

Heya, Folks,

Just got my first two printed items from Shapeways...

Was wondering if there were any tips on cleaning them up and priming them?

Basically, I am just looking for advice on what I can safely give the two items a bath in and then prime them with?

Primer-wise, I was going to go with Tamiya Grey Fine primer out of a rattle can...

Any and all help would be appreciated.


With Regards and Aloha,

Johnny B.
I love the smell of Resin in the Morning!!

User avatar
Posts: 1832
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:09 pm
Location: Right smack in middle of Missouri

Re: Clean-up and Priming Shapeways parts...?

Post by southwestforests » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:13 am

Have several things at Shapeways bookmarked to get, so this will be a conversation of interest.
Do remember the forum for Starfire board/miniatures game has info as they have minis at Shapeways.
Also know several model train forums have info as a lot of people have been making model train parts for several years.
Since I haven't bought any products I haven't remembered the prep and paint info.
Do remember it varies with material used.

:arrow: downloadable pdf from trolleyville trolley modelers website - it covers a couple different materials ... inting.pdf
:arrow: and cleaning - also different for different materials ... _light.pdf

Did just look and Googling shapeways paint preparation gets quite a bit.
these from shapeways, ... liday.html
November 22, 2016
Whether you’re creating model trains or any number of other kinds of miniatures, our Frosted Ultra Detail plastics provide incredible detail and can be totally transformed with a bit of paint. However, getting the models ready for painting is an important first step. In the future, Shapeways will offer a pre-treated alternative, but while we’re still developing a process to do so at scale, read on for tips and tricks on prepping your FUD models for painting. ... tures.html
August 25, 2015
2. Clean the model thoroughly
The 3D-print models will feel a bit greasy. In this condition the paint won’t attach properly. Therefore clean the parts thoroughly with dish washing liquid. Use warm water (max 70ºC/max 158ºF)). Let the parts soak for quite some time (3 – 6 hours). Meanwhile the water will turn cloudy. That’s the wax. Repeat this procedure if needed. In the end the the kit won’t feel greasy anymore and show an almost complete white colour. It is of utmost importance that the models are properly degreased – otherwise the paint will not stick! Small remainders can be removed with a swab or toothpick. ... tic.21867/
I just came from an airbrush artist that brushed models I had printed in White Strong and Flexible and White Detail. The paint holds extremely well on WSF, but not at all on white detail. For my models the detailed plastic is my preferred option. Does anyone know what paint/primer holds best to this material, and how to prepare the model for painting? Thanks!

SpideyPlanet, Nov 28, 2014

Detail Plastic is an acrylic material probably similar in properties to the "Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD)" you may be more likely to find post-processing tips for (due to its higher resolution making it more attractive for scale models). I would expect any paint suitable for acrylics to work well - use the forum Search function (the one next to the "Private Messaging" link, not the shop search field at the top of the page) to find out more.
It could simply be that your Detail part was not cleaned/degreased sufficiently before painting - the process uses a waxy support material, and parts shipped by shapeways sometimes carry some residue of either the wax or some solvent used in its removal.
Last edited by southwestforests on Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:35 am, edited 4 times in total.
"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
Tom Mueller of SpaceX, in Air and Space, Jan. 2011

User avatar
Posts: 2341
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:31 pm
Location: Gunma-ken, Japan

Re: Clean-up and Priming Shapeways parts...?

Post by TurkeyVolumeGuessingMan » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:27 am

It's been said on the Shapeways site that washing the parts in alcohol and even acetone works. Unlike styrene, the material that Shapeways parts is made of won't get damaged from it. After my initial attempt at washing the parts, I ended up using acetone and an old toothbrush to get the rest of that white gunk off.
Plastic modeling and other nerd stuff in Japan on my YouTube channel
My WIP modeling page on Tumblr.
One day I was walking and I found this big log. Then I rolled the log over and underneath was a tiny little stick. And I was like, "That log had a child!"

Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:09 pm
Location: Sherman Oaks

Re: Clean-up and Priming Shapeways parts...?

Post by Havoc » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:15 pm

Many Thanks!!!!!!!!

I really appreciate the feedback and advice!!!

Having seen what acetone can do to plastic, I am skittish about used it on the Frosted Ultra Details and White Strong Flexible the these parts are made of, especially since both pieces have some areas of thin detail I recall one instance --- thankfully isolated --- where a typical Simple Green bath turned a resin part rubbery.

Thus, playing it safe, I'm going to begin the process by soaking them both in water and dishwashing soap, see how that does, and if need be, work to the the more caustic cleaners... Maybe some Simple Green if there is a need.

Both pieces were supplied without any extra sprue or other material to trim off, so there is no extra material to test the solvents out on, so I have to be careful, as I don't have the time or budget to replace either piece.

Will keep you posted!

Thanks again, amigos!

With Regards and Aloha,

Johnny B.
I love the smell of Resin in the Morning!!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests